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

"I don't ship in MLP."

WELL, THAT CHANGED.

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

"I only ship PinkieShy."

That ALSO CHANGED.

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

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

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

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

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

"I am not a RWBY shipper."

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

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

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

And now I have these ships:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AH YES SHIPPING.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But for whatever reason, Aya started to like Sanae.

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

Aya.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh yeah, Touhou.

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

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

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

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

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

Well.

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

I do not regret that.

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

Okay I'll stop avoiding the obvious.

AYASANA IS THE WINK OF A WIND GOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now where was I?

OH RIGHT THE SORT HA HA HA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spotto: (Default)
 WOW THAT DOUJIN WAS SO UNSATISFYING

NO EMOTIONAL REPERCUSSIONS! INCREDIBLY ABRUPT ENDING! WORF EFFECT AND UNLIKABILITY APPLIED TO A PARTICULAR CHARACTER! ALL THE ACTION WAS JUST THE BIG BAD SHRUGGING OFF EVERYTHING BEING THROWN AT THEM AND THEN DYING TO BASICALLY AN ALL-OUT TEAM ATTACK! EVEN THEN THEIR MANIPULATION WAS FAR FROM ANYTHING INGENIOUS AND WOULD'VE BEEN SOMETHING ANYONE OTHER THAN SHEER GULLIBLE NINCOMPOOPS COULD AVOID! THAT HALF-ASSED FLASHBACK GAVE US BARELY ANY INFORMATION ON WHY THEY HAD SUCH AN ATTITUDE! AND IF WHAT WE WERE TOLD WAS THE ENTIRE REASON THEN THAT WAS THE WEAKEST JUSTIFICATION FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED TOO! IT ALSO UTILIZED A LOVE TRIANGLE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CANON DESPITE ALL THESE COMMENTATORS PRAISING THE DOUJIN FOR 'STICKING CLOSE TO CANON'!

it was literally just 'here's some action and crazy faces!' 

argh




eh

May. 13th, 2015 09:30 pm
spotto: (Q_Q)
Aha! You might think, "this blog is dead!" But you are wrong! I've been maintaining my pony fanfiction collection post!

Yes that's about it.

And though I do often say "I don't read" I do in fact read. It's that instead of professionally written publicly acclaimed published novels it's usually...amateur blurbs of text written by adult miniature horse fanatics. You can see why I don't tell people I read. I also occasionally read RWBY stuff, but not much these days. And while a majority of them would and probably never should be published, there have been stories sitting around the internet for eyes to read for free that I've found better than novels I've actually read. So there's that.

Speaking of ponies, I have also been watching season five which may or may not drive me to maintain my episode ranking post which is no longer glued to the top of the blog, but that depends if the show entices me enough to care. I've been watching it very casually like a normal person, so my expectations are down and I just laugh at all the simple little pieces of plot or humour that is shown. No over-thinking or over-analysing whatsoever. Because of this, certain episodes that have technically been inconsistent in terms of character have mostly been glossed over by my brain. Sure, I can rant about Rainbow Dash's absurd behaviour in that one episode where Tank is dying but not really at all, but I found that crying scene far too entertaining and amusing to care. The only thing I'd even point out at this time is that the episode came out the day the Canucks were knocked out of the playoffs and that very episode had a hockey reference with some background ponies in suspiciously-coloured jerseys. An anti-fan would say it's a curse, but I'd just say it's a funny coincidence. (Well, not at the time when I was super bummed out my team was knocked out of the playoffs, but you get the point)

I may or may not return to this blog to rant about hockey. It depends on what moves are made (or not) near or after the draft or free agency. The team's management has been making some rather iffy and unsettling decisions, and they're hinting at making a pretty horrible one sooner or later. I hope those are all rumours or overblown tabloids and they won't make what will definitely be a very unpopular move, but if it happens...I'll be here, heartbroken and yelling.

 In Touhou news, the demo for Touhou 15 came out recently as well as the sequel to Hopeless Masquerade, Urban Legend in Limbo. Suffice to say all my previous combos have been ruined and I have to re-learn Miko all over again. On the bright side with the popularity system no longer in play I can't be ruined in my blue cape state...on the not-quite-so-bright side, my red cape advantage has been taken away as well. Now Miko can still buff, but red or blue are different sorts of buffs which the opponent can choose themselves. So for instance if I prefer melee'ing with Miko, my opponent may choose my range buff to keep my melee at bay or visa versa. Ah well, hopefully I'll get a handle on things.

Unfortunately my gaming time has been entirely engulfed by MONSTER HUNTER 4U, the GREATEST GAME EVER MADE. I am not exaggerating; this is the type of game I've always wanted to play but never knew existed. It's co-op, so while I do enjoy competitive games the whole feeling of defeat and hopelessness to constantly losing to all your peers is absent. It is instead replaced with the fear of inadequacy. Will I drag my friends down while we attempt to defeat this beast and ruin the fun for us all? Surprisingly this feeling hasn't popped up all too often. The community (most of it, anyway) and my friends do not care if we have a bad game or bad run or even a bad day. It's the type of game where even one mistake can lead to disaster, so being so worked up about such things would pretty much ruin the feel of the game anyway, so that's great! (Despite this I'm pretty sure I subconsciously do everything in my power to not die) It also has a sort of hack and slashly feel, but not the Dynasty Warriors feel where you're practically invincible because you're wrecking entire hordes of bad guys with one slice. How do I describe this? It's sort of like an action RPG I guess? In regular RPGs you just press buttons and your character does the move, but there's no reflexes or reactions involved, it's entirely tactics based. I'm not a huge fan of such games. While here, I can control my destiny depending on where I move, how I dodge, when I attack, how I attack, where I'm positioned, etc. That type of gaming is why I enjoy fighting games a lot of the time or heck even shooting games if a majority of them weren't in first person. (Curse you vertigo!)

Obviously the one exception is Pokemon, but that's part-nostalgia, part-formula that I've run through over and over again and will never get old, and the tactics of Pokemon are actually some I do enjoy and am very familiar with, so that one aspect of brutal competition amongst my friends remains. Unfortunately in this type of scenario by the end of the game there will be at least one person sad. They will be sad because they were the one who lost the most and therefore given the title of draft scrub. On the other hand there will also be one person triumphant, proud they have attained their grand title of Draft Champion for this round and to carry on their victories as time goes by. This would be all okay if we were all equal in skill and ability in the game, but alas we are not. So there will be certain people who win all the time and others whose turn at the top of the podium is once-in-a-blue-moon. I am a part of the latter group more than the former, but I salute those who continue to play despite rarely being on the podium. I'm not sure if it's in a sense of wishing to improve and to one day usurp those who often have the Spinda Crown, or they genuinely find the game fun win-or-lose. The point is the feeling of defeat sucks, but to keep on playing regardless is pretty cool. However there will come a point for me personally that if I lose constantly and never win, that the joy of playing the game may be lost. People do always say it's not always about the winning, but sometimes you gotta taste victory to keep going y'know?

Which is why ULiL has been pretty frustrating lately. I haven't touched HM in literal years. They took away Miko's amazing directional swords that I combo so often with. Even people who barely play this game at all can beat me. The feeling of all that accomplishment, no matter how little it was (being able to combo in a fighting game is HUGE for me. For veterans it's no big deal, the whole point of the game and the core, but for me to actually combo is a huge feat since I usually am discouraged before I end up learning anything) Certainly I have more experience in this type of fighting game format, but yet I cannot beat those who've just picked it up. Perhaps because my own personal gaming prowess is low, but you'd think that experience would speak for something. Then there's people who root against you because obviously you're the one with the experience, so you're expected to win. To not do so at all just makes it feel that much more pitiful. 

Oh well, I suppose if I ever take time away from MonHun I could work on my Miko, but starting all over again and a lot of moves I'm used to completely different really isn't encouraging. On the other hand the game just came out, so I'm probably overreacting to the extreme.

As for anything else? There are certain topics I may wish to speak about, but probably to a person present instead of no one/myself on this mostly abandoned blog. I'm still a big fan of RWBY and Roosterteeth in general, but the feeling has been waning lately. Certain recent events have led to employees leaving, so the company itself has a much different outlook to me these days. I'm watching Ray's stream a few times a week and take a few days longer to get to some Achievement Hunter videos. Seeing Minecraft or GTA or even some other game pop up in my subscription box doesn't lead me to clicking it immediately with glee as it used to. I'm mostly using it as a way for time to go by as I play with my hamster and even then I can watch literally anything else to do that. (I'm been watching a lot of Nerdcubed lately because he's playing Cities Skylines, which is a game I'm very interested in) I guess part of the problem is aside from Ray leaving that I rarely play the games the AH people play. I don't own the fancy expensive consoles. I instead play PC games and stuff on my 3DS. Aside from Ryan the group seems pretty against PC Gaming in general and Nintendo hates the entire Let's Playing community. That takes a chunk out of games I'm familiar with. About the only thing I click with glee are the Minigolf Let's Plays because it's quite possibly my favourite series from that group. I know they also recently acquired Funhaus, another Let's Playing group with a much different editing style, but I watched some and couldn't get into it. Their clickbait titles annoy me as well. (Their office tour video was hilarious, but I find all the RT office tour videos out of this world so it's not anything that stands out)

And RWBY? Well I mean, with tragedy falling upon the creator it's made the show all the more uncertain. I enjoyed some bits of the two seasons but I feel like I'm only here for parts of the fandom and a stubborn clinging to Weiss as a character. It feels like aside from Monster Hunter I need to get into something new that I would actually enjoy with all my bated breath, and not immediately revert to some disappointment I rant about for a few months before losing hope into anything. It's sort of depressing.

But hey, that's the sort of update I usually put out on this website. Not like, real life issues or anything. P:

If it helps to know about me, I'm feeling oddly woozy with a weird pain in my head at the moment. The last few days have been a haze. I just feel so out of lately. I wonder if I'm getting sick? Ah well.

This has been Spotto!
spotto: (koi)
The aforementioned Weiss rant to be precise!
 
Actually this will likely be a mishmash of pretty much any topic relating to characters I like. You see recently I've been marathoning a very silly, mindlessly fun cliche show for about a few weeks. No it's not a Nickelodeon sitcom, though I am still bummed that a supposed rift between the two lead actresses of Sam and Cat caused it to end prematurely. In fact the very last episode, Cat was arrested and Sam chose not to help bail her out for her own gain, so she could keep rooming with Cat's grandmother who acts like a mother Sam has never known, since her own mom is a pretty terrible mother. While a terrible ending for a series it's sort of fitting for how the show ended, via a feud between the lead actreses and for the last scene of the series to be a scene wherein a lead character does not help another. A broken friendship ended with a display of bad friendship, alas.
 
I do feel some sense of happiness that the actress for Cat, Ariana Grande, broke into the music scene because I've been watching these Dan Schneider shows for a few years now and Cat has always had the best voice. In the crossover episode between iCarly and Victorious for instance, there's a karaoke party at the end and I wanted everyone to shut up except Cat because her voice was so majestic. It's super awesome she's getting the recognition she deserves. Unfortunately I'm not too big on the R&B genre but one of her songs, Break Free, sounds pretty good regardless of my music tastes. 
 
Anyway back to the point on hand, the cliche show I've been marathoning is actually by a company based in France called Marathon. That's right, I've been numbing my brain with constant Totally Spies episodes these past few days and even gave myself a headache when I watched a whole bunch of the newer episodes in a row due to for some reason the voice actresses' being far more squeaky than usual later on. Now I keep the volume fairly low but that causes me to be unable to hear certain characters like Jerry who has a rather soft-spoken voice. It's sad. 
 
When I watched this nostalgic show back in my adolescence, despite the show representing all things stereotypically girly I truly was entertained by the episodes. I never had a favourite character at the time either, though it may have been Clover back then because if I have no favourite usually the most comedic takes the cake. It's sort of like why I love Venus the most in Sailor Moon, but with Crystal airing that can easily change. Having complained about the terrible romance and the flat male characters in RWBY recently, Totally Spies is a far more serious offender in this department and there are certain mini-arcs where I have to skip a few scenes so the girls would not always be obsessed with some sort of perfect flawless guy. 
 
Yet, having marathoned so many episodes in a row, I don't seem to mind it quite as much as in RWBY. Most probably because the show truly is a whole bunch of mindless stereotypical fun and with the constant influx of cartoonish villains seeking revenge in every episode, it's sort of silly to have high expectations of such a show. On the other hand, RWBY being an internet webshow it has the freedom to do whatever it wants no matter how controversial it might be because of the lack of meddling TV producers what with being, well, a webshow. And yet the most recent episodes we have very safe and annoying cliche tropes that I would usually expect in some sort of mediocre cartoon for children on TV. 
 
But I can only sigh in defeat as it does nothing out of the ordinary despite its unique platform and just hope it improves later on and all the issues I've had with it would dwindle eventually. However the biggest ongoing problem I have with RWBY is Weiss. She is no doubt my favourite character and still is, if only because I don't really like any other character more than her so far, so it seems no matter how strange I find Weiss being she's still better than everyone else. After season one ended, my expectation of Weiss' character was sort of like a female Vegeta. It is an animesque show so I thought expecting animesque writing would be reasonable, but unlike Vegeta who took many years to go from a murdering psychopath to a proud family man, Weiss seems to have drank some bad water between seasons one and two and is now as goofy and dorky as can be in season two. 
 
What the hell happened?
 
An ongoing theme with the characters in RWBY is that a majority, if not all of them are massive dorks. This seems to represent a lot of the people writing the characters. I don't mind dorky characters, but if EVERYONE is a goofy dork no one is unique and it begins feeling very tiresome. This is why when Blake joined along with Ruby and Yang in parading around their room annoying Weiss after moving in, I was extremely surprised. I really expected Blake to be a serious character who had no time for such goofy nonsense, but at least Weiss' exasperation towards their behaviour gave a sense of fresh air. However by season two it seems their roles have reversed, with Blake being the serious one and Weiss having taken up the teambuilding silly mantle. Obviously one can always explain Weiss having gone from the bitchy lady screaming at Ruby for bumping into her luggage to someone standing on a chair calling out Blake for hiding her problems to be character development, but where is this said character development?
 
Aside from episode ten where Port gave her a rousing speech, every time Weiss acts far less confrontational it's more like this is what Weiss truly is rather than she became less confrontational. So rather, the oddity is why Weiss acted like how she did in the beginning at all. It was so refreshing to see someone with such a soft gentle-looking design actually be a ticking time bomb, but if that ticking time bomb is a facade over her true personality which no doubt is also a facade for something else considering her trailer, then who the hell is Weiss? As every episode goes on she feels less and less unique to me and more like every other character with their silly goofy behaviour. This is sort of the opposite of Yang who I expected to be very goofy and silly, but she seems more down to earth and even discouraged Weiss from puns after the episode four fight. Yang for some reason was extremely serious at the end of the fight, but why? She has no personal investment to the conflict like Blake does, and is the one who calms down Blake from going overboard about this issue entirely. In fact she said something equally as silly after the season one episode eight fight, so why the fuck is Yang acting like this too? Is she the only one allowed to make goofy quips at the end of major fights or something?
 
The inconsistency truly baffles me.
 
I almost think Weiss' behaviour is a direct response to some people disliking Weiss initially and they wanted to tone her down. Except they sort of went way overboard and now both Yang and Weiss, not being quite that extreme of a character as I expected instead mesh with the rest of the characters and now they all feel far less interesting than they could have been. The ideas that radiated around the fandom throughout all of this including the long hiatus gave them better character than the show has so far, which has also decided to devote seven episodes to fleshing out a side-character, so my expectations really can't be that high anymore. It's sort of a shame how fandom builds up expectations but the show itself falls flat so very severely. 
 
As an example of Yang feeling inconsistent, she remarks earlier about how she's going to "turn heads" at the dance, and then shows up at the dance in a very conservative plain white dress that looks similar to Weiss'. She then dances with Blake for about a second then is shown observing the dance for the rest of it, so where the hell is that turning head part? She is not in anyway unique or flashy in the dance at all and again meshes with everyone else who all have very similar styles of dress as well. RWBY does a lot of telling but very little showing. The showing often contradicts with the telling as well, like how the creator mentioned that the world of Remnant is not prejudicial to say, the LGBT community but during the dance every guy was hooked up with a girl. If a world is super accepting of this issue then wouldn't people in that minority be very open about their orientation? The only other possible explanation is that they are an extreme minority like sadly a lot of ignorant people seem to think and so they had no representation at a dance. I also hardly think there wouldn't be prejudice considering the continuing issue of hating the faunus which is a very obvious analogy to racial problems in reality.
 
Another example of telling contradicting showing is Ozpin's speech in episode eight, where he talks about accepting and diversity and we see the crowds of the four schools that have gathered for the tournament, and very little if at all faunus are among the crowd. Either hiding one's faunus heritage like Blake does is super common and Velvet's super duper brave, or they aren't there at all. This doesn't even touch the skin colour issue. Obviously making huge crowds takes a long time and a lot of copy pasting is involved, considering a Ruby clone and many Jaune clones are in the crowds, but if you're going to say something and then not even give an example of it during that very speech, there's something seriously wrong with the directing. Whoever is responsible for the crowd scenes must communicate more with the writers and realize there is something seriously amiss with the scenes not matching the writing.
 
But y'know as stereotypical and cliche Totally Spies is, it does some things right. One of the episodes highly regarded as the best in season four of My Little Pony for instance, is Pinkie Pride. Now I do like my fair share of proud characters. Miko is probably one of the most prideful characters I've ever liked and I expected Weiss to have more dignity but she doesn't, so. But to me Pinkie is not an especially prideful character. An episode regarding pride feels more like a Rainbow Dash or even Rarity-type of episode to me instead. Pinkie feels like someone who would always go with the flow so long as it's fun and when Cheese Sandwich showed up probably would've loved him and joined along with him as opposed to feeling jealous and attacked by his presence. That is probably my biggest problem with the episode and why I do not regard it as one of the best unlike so many others. Sure it has a highly acclaimed guest star in Weird Al and has a wondrous amount of tunes, but because of that fact I simply couldn't enjoy the episode as most did.
 
Totally Spies on the other hand also had a similar episode, Alex Quits, where Alex well, quits because a super cool better-person came and made her feel like she was replaced. This time the issue isn't because of pride, but because Alex's character involves having low self-esteem. She is of the three most often bullied or considered the most uncool, and later on it is established despite her prowess in athletics, a rather clumsy person. So when she screws up and someone else appears much more capable, she quits. Now an episode similar like that for Pinkie Pride may have been more fitting. Pinkie, as evidenced from say, Party of One, goes ballistic when it feels like she is unneeded. She does seem like, despite her initial appearance, someone who is very fragile in terms of self-esteem. Instead of pride, the episode could've been something often only showcased with someone like Fluttershy (but her's is so damn obvious and in-your-face about Fluttershy's esteem issues) and would've fit Pinkie more than the pride thing. The ending was good though, in that she realizes her pride-that-came-out-of-nowhere was not fun at all and goes against everything she stands for, so she decides to leave Ponyville because she feels unneeded. 
 
The episode could have also been about attention because Pinkie is a major attention whore, but pride seemed like the least fitting theme. Despite the issues this episode was one of, if not the best, key-discovering episodes, so whatever. (That speaks more for how much I disliked the key episodes more than anything though) 
 
Anyway seeing as I am marathoning Totally Spies I guess it makes sense to actually talk about it instead of just using examples to explain other show's problems. Clover may have been my favourite when I first watched the show, but while watching through it again now Alex is my favourite. Hell, I subconsciously watched most of the Alex episodes first and when I started going through the episodes in order I was sort of bored because I watched all the "good episodes" already and then suddenly realized a majority of the good episodes were Alex episodes, ha. The whole boy-crazy thing doesn't bother me as much as it could have so long as the boy in question is a quirky character who enhances the comedic value of the episode as opposed to like, this David guy who showed up for several episodes in season two (or three? I forget) and was pretty much bland and picture-perfect and the girls were all fighting over him. That was annoying. 
 
Another semi-annoying thing is Alex's voice, her new voice in particular. It isn't too bad and is fitting, to be honest, but she ends up with the highest voice and in the later seasons with everyone getting more screechy, her high voice is obviously the worst. I sort of miss Alex's first voice which was more unique and sort of charming, but her new voice is actually dub Sailor Mars which is somewhat amusing. Also Mandy's voice actress (who also happens to be Sam's) is Princess Morbucks from Powerpuff Girls. They have the EXACT same voice but I never realized this until it was pointed out. Mandy sounds EXACTLY the same as Princess Morbucks what the fuck. It feels so weird that I never realized this on my own. 
 
But I think the biggest reason I watch the show is the female friendship. Ah how I love female friendships. It's why I got into RWBY, aside from the obvious Weiss. I was sort of expecting some goddamn girl friendships, but instead of being friends and hanging together at the dance like most girls would including when I hung out with MY friends at MY high school dances, they were all separate people who felt like they hung around with each other only for business and not friendship. It is such a shame that Sam and Cat, a very strong awesome female friendship, was a show ended on a real-life broken friendship. EVERYTHING REVOLVES AROUND GIRLS AND THEIR FRIENDSHIP! GIRLS AND FRIENDSHIP HOORAY
 
It's probably why I watch so many damn cartoons and shows for kids. There isn't much girl friendship in adult shows, where there's more romance and dark themes like...murder and drugs and sexual issues and blah. Ah well.
 
In fact, here is an example. I have numerous NUMEROUS pictures plastered all over my wall of various fandoms. In almost all the fandoms there is at least one picture of two characters or more hugging or being friendly with one another. Koishi jumping into her sister Satori's arms. Yuuna wrapping her arms around Ako. Pinkie and Fluttershy hugging and thanking one another like a greeting card. Miko and Byakuren, a duo I love for their love-hate (mostly hate) relationship, are leaning on one another, one asleep. Murasa and Nue holding both hands together in a colourful watercolour picture. Sayo clinging onto Kazumi's shoulders in shyness. Mokou embracing Keine with the most heartwarming smiles ever. Hell even the boys, there's Rei and Max feeding one another (this is much more yaoi than friendship lol) and a kid Korea giving a kid HK a peck on the cheek. Guess what the RWBY pictures are? Just pretty pictures of the four girls posing. THAT'S IT.
 
Yes there are numerous numerous NUMEROUS fanarts of friendship between the RWBY girls, but the ones I chose to plaster on my walls wasn't of that because it hadn't been showcased very often in show and and most high quality fanart tends to be of stuff off the show. There are a few fanarts of friendship among then I may put on the wall instead, just so my room would have some sort of complete theming (aside from the GTA V Achievement Hunter poster that implies they want to kill each other of course) but I don't feel like plastering RWBY on my walls anymore because of how disappointed I am in the show. (Even if I still want a goddamn Weiss plushie. That expression is perfect! D: ) 
 
Also I sort of want Ibuki on my wall but she'd probably either be alone or with her entire class. I'm still unsure/mad/annoyed/glad that <SPOILER REDACTED> so Ibuki can't really be with anyone. Oh well, she will forever (at least until something else comes around) adorn my phone's lock and home screens. (Mokou and Keine still claim my desktop/laptop wallpapers however) Ibuki is the best, least disappointing character I have ever liked, but sadly the flaws lie in other places such as <SPOILER REDACTED> and <SPOILER REDACTED>. Goddamnit Ibuki.
 
Maybe after I'm done with this marathon I'll check if any Totally Spies fandom still exists, especially since the sixth season aired last year. Then again I'll probably run into weird porn and strange fetishes instead. This show seems to attract these types of people. IT'S POKEMON X&Y HEX MANIAC SYNDROME ALL OVER AGAIN! WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU, HEX MANIAC!?!? 
 
This has been Spotto, please don't look up Hex Maniac fanart.
spotto: (hong kong *STAAAAAARE*)
Whilst sleep deprived and wracked with indigestion, thoughts began swirling in my head. 
 
I just realized the innate problems of including a minority character in media, in particular someone who may be LGBT. See more often than not, said character who is about to discover oneself runs into a plethora of problems, of bullying, of conflict, of "religious injustice" but depicting the drama of such issues in media while is a good way to spread awareness to those who do not experience such things, is not what most I believe, people who are actually gay or what have you even want to watch.
 
For a lot of people or at least me, media and storytelling is a place of fantasy. A place where things that are not true, are true. We see it as an escape from reality. Unless it's some sort of terrible satire about the realistic bastardization that is life, usually fiction is more idealistic than our side of the universe. So I would think and I DO think as I am one, watching a show where say two characters of the same sex who end up as a couple and run into ZERO PROBLEMS regarding their partner of choice would be most desired. That is what we want after all. A fantasy where who we are is not questioned and is the norm! But almost every single time this comes up in media it must involve some sort of internalized issue with society because even in fictionland there are the intolerable bastards that we try to avoid every single day in real life!
 
In other words in mainstream media, a story about a gay guy coming out is really intended for straight audiences. Because a homosexual is exotic and different and a movie or book can be used to illustrate their rough walks of life to those who never have to walk in their shoes. ("But Spotto! Minor character 1 and minor character 2 are a gay couple in that one show! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT!?" Well, that is still for a straight audience because they're minor/side characters! Everybody has that gay friend or whatever, but god forbid YOU YOURSELF differentiate from the norm!) Why am I thinking about this? Well today is a new RWBY episode, presumably about a prom or ball or dance taking place in fantasy high school that is so generic that it has proms and balls like high schools of reality. I hate high school! I don't want to watch this shit! And now our female protagonists are presumably straight or possibly bi (but people are never bi in media, so unless they outright say this it's safe to say they're straight) asking guys out for dates. No, not Team JNPR who each have a partner of the opposite gender and such explorations of their potential relationships would actually be interesting, the main four girls.
 
Since they are all girls, we need some other dudes outside of the school to work with, otherwise we have teachers and taken guys. So let's introduce a whole team of dudes who don't get developed much except for that leader who showed up in season one and then suddenly pair them with the girls because THERE IS A PROM!!!! OH MY GOD! Since RWBY is such a hotspot for gay ships (what media form isn't? seriously what isn't!?) there is a sizable LGBT minority that wish to see some actually become canon. The issue is it isn't our story, so if we see absolutely zero gay ships welp, we'll just have to deal. We'll just have to deal like with every single thing we've ever watched or read. Or anything. However, the creator of RWBY has actually ended one of this animations with a yuri ship and has addressed the community's desire in an interview.
 
But he mentions how it'll take a long time to come to fruition because a character needs to discover themselves and realize they might be gay or they don't like being the gender they were assigned or something. Either this implies Ruby, the youngest character in the series, is going to be gay, or they're going to take their time and go through the whole annoying issue of intolerance and hatred that comes from the outside before said character will accept themselves. In other words it's another LGBT character written for a straight audience! (Obviously no writer is doing this consciously or intentionally, but we all like to write for ourselves and think of what we ourselves would enjoy, so not having a same-sex relationship in the forefront of a story is not an issue to a lot of people) RWBY is already a fantasy, but I suppose with the despicable treatment of faunus we can't expect people to be chill about liking someone of the same gender either. 
 
So today's episode likely has Weiss in the middle of this stupid horrible love chain where Pyrrha (the coolest girl in the whole school, why does she BEGIN this triangle!? ALL THE BOYS AND EVEN SOME GIRLS SHOULD BE ASKING HER!) likes Jaune for some reason (WHY? I don't know! If the guy wasn't so oblivious and was more like a lovable goof, sure why not, but this dude is obscenely annoying and thickheaded!) who likes Weiss of all people (in what world does Jaune and Weiss seem compatible? Weiss is coldhearted and generally hates people it seems, and you want HER!? How about someone more fitting to your personality, Jaune? HOW ABOUT SOMEONE WHO HASN'T TURNED YOU DOWN MULTIPLE TIMES!?) and Weiss likes Neptune, a guy we just met this season and know nothing about aside from being a K-Pop star and being generally dorky like literally every other boy in this show. You barely know him. You took like ten episodes to be friends with Ruby. WHAT. IS. THIS. MADNESS!? Finally Neptune supposedly likes Yang...despite hitting on every girl he saw, including Weiss, but apparently will pick Yang. Now unless Yang adds more to this horrible dramafest of a goddamn cliche high school trope, it ends here. 
 
Of course this is the same Yang who has mentioned the hot boys in her dorm in season one episode three, encouraged Jaune in season one episode four, season two episode three, and season two episode five to keep trying for Weiss, and doesn't seem to express her no-nonsense independent attitude nearly as often as she appeared to in the trailer, so I'm not entirely sure at all what to expect from Yang Xiao Long. How do you predict her? She has little development so far and also little consistency. I do want to like her. She's technically my second favourite, but like 90% of that is due to fandom. GODDAMNIT YANG. DO SOMETHING. And please not a romance thing. Gah. SHE DID SOMETHING! AND IT WAS EPIC! REJOICE!!! YANG XIAO LONG FOR PRESIDENT!
 
You can see my distress here.
 
Usually my compromise is no romance at all. My favourite characters in Negima were all uninvolved with the harem. (Aside from one, but she was sane/naive enough to fall for an older version of the protagonist, so while tragic at least she isn't crushing on a goddamn ten-year-old boy) Romance is entirely absent from Touhou and while rampant in fandom, due to the female population dangerously reaching 100% levels, it's all delicious, delicious yuri. And finally my last example is complete and utter spoilers, but I give up on keeping it tight-lipped. Most of you will never play Dangan Ronpa, and even if you do this one tidbit isn't going to ruin the story or anything, just a few characters if you're that testy with spoilers (which I MYSELF AM, but I give up) SO LOOK AWAY NOW IF YOU WISH TO BE UNSPOILED.
 
-IN WHAT WORLD DID I THINK SPOILING PEOPLE OF MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER IN SDR2 WAS A GREAT IDEA GODDAMN THIS HAS BEEN SNIPPED FOR YOUR OWN GOOD-
 
Sure I can fantasize about AUs all I want for any of that to work, but that's fandom stuff. That's why there's a ridiculous amount of shipping and gay fanfiction and all that crap because where else can we find a nice domestic story about two guys or two girls together struggling to make ends meet or something like that, without having stupid prejudice issues the real world already has constantly butting in? In fanfiction my favourite character will not be called a slur or punched in the face or looked down upon for their sexual orientation. In fanfiction my favourite character will not spend eight hundred chapters figuring out why they don't care for the opposite gender. IN FANFICTION ALL OF IT IS THE NORM AND NONE OF THAT EXISTS.
 
THAT IS WHY SHIPPING IS SO RAMPANT. THAT IS WHY SHIPPING IS PREDOMINANTLY SLASH OR YURI.
 
This has been Spotto. Fuck proms, fuck canon, fuck high school.
spotto: (koi)
THOUGH I LACK AN ICON FOR PROOF

WEISS IS MY FAVOURITE

Well, she's my icon on tumblr/steam anyway 

BUT

There are many ways to like things. For example I love Touhou mostly for Gensokyo. The setting is the best I've ever seen and I can't read/make any AUs with the characters because it would no longer have its charm. I love Keine? Well it helps that there's a place called Human Village and she has an immortal friend named Mokou and all her youkai/human issue things and her stance and how she shows up in doujins with most adorable, heartwarming smile in existence... 

As for ponies, I like Pinkie a lot yes, but I don't see her as especially deep or one with great character development. And unlike Touhou I really do not care about the lore at all. (It kind of involves too many princesses and Twilight @_@) but the humour is great and friendship is the bomb.

So to take those as an example, do I like RWBY because of its lore? Not really, as it hasn't been developed very much yet. Do I like it for its story? Well when 90% of its story is character development it's not really a story. So not that either. Do I like it for the fighting scenes and humour? I guess those help, but the humour sometimes is hit-and-miss. NO, I LIKE RWBY FOR WEISS.

Touhou may be the lore (and my undying love for KeneMoko) and the badass egotistical charming Miko. Ponies may be for the cute and the humour, and I watched PMMM and I'm pretty sure the reason I like it is because everyone else does. I cannot escape these stupid magical girls. NO MATTER WHAT, STORY, CHARACTER, DESIGN, WHAT HAVE YOU

RWBY is literally for Weiss. If she did not exist I would not like the show NEARLY as much. I don't even have an OTP in this series, so it's not even for shipping or something like that. I ship Weiss with whoever makes the best/most amusing/most entertaining interactions. ALL THE PICTURES AND IMAGES AND ART AND FIC AND HEADCANON ABOUT WEISS, I shall eat it up.

I don't think I've liked a character to this extent since Kazumi, but Kazumi had an OTP to back her up. Perhaps I love Weiss even MORE?

HOW ENAMOURED MUST I BE?? 
spotto: (arisu margtrod)
Hello September!!

...fuck it I hate September.

But disregarding the worst month of the year, this post will mainly be about speculation. Yeeeeeeee, speculation, a word contested quite a bunch among my friends, so if you disagree with the definition I attribute it to, then just take this post as me spouting off baseless theories or something. ANYWAYYYY~ It's gonna be about RWBY because despite my burning tire mountains of DR theories, it'd be gigantic big red spoilers. And I should talk about Touhou more often but I am like super-lazy at picking up its manga... (I heard Miko appeared in the most recent chapter!! And Kokoro will show up in the other one!! SO SOMEDAY!)

So I was watching Weiss' trailer for the billionth time, and a thought occurred to me. For half the fight, she did not use dust, attempting to defeat the oversized armour with her own skill and repertoire. It was only until she was injured did she begin relying on the dust; the dust mind you, that her company produces or mines or however that stuff works. Considering how incredibly nerfed inexperienced she seems to be in battles outside of trained, controlled situations, it seems like Weiss' fruitless attempts at rebellion go further than just the style of her hair or (baseless theory!) her retaining of her scar. Perhaps she wants to prove herself and not rely so heavily on the gunpowder stuffed in her revolver, but due to being smacked in the face, has very little confidence in doing so, so she's kind of trapped in this mentality that she is nothing without her family despite disliking them so very much. That further fuels her lack of self-esteem, causing her expected rich, prissy attitude to be laced with bouts of uncertainty and insecurity. She wants to be better than others but is very aware, maybe only subconsciously that she's nothing herself. So now she is at school away from however demeaning her family might be, paired with an untrained puppy who, to her, probably can do nothing to resolve her problems or even make them worse, thus her desire to be paired with the super-competent Pyrrha earlier.

Well I dunno. Hey, let's go to Blake! Because believe it or not I actually like every title character in this series, even if it's very very short so far and not too much has been revealed. I've mentioned before how much I dislike her trailer. One reason the opening song is so popular besides the awesome instrumentals and brilliant singing are the lyrics. They're somewhat vague but give us an idea of how the show will go about. Unfortunately for at least three of the four trailers the lyrics are less mysterious and instead feel like they're just spelling out everything the future will hold of the characters. From Shadows is the biggest offender, though I Burn and Mirror Mirror suffer from it too. This is actually quite jarring for a character who is meant to be mysterious with an image song that has none of that quality. And even if the lyrics do way too much of telling and not showing, the trailer itself still tells us barely anything about Blake anyway because Adam steals the entire show! While I am liking Blake much more lately, it's probably because of this and not her lack of screentime that brings about a lack of judgement for Blake initially.

Anyway the writing of those lyrics give me the impression that the writing of the story won't be particularly deep or compelling. I certainly hope that is untrue and so far I've enjoyed the limited moments we've been given to see. Even so, I still love Mirror Mirror and everything it implies and I'm also not hating on Red like Roses.

Oh I've also begun reading fanfiction on the series...predictably 99% of it is shipping but they were pretty damn well-written shipping stories, so you have that. The most baffling works are the ones written before the first episode even aired, so there's tons of OOC moments, in particular Weiss. The AUs that came from those stories were very fascinating, but I could not enjoy them as they were because of how "un-Weissy" Weiss was. As some random internet user once said, Weiss is a "precious little shit" and that is the characterization I expect in fanfiction, soooooo. My favourite theory in some of these fics though is how it handles the lyric "Black the Beast" ...I'm especially reminded of Cybersix when they depict Blake as an out-of-control ferocious black panther resulting in glorious and convenient angst and drama; it feels perfect, but certainly not a guaranteed or even likely outcome in canon. Ah fandom, giving me false hopes and memories when the subject itself has barely leapt out of the gate, giving us mere glimpses of the plot and character. It's also probably why there is a sizable fanbase atm, as well as the creator's fame.

Also my favourite is Blake as the punchline. You don't even need to explain the joke, just add Blake and it is instantly hilarious. Yes.


HELLO THIS IS SPOTTO I was going to scrap the above post because I just watched the latest FUCKING EPISODE HOLY SHIT IT WAS AMAZING... but it did knock off a few of my theories (or at least made them least likely) thus not continuing the above post, but leaving it there for...archive sakes I suppose. Certain fans have pointed out that Blake's bow twitches in the latest episode too...possibly foreshadowing her fauna-ness? I HOPE SO. I thought Weiss warmed up to Ruby way too fast considering she didn't do a thing to prove herself except trying to fling herself into more danger, but then someone pointed out that what Ruby was trying to do was exactly Weiss' (suspected) character arc is supposed to be about, trying to be the best to prove to people your merit, ie: her parents. Suddenly everything made sense and Weiss would be able to relate to what Ruby was trying to do! Though all her badassery this episode also destroyed my "she is inexperienced insecure" belief since she was pretty damn confident and kickass. Perhaps that can be explained by watching Ruby's actions and seeing her fall and tumble reminds her of the big picture and she starts growing more relaxed in her role? I've no clue!!

Also one reason I enjoy RWBY so much is that it IS American and not Japanese. No I am not being racist, I'm talking about culture differences. Tell me have you seen a single anime make use of sarcasm? I doubt it because sarcasm is deeply a western thing, so seeing Yang basically snark it up throughout the entire episode was highly amusing and something easily missed in Anime. My favourite part in episode eight that wasn't the ridiculous action was how Pyrrha just fell splat on the ground after being chased by the scorpion for forever, and Yang's just all like "Well the gang's all here! Now we can die together!" The comedic timing on that was genius! Usually the line "we can die together" is fairly standard, but having Pyrrha just fall flat on her face just before (and all the other crazy stuff that happens) make it especially more clever.

Oh yes and thankfully Ren was nerfed this episode. I'm probably going to regard the characters' skills with game terminology. Ren was super badass and aloof and cool in episode six, so seeing that he is indeed mortal means he isn't some author avatar meant to be almost perfect. In that sense, Weiss was very much buffed, going from almost nuking Ruby and regarding real time battles as real-time strategy, to pretty much helping set up the entire sequence in beheading that gigantic bird. I feel sorry for the Giant Nevermore or whatever it's called actually. It was probably only super-aggressive because Ruby murdered its child way back in episode five. A family forever shattered and no more, how could you Ruby, HOW COULD YOU!? I still think Blake needs a buff despite her calm and cool exterior, since she tends to be the lottery winner of the "if someone needs to get hit who should it be!?" jackpot. Granted it only happened twice to her and I'm sure other characters have been smacked a bunch themselves, but for some reason it's especially noticeable with Blake. (This is outside Jaune, who is obviously smacked a whole bunch for comedy instead) Perhaps her voice acting just makes the pain of being hit all the more believable? I dunno. NORA's introduction with her weapon was nigh ridiculous though, so she might need a nerf but maybe she'll kill me with a pink hearty grenade if I dare continue this sentence. Everyone else has been fairly consistent with their abilities so it seems no nerfs or buffs are required.

As always the action has been immensely entertaining, but the awkward animation continues with every other shot. It wasn't quite as noticeable today, perhaps because the entire second-half overshadowed all the flaws I could potentially point out. The humour still seems to be animated in a rather stiff and odd fashion, but it seems I'm getting used to it, unlike after seeing the Pumpkin Pete joke or Weiss deviously planning that looked rather lifeless at the time. Oh yes people are also speculating on the redheaded manly dude of the TEAM CRDL to be Michael from Achievement Hunter and I heavily disagree. This dude is MANLY, remember!? And you hear him grunt when he was launched off the platform! Considering Ryan mentioned that he voiced someone in RWBY without mentioning who, I'm pretty sure this dude is Ryan. Maybe mohawk is Michael or the other two guys (though I hope not, those other two dudes look rather generic) And if Gavin is meant to be more important than the role of Junior from the Yellow Trailer, I tend to think of an entirely new character as opposed to a third team, but who knows?

Oh, I never mentioned here that I became a pretty big AH fan. Hoho! Yes. I initially watched their GTA IV stuff what with me becoming especially interested in GTA and my petty sense of humour found Jack being a girl in every video highly amusing. But over time and watching other videos of the crew (my favourites have become the golf and trials' let's plays! Hohoho! Though their Minecraft stuff renewed my interest in getting the game too!) R&R connection have quickly become my most favourite. Gavin's a heavy favourite of the masses, but I find he is consistently trying to screw people over. As in, instead of just fucking people over or fucking himself over occasionally he just does it ALL the time and it starts to feel rather predictable actually. If he does something stupid and it's the first time you see him doing especially stupid things, it's amusing, but the more often he does it the less it becomes funny due to being predictable is all. I've been subscribed to the Slo-Mo Guys for over a year or more so that's where I recognized Gavin from and him being an idiot makes total sense considering the idiotic things he does with Dan the Man in the slowmo videos. Never have I ever seen a man break the British stereotype so hard as Gavin has. My best friend for example enjoys Let's Plays with commentary from cynical British people (and Ed likes Jingles, the British guy who records War Thunder vids) due to the British Accent being a very pleasant voice to hear. The accent also gives you a feeling of intelligence and sophistication, and then watching Gavin all of that goes down the drain. I can see why he is so popular.

But anyway about the voice acting of RWBY, a lot of the poor voice-acting people notice can come down to what RoosterTeeth is about, comedy. Their voices sound fine and natural in relaxed environments, when the point of the scene is to be humorous. It's the more dramatic moments where sometimes the voice-acting feels a bit lackluster. Yang getting angry at the bears in episode....six I think, wasn't especially believable. I heard more "I'm TRYING to sound angry" as opposed to "I AM ANGRY!" in her rage-filled yell. But whenever Yang is snarking for example, she sounds pretty damn perfect. I found Pyrrha's voice to be rather inconsistent at times, and considering her character hasn't been fleshed out beyond "super-competent and Canadian-nice" it's somewhat understandable. I don't actually understand people who have her as a favourite character. Everyone else it makes sense to me, but all Pyrrha's done is be attached to Jaune fairly quickly and easily, and then keep him alive. Why did she develop such an interest so quickly? Did she see potential in Jaune? It feels like she just fell in love with him at first sight and kept him alive or something, but that really tells us nothing of her, herself. Hopefully she gets more development later on in the series because that is my first impression of her.

It's scenes like these that cause me to wonder if I should catch up on RvB. I never specifically dropped the series or anything, in fact I even watched until Monty animated his first super awesome action sequence way back forever ago. The series just fell out of my mind and by the time it was relevant again there were like five or six more seasons which I just cannot be bothered to go through so much of. Just like the official manga of Touhou...so much to go through and so lazy to do so. I AM TERRIBLE FAN AM I NOT. Anyway I've forgotten what else I'd like to say about RWBY beyond HOLY FUCK THE NEWEST EPISODE GO WATCH NOW and watching it over and over again. The one thing I AM sure of is that no matter what horrible things happen to my favourite characters in Dangan Ronpa 2, RWBY will be the antithesis to pull me out of the hopeless despair. Two awesome series to follow for the next year or so, giving fandoms I once or currently have a lot of competition, in particular MLP. I love MLP and all but to the point that it deserves such a mind-blowingly humongous fanbase? Not entirely sure. It's a good show and all but not ridiculously awesome that it would attract such a massive amount of people. I pretty much criticize and dislike at least half of all the episodes and generally do not enjoy episodes certain writers produce, so keeping interest in MLP may be difficult. This is ESPECIALLY after disappointments like season three's finale and that outrageous movie. (I saw some live-action Equestria Girls commercial too...I'm almost at my limit here guys!) It just saddens me what MLP is starting to become and how a good number of fans accept it as if it were...quality or something. Yeah, subjective opinion and all but I cannot understand the people's perspectives' that the EQG movie was good...simply cannot. Were their expectations that ridiculously low? is that how we are supposed to judge such a show now?

Perhaps I am out-growing the show, as most of the fans are in the 18-20 year-old range, but still....kind of saddens me where it's heading. If the initial CREATOR hates where its heading then I'm pretty sure my love was with her vision and not Hasbro's.

ONE MORE THING.... there are tons of dissenters of RWBY, like those who complain about its short length or how there's not enough action or what have you. Criticism is one thing, but I especially disliked those who said "FINALLY A DECENT EPISODE OF RWBY I ALMOST GAVE UP HOPE" type of people...episode eight was MERELY decent? I've seen a whole bunch of movies thanks to MotW, and I would rather spend all that potential wasted money on watching this VERY episode than those. You know why? Because this was actually fucking good. It blows my mind how many millions of dollars go into making movies with terrible storytelling or for some sort of gimmicky shit, and then somehow the movie might even MAKE money with its mediocrity because its fanbase is a bunch of fangirls in love with a poorly-written romance novel or something. Then we get this series made for free, for some strange reason created the very week its supposed to air (I think standard production is half a year making the thing and then half the year releasing it instead...a series like RWBY should not have a South Park schedule lol no wonder the crew is super stressed) and even if the show has flaws with a bit of the pacing (due to abrupt endings) or voice acting or awkward animation or what-have-you, people still feel the need to complain as if they were the ones being served a personal platter of food at a highly prestigious restaurant and they're some sort of supreme leader of food critics!?

No.

That feels extremely entitled. If it's free and it's crap, don't watch it...if it's paid and it's crap you can complain forever. If it's free and pretty damn decent what the hell are you acting like a spoiled brat for!? Criticize so it'll be better, but surely you have something else to look forward to that week instead of hoping that five-minute episode of RWBY next week will be packed with solely action and might possibly be longer! Good lord the number of complaints was appalling. I almost wish this episode wasn't so long and awesome because those types of "fans" don't deserve it.

Oh, I kind of rambled at the end there didn't I? Well this has been Spotto and HOLY FUCK GO WATCH THAT EPISODE OH MY GOD STICKS OF A FIDDLE
spotto: (koi)
I had a rant here before but then it died. GJ auto-saving feature...then I started redo'ing it but stopped. I had ideas in my head but my desire to type things out disappeared when I developed a sudden headache. A DAY LATER and I've abandoned what I wanted to type about... for some TOHO SORT!

Did it once again because now it is updated with the newest of new characters. This is unlike a few years back when Ten Desires' characters took forever to be added to the system. (I think someone else ran the sorter back then, so good on you new person!) On the other hand, since I've not warmed up to the DDC characters yet they don't really affect much of my rankings. The newest character who does make a big splash just like on the character polls is Kokoro, who comes along with a few others as a direct result of my utter love for Hopeless Masquerade. So I'll be taking a break from what I wanted to rant about (which was just RWBY anyway) for more good ol' Touhouism on a very classic topic... my favourite characters!

First before a certain person is shocked that Alice broke into my top three, I'd like to give an ode to Koishi. Yes, Koishi. Koishi is someone who initially was my most favourite of them all and though has never reclaimed the grand throne, has never once fallen out of my top-5 and therefore deserves some praise. Koishi recently reached a very unexpected yet delighting second on the big Touhou polls meaning her appearance in HM, article in SoPM, and countless of countless fanworks have shot the lovely pseudo-satori into stardom. Sadly, Koishi herself still suffers from that whole "closed-eye" thing, so in the world of Gensokyo, no one will remember who she is, or know who she is unless you're her poor secluded sister, Satori. Koishi herself probably can't even acknowledge popularity regardless of that one incident in the village with that mask youkai that she inadvertently caused by not returning the titular mask. Isn't it sad?

But by extension to Koishi, the cast of SA as a whole has always been loved by me and of course, the general fanbase it seems. Lately I've begun to appreciate Yamame, who I normally found a very generic and forgettable character. Certain fanworks have spelt out some potential for her and so she is no longer on the bottom end of my list. Satori is usually in my top ten and Utsuho hangs around on the outskirts, yearning to break out as a favourite of them all but again, still swinging by the outskirts. (She's pretty much been between 7th and 14th forever, mostly #10) Parsee's also often high up and Yuugi is just precious. I've found more serious depictions of the oni more interesting than the usual "strong drunkard" applied to the oni of Gensokyo. Orin though has not been consistently high up, but she's a swell character as well.

In a bit of a contrast to SA though, the crew of UFO have been falling. Murasa and Nue have for the very first time dropped out of my top-ten, with only Byakuren staying on due to the aforementioned TH13.5. Unfortunately while SoPM drove up other characters and HM drove up others even more, these same games as well as Ten Desires and even Double Dealing Character itself has really dried up my interest into the less-popular crewmembers of the Palanquin. Nazrin still manages to stay in the top-ten due her only-sane-man characterization and her unique role amongst a cast of irrelevant stage one bosses. Shou's not doing too well either, but for the longest time I thought her curvy lasers, neat little pagoda, and awesome spear would've been perfect tools for Shou to enter the religious "war" that Hopeless Masquerade was, but unfortunately ZUN did not think the same. Instead, canon Shou is apparently a terrible fighter, her most important role simply to represent Bishamonten and therefore look as much like him as possible despite being not only a youkai but also female. The spear is just for "Shou" and she relies heavily on the pagoda, which made it to the game but Shou didn't. These developments dropped her for me, if only, if only.

The usurpers are newcomers or older characters who took a long time for Spotto warm up to. Sanae just randomly ended up in the top ten as a result, not because I've suddenly taken a huge liking to her but more like I've ALWAYS liked her and others having fallen gave her room to move up. The other ones popping up are Alice, whose been in my top ten for a while anyway and Kokoro who went from non-existent to a ridiculous fourth! Alice I mostly blame Aoi-dono for, but sometimes you just gotta like one of the most popular and classic of Touhou characters. To really enjoy the series as a whole just being interested in the more obscure ones isn't going to give me as much access to the fandom as much as I like. Alice is quite possibly the only character who is up in my top ten with literally no cast herd to push her into he spotlight. Byakuren had the UFO!crew and HM. Miko also had HM while Koishi is near the summit with a lot of other SA characters. Keine and Mokou are largely powered by their utterly adorable pairing, and while the other Moriyas aren't quite high up they are very helpful in keeping Sanae up in my top ten. Alice...well I'm not really much of a MariAli person, or an Alice/ANYONE person and I see Alice as a loner anyway so she really has no one giving her reason to be up here. I just like her and blame Aoi-dono, as per usual.

Hata no Kokoro is again, a direct result of my utter love for Hopeless Masquerade. It's quite possibly my favourite Touhou game now and the dysfunctional family!dynamic between her, Byakuren, Miko, and Miko's crew is just delightful. While it's most likely if Kokoro could choose, she'd end up with the Buddhists due to their openness towards youkai in general, I'm still fairly miffed at how huge that cast herd is getting, which is only pushing other characters I did love out of the way due to so many people trying to share spotlight in the same setting. In future Touhou sorts Kokoro is most likely to fall however because the novelty and hype from HM will likely fade over time unless we get a fighting game expansion like Hisoutensoku. There are also fanworks that might keep her high up however, like that random Kokoro story involving Alice. 

Miko herself was almost first. At the pique of my hype for HM, Miko probably was first, but soon I was reminded of all the reasons I love Keine, so Miko's complete capture of my heart was sadly brief. Still, my taste in the characters is unusually malleable, which is just further evidence of how Touhou in general really is amazing. So someday in the future Keine may no longer be first and some other character, perhaps Miko, perhaps a DDC character, perhaps some unexpected one will plant their flag on my metaphorical mountain of love. And then I will post this sort again on this blog again and write this post again just like the five other times before this. A tradition I will surely continue because typing about my favourites is quite possibly the easiest thing to write about.

Speaking of DDC characters though, it's been over a week! I've posted my first impressions and first-first impressions already, but here are my third impressions after comparing them directly to other characters via this sort. The biggest problem with DDC so far is the lack of proper cast herd that has caused this incident because instead, the ones behind the abnormality in Gensokyo is just this very troublemaking pretend-oni who looks like an overdone OC. Seija is, to me, just Tewi + Nue + Seiga combined into Seija. All of their mischievousness combined with their maliciousness, design, and even name were put together to make this latest stage five boss. Her mostly-black hair, red eyes, and tongue sticky-itude remind me so much of Nue all the artwork I see of Seija just looks like Nue 2.0. And my first impressions of Nue were poor as hell. Sukuna is adorable, but not very traditional in the sense of final bosses (due to the plot, but still) and I'm also not very fond of her design. The tsukumogamis all suffer from a lack of mysterious backstory due to their recent birth (all of 'em are quite young!) so I can't find much potential with them either.

That only leaves the first three bosses who are mostly unconnected with one another. Besides going crazy due to a magical mallet, Wakasagihime is usually a docile mermaid bothering no one inside Misty Lake. Her only connection is that she's part of some Youkai Grassroots Network, which Kagerou is also a part of. (And Kagerou almost ate her once, but those jokes were inevitable even if this wasn't mentioned in canon) Sekibanki lives in the village pretending to be a human, but is actually sorta-like a teenage youkai rebellious of authority and finding herself cooler-than-thou. She has absolutely no connections with anyone else though and is just a cynic. Finally, Kagerou is a werewolf. We only see her on the full-moon anyway so we don't know anything of her human-side besides the fact that she identifies more as a youkai regardless of being human the other twenty-nine days of the month AND that even if she does see herself as a youkai hides when she is one anyway because she doesn't like getting hairy.

Wow, there sure were a lot of insecure and naive youkai this incident. I guess it makes sense since it's all about trying to get the weak to overthrow the strong! Also in DDC is Sakuya who I've never been very lenient towards in terms of a character to like. Regardless, she hit my top-20. Just barely, but she's there. I could very well blame Aoi-dono like everything else, but the biggest reason is actually because of DDC. You see, now that I can no longer normally play Sanae like I usually do and didn't find Reimu's shots to be all that interesting, my mainstay in DDC is SakuyaA. Knifing people with a wide-shot seems fairly useful and pretty easy for me, and playing as Sakuya has indeed shot her up a few points. If Youmu had completely replaced Sanae in Ten Desires maybe Youmu would've been higher, but it was not to be for Sanae was indeed there for me to play as.

...well, that's all I have to say about this sort. There's still like 40 names to go through on that list next to this text and if I just end here it'd be all unbalanced and the like. Well fuck I made all of my text bigger to type and it gave me an inaccurate ratio of text to image, so LOTS OF EXTRA WORDS AHOY! First, I'd like to say I dislike no Touhou character and those who happen to be lower just happen to be lower. I just like others more than them I guess. Second, PATTERNS! Spotto loves patterns, you love patterns, everyone loves patterns, hooray! I still have the other sorts I did so I can compare my own changing interests overtime. Like how Ran was once third and is now in the 50-somethings. Isn't that sad? Oh Ran, why aren't you interesting!/ Why are you just CHEEEEEEEEENNN or Yukari's caretaker!? Why can't you have some individuality for yourself? Why does canon merely call you a computer? How is mathematics fun at all? Oh Ran. You do have good taste in fried tofu though. Yukari fell too, but mostly because I didn't care for the picture they used on the sort. I am well aware the image is actually her official portrait from the fighting games, but I still don't like it. The DDC artwork isn't very refined either. I actually do like Raiko but it was hard to vote for her because her artwork was so bad. Perhaps I should have sorted the characters without having images ticked.

ZUN's own official artwork for DDC was quite good though. Raiko's expression in that one was just perfect for her type of character. Even though I've found extra bosses underwhelming lately there is still a charm to them. What else can I type to fill out this side!? Should I start ranting about RWBY now? Oh well, let's just go for it.

There is still only around thirty-minutes of existence for RWBY, so having a huge fandom and tons of hype so early seems to be a formula for disappointing disaster. The only constant we can be sure of are the action scenes. They will no doubt be amazing and fun to watch, so that's really the only expectation I had going into this and should probably realistically have. Though the writers for RWBY did work on RvB which I have watched and those are known for more than just comedy. If I can remember, there were a lot of very interesting twists and darker sides to just a red team and a blue team in a random canyon trying to steal a flag. Hell, even shippers shouldn't feel like their expectations are unrealistic, even the ones that ship slash! Monty's first actiony video was Haloid, which ended with [spoilers] yuri! I find that absolutely hilarious that this kind of man is working on this, so actually whether or not my expectations are unrealistic, I still think the team behind the series will have something very, very surprising for us. It's probably one of the reasons I'm watching RWBY and following it so much as opposed to giant anime company's big anime of the year or whatever. There's some history with this group that I know of, and I'm far more privy to internet-made things and indie-things as opposed to big-name things. Just kinda how I am in with this somewhat hipster-like mindset.

I think the biggest reason I gravitate towards these things is usually the person behind the project is more personable than say, a mangaka or an anime producer. They just seem more real, or closer to your own level so perhaps if I did get disappointed, it would be easier to take than say, if a certain manga I followed for years ended in the worst way possible and so severely angered me that all the money on the merchandise and manga that was bought feels like a waste, or if a certain cartoon series came out with a theatrical movie which turned out to be stereotypical cliché crap. Indie games, indie productions, and stories told through the magical portal that is the internet usually lacks that executive meddler who ends up ruining or milking a franchise to death. No Michael Bay to suddenly tell a story where ninja turtles are actually aliens or anything retarded like that! Oh and the other reason is that it is truly free! No need to enter into some sort of mystical level of legal ambiguity wondering if something you saw is worth paying money for. 

Oh hey I just noticed I made it past my TOHOSORT screenshot, despite having more to say. Well, guess I'll leave that to the next post! Dis ben spawt.
spotto: (koi)

Initially it was the stage five boss theme that made me proclaim DDC as one of the greatest games in terms of music, but then I listened to the final boss theme.

Over and over again.

And again.

My fucking god. After two years back when I was wholly unimpressed with the Ten Desires' soundtrack, thinking ZUN had experimented too much or delved into genres of music I didn't like, Touhou 14 completely and utterly made up for it. You know of all the lists I've made ranking games of how fun they were, how interesting the characters and story were, and especially how the music was? I think this game is scoring high for all three of those categories. Of course when I first laid eyes on the final boss I thought it'd be Miko all over again (yes I absolutely love Miko now but first impressions are pretty important!) but with far more context I find the final boss pretty damn adorable. My last post were riddled with my sleep deprived thoughts mere hours after the first glimpses of the game were shown, so there's a lot of misconceptions and mistakes riddled in that post of the lore, characters, music, etc. 

You combine the music with all the amusing-to-watch and quite challenging to play gimmicks with the random assortment of characters and the consistently eccentric plot, and you have one masterpiece of a Touhou game my friend. In terms of this theme itself, it actually reminds me a lot of Emotional Skyscraper, which probably explains why I like it so much but I also detect many stylistic choices from True Administrator in it. The song feels like a combination of the two without any (that I noticed anyway) notes that mimic the two songs. They just feel like a spiritual successor or a loving child of the two themes and that is spectacular. All the catchy and almost-pretty parts of the theme remind me of Emotional Skyscraper, while the (possibly overuse considering the entire game) use of the guitars and the notes leading up to the climax of the boss fight many minutes into the loop remind me of True Administrator. The only reason I found True Administrator lackluster was due to how incomplete it sounded. It had two really good parts, but then just looped again instead of hearing more like my ears had anticipated when comparing to so many other final boss themes. Shining Needle thankfully does not suffer from the same problem and puts two of the best choices made going into UFO and TD's final themes into one very grand theme.

In terms of ranking? I put Kobito the Shining Needle ~ Little Princess only second to Emotional Skyscraper ~ Cosmic Mind. Yes, it beats out every other final boss theme, including greats like the OTHER princess-titled themes, Flight of the Bamboo Cutter ~ Lunatic Princess and Septette for the Dead Princess. I wouldn't say the theme beats out some of my other favourite songs, but it can easily do so with the release of what I anticipate to be amazing remixes in the next few conventions. Not only with this song, but the fifth stage theme, Reverse Ideology becoming my absolute favourite fifth-stage boss theme in the series and already this game is a shining beacon. It probably doesn't help that overall I don't care for fifth boss themes really. This is almost the same for Extra barring a few especially excellent themes, but I found Primdorial Beat ~ Pristine Beat to beat out the last three game's extras (No I was not fond of Hartmann's Youkai Girl OR Heian Alien and especially not Futatsuiwa from Sado) though far from my favourite theme. Stage four's boss theme was decent as well but again, had other songs I preferred and listening to the first three stages' songs was pleasant as well. I'd probably rate DDC as fourth in best music of the games after MoF, SA, and IN.

As for the stage themes, will have to listen to them some more. I'm really not fond of songs that sound like the beginning of an older song, but then goes into a whole new melody and throws my brain off. There were a few songs from TD that did that was well as the stage five theme in DDC (and some other themes that aren't coming to mind atm) but regardless the other parts of the theme sounded good. When I played through DDC I found the very first theme (stage one) to be pretty good too, but to the extent of Night Sakura? Hmm, will need repeated listens. Still, first impressions are good and DDC made a DAMN good first impression. The music just floors me.

And yes I like the music from this game that much if an entire post is devoted to it. THIS HAS BEEN SPOTTO. Ride the rhythms!!
spotto: (NUUUUUUUUUUEN~)
Hello blog I always neglect! Another post here by Spotto. No worries, despite the lower frequency of my posts, occasionally thoughts pop up in my mind that I do want to write down, and here they will go.
 
Currently I have the RWBY opening stuck in my head. And just yesterday I went through a night of delirium due to sleep deprivation going through the newest Touhou game, Double Dealing Character. So this post will obviously be of those two things, but of one central theme I suppose. The theme is empathy. 
 
For me, my view upon life is always of balance. My interests, despite being limited and perhaps overly niche, do fall in rather vague genres, like my music taste. Maybe my lack of experience of going through every inch of the media allows me to have more tolerance in certain tropes that pop up in storytelling again and again, but like usual, I compare myself with those I know and why we all have sometimes conflicting perspectives of the world.
 
So before I go unnecessarily philosophical or what have you, the two topics above! We'll go for the more recent one, that with DDC. Plenty of new characters have been introduced onto the Touhou plate, as well as the glorious side serving of musical alcohol. We also get our usual silly plot out of the way and of course probably the main reason for a game to exist, the game itself and its gameplay! I played DDC briefly before I collapsed into well-needed sleep, and before that went through several playthroughs of those who decided to stream or record their own goings.
 
The biggest part of Touhou are the characters, as least in terms of my interests. This is also the second main game to come out that I've been here to experience, so comparisons with Ten Desires is inevitable. I didn't talk too much about Hopeless Masquerade here (as opposed to Ten Desires and especially SoPM) because all of my reaction were summed up in dozens of Tumblr posts flooding my poor friends' dashboards with MikoMikoMikoMikoMiko. I knew my hype for this game would not nearly be as huge, and so it hasn't.
 
Anyway the first new character I saw was Yatsuhashi, a tsukumogami of a Japanese instrument, a Koto or whatever. Then it turns out she has a sister who you get to fight depending upon your shottype (Shottype A gets the sister, B gets Yatsuhashi) though the midbosses of the stage are swapped. My initial thoughts of Yatsuhashi wasn't much. She looked kind of plain, but immediately I noted she was the third brunette (actual brown hair, not black) to be introduced to the gigantic Touhou cast, which was interesting. Other fans, in particular the Japanese ones compared her to Alice, with their similar headgear. Alice has become one of my most favourite characters, so immediately I descended upon the idea that she was an inferior Alice. :D Mostly joking though.
 
Her sister is Benben, a biwa tsukumogami. The name was very noticeable. Benben is a pretty strange name, but the names in DDC were already pretty damn strange already. (Benben just seems EVEN STRANGER!) Regardless of her odd name that sounds like the onomatopoeia of a burly man, she had a very nice design. I thought her hair was short at first, but then noticed longer hair at the back. The separation of the short hair and the back made it look like hair extensions. She also looked like a musical Akyuu what with the flower in her hair and similar hair colours. These two tsukumogami aren't exactly blood siblings, what with being objects and all but apparently they were born around the same time and decided "LET'S BE SISTERS" just because. That's pretty awesome.
 
On the other hand...two MORE tsukumogami? Medicine is suspected to be one, Kogasa the first official one and then Kokoro is one (Menreikis are types of tsukumogami it seems) and finally two more here? Soon enough the tsukumogami will outnumber the fairies! These ones seem more generic due to their last names, as opposed to being related to their abilities or whatever seem to just be "Tsukumo". So these two were born, decided to be siblings for kicks and then chose the least creative last names possible. Good job you two.
 
Before I noticed the stage five boss, or even acknowledged her, I paid attention to the music instead. Usually stage five boss themes are on the lower end of my music tastes, but this one was really good! Especially since I had no clear favourite song in Ten Desires (wasn't too impressed with its soundtrack) with maaaaaybe the very first track you hear after the menu screen, Night Sakura of the Dead Spirits as the favourite, this theme I found myself bobbing my head to. It's not an instant classic like the songs from the older games, or my absolute favourite Emotional Skyscraper, which I initially found okay then warmed up to so much it became my absolute favourite but it was definitely a song I loved at first listen, and that's more than what I can say for ANY song AT ALL in Ten Desires or even Undefined Fantastic Object!
 
So yeah, the boss. The boss looked like Nue and Suika had a lovechild with a random red streak in her black hair to look "ULTRA XTRA KOOL". Her name is Seija, which is going to be highly confusing with Seiga's name due to random typos, sort of like Tokiko and Tojiko, but thankfully one character is an obscure written works character and the other is a midboss. This time around though, Seija is the mastermind of DDC and that doesn't help when comparing to Seiga's large role in Ten Desires, so... Seija however is pretty insanely loli, which I do have a bit of a problem with and will bring up later in this post. Her outfit is pretty nicely designed and she's supposed to be an amanojaki, which is like an oni but smaller or less intimidating. She seems a little redundant compared to Suika who is a loli oni, but we'll see. I do find her cute and if the plot I heard of in this game is true, hilarious.
 
Remember when I said Miko was an underwhelming boss? I was all like MIKO IS WORST OF STAGE SIX BOSSES OMG TERRIBLE WHY YOU DO!!!! And then somehow I started liking her after SoPM because of her personality, then HM came out and floored me? Well that's what's gotta happen if I'm going to like Sukuna because while the music is quite good and climaxy enough, the design is not very final boss like. Probably very in tune for what Sukuna is based on, but not really all that appealing to me. ALSO ANOTHER LOLI GAH. I'm still not sure entirely her role in this game, so can't really say anything about that. Her ability to change other things' sizes is similar to Suika's density control, as in how she can change her own size. Truly these are her children.
 
Finally the extra boss! It took a big book of Touhou, a fighting game, and a friend who mains her to beat me up all the bloody time for me to find Mamizou decent, but I doubt we'll need that for HIROKAWA RAIKO. While her actually being the Shinto God of Thunder is up in the air, she's at the very least also a tsukumogami apparently associated with the other musicians (MORE TSUKUMOGAMI?) except she's special since she took advantage of what Seija did and became a god...or something. Will have to get back to you on that. Regardless Raiko is a drummer because she IS the drums, or maybe the banjos considering her preferred type of danmaku. Why are extra bosses lately so crazy silly? Well in terms of Raiko's design, that will be included in this very next rant of all of DDC's character design, including outfits and lolism.
 
I do not like DDC's character designs.
 
Now that we got that out of the way, reasons! A big reason is how Touhou characters are usually dressed. A big part of their identity is their clothes because they look fairly generic without them. And I find the fashion in Gensokyo to be very unique and awesome, rather traditional-looking yet with various aspects of fantasy lining up every girl's pretty pretty dress. But DDC introduces us to not one, but TWO characters wearing...kimonos. Or yutaka. Or whatever they are. Sure, that's pretty traditional but not really creative. It's just dressing up a normal person in their formal clothing. To really see a person's personality we need to stare at the clothing they prefer to wear everyday, not clothes they need to for certain days of the year. Raiko is similar except with a more modern equivalent, which seems to come out of nowhere because no one wears modern clothes in Gensokyo! Except maybe Hatate. But Raiko's isn't even stylized it just looks like a suit. This ruins the point of fanartists drawing their favourite characters in yutaka or suits! Ah well.
 
But then there are the lolis...and well, I have no problem with the appearance of a Touhou character except...that the popular notion that Touhou being a game of lolis is very misinterpreted. Some of th most popular characters in Touhou are in fact, very child-like characters, but a majority of the population have the appearances of teenagers or something. It's probably ZUN's art style that gives that perceived notion, but then you see official artwork of the characters NOT by ZUN and they tend to not look ridiculously loli except for the Grimoire of Marisa for whatever reason. But even compared to ZUN's art style, both Seija and Suzuna are REALLY TINY AND YOUNG. One makes sense I guess, what with Suzuna being related to the folktale of a one-inch boy or something but two in a row for some reason, looking so young is jarring. Yes, Remilia and Flan and a bunch of other characters are loli too, but they never looked this young in ZUN's artwork. These two took like they're four years old. (I think there is a plot reason though, so the loli rant might be nullified)
 
As for music, the stage five and six boss themes are great. Not sure what to think of every other song at the moment though. That's still better than Ten Desires. In terms of hype it feels like Ten Desires had way more, in terms of the fandom and even myself. Oh, and while this game lacks a unique system like cherry points or UFOs, the bosses themselves are gimmicky enough to make up for that. This is PLAYER MANIPULATION, THE GAME. You get stage five with flipping screens that invert your controls, stage six that resizes you into a huge blurry bullseye and an extra boss that shakes the screen presumably from the vibrations of her drums...or maybe the stage is inside a drum, yet to figure that out.
 
So first impressions? Up and down, some music tracks are pretty good, design is a little disappointing. (Even the graphics for the score and everything aren't as good as I hoped, it looks too similar to Ten Desires and there's little variation in colour) The good designs are fairly minimal and do look good, but the ones that don't are also rather simplistic, so we don't have any Shous running around this time. Sekibanki still looks like a yukkuri achi-Cirno with Vincent Valentine's cloak though. (My favourite design is probably Kagerou or Seija) The gameplay though? HILARIOUS to watch, potentially fun to play but I only briefly played and got murdered by Seija's gimmicks. Dying to stage five bosses is not new for Spotto!!! Definitely a funner-looking game than Ten Desires at least.
 
But hey, I warmed up to Ten Desires and its cast A LOT after a few years, will I do so for DDC? We have yet to see, but I tend to like the newer games. 
 
And that is your monthly Touhou for the...month. Next rant or whatever is about the animesque web series, RWBY. It seems no matter how much Anime people suggest to me, I will always end up neglecting them and just going for the animesque stuff that isn't controlled by giant studios (SEE TOUHOU). I dunno why I keep avoiding all the Anime people recommend to me. I know Madoka is good, but don't want to watch it yet. I know Dangan Roppa just started and watching would be nice, but nope not yet. But hey, nonprofessional 3D animation thingy that looks like MMD and is voiced by Americans? SURE!
 
Well it helps that I've followed previous Monty Oum stuff. I also find Rooster Teeth pretty awesome, watching RvB waaaaay back in 2008 (will need to be especially bored to pick it back up though) and finding the Achievement Hunter stuff to be highly amusing. (Though I was exposed to Gavin via Slomo Guys instead) And also watched that stuff initially for the GTA Let's Plays because holy crap those are hilarious let's plays. So RWBY was the next step. I saw the RED trailer forever ago but RWBY never came back up until literally my entire dashboard was Rooster Teeth stuff. Still a little sad Dead Fantasy is probably dropped, but that was non-stop action with a poor attempt at implementing plot with no dialogue anyway because who the hell watches Monty Oum stuff for action?!?!?
 
Oh right, everyone.
 
Actually I don't understand the complaints that there is too little action in the series so far. Because the trailers are filled to the brim with that stuff already and Monty actually wants to form a plot before flinging random girls into action this time around, so good for him for doing that. I like plot and character with my acfion! Anyway, I started with re-watching the red trailer and then the other three that weren't out when I started at this project.
 
First of all the music is pretty damn awesome. The action is as expected, fantastic and the designs are all pretty good. I'm feeling so Alice about colour schemes though and I wish they were more varied despite the theme. Like, Ruby with red is pretty important yeah, but the red-black scheme feels so overdone lately. "RED AND BLACK = INSTANTLY COOL YEAH" but it would've been okay had Blake's trailer not ALSO BEEN RED AND BLACK. She has no red at all in her palette! I guess it's because of Adam who also happens to be red and black. Agh... too much red and black. The lack of a lot of blue on any character is disappointing too because that is such a universally liked colour that looks good with so many other colours. Maybe RWBY is special because it's trying to actually not be blue? I dunno.
 
Oh my god I just realized the two best designs in Touhou 14, Kagerou and Seija, are red and black. (and white too but eh) AAAAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHH
 
Oh right, RWBY. So yes all the trailers were damn cool and then I watched the first four episodes. Ruby was surprisingly bubbly and perky, but I like it and it's very expected of Monty's works considering what he did to his Dead Fantasy models. (GEE GEE GEE is stuck in my head forever) Dunno how much I would've liked the series for its characters if everyone was some quiet brooding badass in a deep dark world. Not a lot of variation with that really, except we have Yang who was obviously going to not be quiet or brooding but still badass and she is clearly Marisa I mean she is awesome.
 
But yes, the series! Starts with some action, throws in a stereotypical school (BEGIN GENERIC ANIMU PLOT!) with a headmaster that is clearly Kai I mean a headmaster in love with his coffee cup. What is with headmasters and coffee cups lately anyhow? The whole forest initiation thing and the possibility of dying reminded me too much of Naruto's chuunin exams, but despite what Naruto's controversial quality is, that setting IS pretty damn awesome. Also I do like how every character isn't some plucky inexperienced child. Ruby MIGHT be one, but considering the trailers are all prologues to the actual series every single character has some experience outside of just schooling. (I guess they would have to, to attend such a prestigious academy) Maybe Jaune doesn't have experience, but then how did he get into the school anyway? Huh.
 
While I do like the characters and comedic style so far, the actual nature of the animation doesn't flow well with the comedy. For example turning Ruby into super-deformed dork of a fangirl looked very weird with the surroundings and then having Yang disappear with her silhouette friends with as little animation as possible also looked awkward. The same is whenever else the series transitions into 2D animation for whatever reason. I do hope the artist either improves as the series goes along or they find another one, because that newscast looked like it was animated by the average deviantart user. :X Also, since you have 3D models instead of frame-by-frame animation, I don't think a lot of usual Anime tropes work well here. They work in Anime because of how minimalist it looks and how easily they can change their art-style. While it takes HOURS upon HOURS to even make a 3D animation in one-week, 2D animation, if I am not wrong still takes way longer. This is evident in all those pony model stuff and the millions of MMD stuff for Touhou and other series. I see more 3D PVs everyday and less of the animations because of how time-consuming a quality 2D animation thing is. Sixteen minutes of Fantasy Kaleidoscope took a year to make! D: It takes nine months for a single Simpsons episode! 
 
Then again I do not know the details of RWBY and how long they took to make the models and settings and script and voice acting and everything, but again the advantage of 3D is that you don't have to draw your character five million times in a billion frames. You get that model to manipulate instead. Regardless, being a web series that takes ages to make and is done by a small group of people as opposed to a gigantic team, if the Animu-looking comedy is easier to animate, despite its awkwardness, then why not. We all know the action will be flawless and is better than most things we've seen 3D or not anyway. 
 
So yeah, that's my thoughts on RWBY so far.
 
Wait, there's one huge important aspect I always touch upon when talking about things...CHARACTERS! Despite only 45 minutes of footage, how are the characters? Well...
 
Ruby's a good protagonist. Yang's awesome. I like Blake but she seems so mysterious we're going to need time for her. (I do realize the allusions to fairy tales in all the characters so) And then there is Weiss, a name I have problems pronouncing like Keine.
 
LIKE KEINE.
 
Hello world, let me tell you about Weiss, the best RWBY character ever and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. HOHOHOHO! Lately I've been falling in love with such characters, kind of like Miko and Alice. Except Alice isn't nearly as outspoken while Miko isn't mean at all! She's just genetically superior to everyone else and everyone should worship her amazingness. But again this part of the rant isn't about Touhou and I dunno why I keep falling back on Touhou.
 
You could say it's cliche. I'll retort that I don't watch much Anime and put off all the good ones. But Weiss is obviously that character who starts off hostile and becomes warm in the end. We've had so many of these characters in media, off and on. They are the foil. They are the rival. They're usually the one character with the most amount of change throughout. I fell in love with the song in Weiss' trailer. The lyrics are most telling. They're actually not deep lyrics at all and the writing of it isn't to be marveled at, but it's sung very beautifully and the instrumentals are amazing. "Mirror, mirror, who is the loneliest of all?" So many interpretations can be brought up about that. There's the obvious one, pressure to be the heiress to a gigantic shady company and likely emotional turmoil growing up in such an environment. I'm reminded of a Negima character who quarrels with the main girl all the time, and despite her haughty personality she had a very heartwarming backstory and despite all the innuendo jokes, very innocent. Sadly she got heavily shafted in the actual important PLOT of the manga and...oh, going off on a tangent again.
 
Not to mention she's hilarious and amazingly blunt. See, if Ruby isn't the silent brooding badass, then people might assume it'd be Weiss from the trailer, but nope she isn't either. They gave that role to Blake, which I'm glad. (It was also very obvious with her, but since she's with some guy and has actual dialogue, the whole "silent" part and being able to brood alone kind of gets pushed to the background for a bit.) Obviously my favourite character can always change because there's a secondary team with some people who seem cool and countless others yet to be introduced. But at the moment, had Weiss not existed I'd probably be stuck wondering who my favourite is. Yeah, everyone else is awesome but they're all pretty equal and I don't tend to love things or go into fandoms if I don't ESPECIALLY love a character.
 
Well now I'm hungry and I don't know if I have enough brain power to finish this rant about empathy or what have you. The point I was going to make is that...I am very blessed to be surrounded by people who are very supportive and always nice. Because of these people, I feel I can identify with and understand others more than I would've, which is probably where my love of characters come from. My favourites are either overly flawed or seemingly have no flaws at all for some reason. But because of this, even if I may not identify with the character themselves (I don't identify with Miko? BUT SHE IS THE BEST) I'm still able to appreciate every character and love them for who they are. Sadly reality isn't as easy as fantasy. There are always those unpleasant people around us who have stories of their own and probably reasons for their demeanour, but getting through to them and actually expressing enough selfless motivation to look beyond their cover is one of the toughest things for humanity to do. One of my favourite quotes, "We judge ourselves by our intentions, but others by their actions" is well, my favourite. To me it describes how society is like perfectly.
 
Of course someone is going to disagree with me completely, something I so strongly believe in. I BET YOU THAT WILL HAPPEN IT ALWAYS DOES RAH but it is a little concerning when people you are close to disagree with anything you really, strongly believe in because while disagreeing and difference of opinion is fine, there's always that tinge of disappointment. What if they did have a similar view of life like I do? Maybe the world would be better if that were true? Or is thinking of it like so too human and selfish of a person? But isn't thinking like this how everyone perceives society? Christians believe if everyone was a Christian, the world would be a better place. Atheists think the opposite. So it's just a normal desire that everyone has because everyone feels their view and perspective of society, regardless of the experiences of other common folk, is the only one. Also the whole argument about "If we all had the same views we'd all be the same and that is boring!" because treating situations like so with absolutes isn't the best idea. There is an in-between of levels of similarity and difference. Too much difference and there is conflict. Too much similarity and there is apathy. A good balance and depending upon what that balance is, is in my opinion the requirement of a highly-functioning civilization.
 
Or I have heavily idealistic views, I don't know! NEED FOOD. END RANT! This has been Spotto. Hooray DDC!
spotto: (oshi-- the captain is lazy)
I just watched a movie I have never in my life heard of, that apparently won the Best Picture once. (like I pay attention to those!) Despite winning the Best Picture, its rating is only decent on Rotten Tomatoes and the like, getting mid-seventies in the percentage range. The criticisms I've seen of the movie were of how it pushed the suspension of disbelief that so many unbelievable things could happen and be connected to each other, and the fact that the movie was rather melodramatic. Another criticism was that the characters felt more like plot devices than truly characters, to push a message that seemed transparent and shoved into your face.

This movie is called Crash.

Sometimes I question my own taste in whatever it is I like...but ultimately a person should decide their opinions themselves, and shouldn't let subjective influences change their views. So for me, I liked the movie. I only watched the movie due to hearing people having cried at a certain scene, and I just happened to feel like watching something sad. Those people are overly emotional or I am a soulless monster, but I did not find it heart-breaking or a particular scene that would make me bawl my eyes out. It did have an air of sadness yes, but not to the point where I'd cry and cry and cry, like nothing was fair in the world. Perhaps if I had not been spoiled of that scene it'd be different. But what was especially fascinating about the movie was how human every character felt, even if the whole message about racism was overdone. The racism part, or whatever message the producer (or whoever is responsible) intended wasn't what got me in the movie, but more-so how someone who could seem innocent or perfectly nice could end up committing such heinous acts, and how those who seem more aggressive and likely a villain in a more stereotypical movie could end up being a hero.

For example, there are two cops in the movie who are partners, one who was clearly rather corrupt, and another, newer officer with a more optimistic outlook to the world. The corrupt officer ends up pulling an SUV over and almost arresting a black couple without much merit whatsoever. He pats them down for weapons and probably drugs, and ends up taking this opportunity to molest the wife. Later on, it turns out his father is suffering from an illness, and he cannot get coverage to see different doctors due to a likely misdiagnosis. His father had been very impartial to those of colour, especially during a time when the world was not nearly as tolerant, but due to various cultural circumstances lost everything, and the cop blames the African-Americans for ruining his father's life. This is supposedly an "excuse" for his deplorable behaviour, which would be hard to swallow for such a jackass as he is, but then an unbelievable coincidence comes up in which the woman he violated is trapped in her car after an accident, and it is he, being the first-responder, who must save her. He ends up doing his job. Though in the end of the movie he gets no happy ending (not that many did) because his father still isn't able to find a new doctor, it does give you a little bit of light in the mindset and life of a single person. If no one knew of his assault on the woman earlier, and only knew of his heroism, he'd be heralded as a saviour. If it were the other way around, he'd be a horrible human-being who deserves to be behind bars, but due to our backwards society will likely never be caught. The average person would probably still believe that he is a terrible person despite the fact that he saved the lady in the end, but it is for those moments that he probably became a cop, and for some reason that makes him very human to me.

On the other hand, you have his younger more idealistic partner, who is appalled at his commanding officer's actions, and spends most of the movie doing good deeds and not exercising judgement of others. He ends up being reassigned, by his choice, due to his distaste of the officer and is seen saving the man of the couple they almost arrested that night from making a terrible mistake, by letting him go once again. He then picks up a hitch-hiking black man out of sincere kindness, but this is when his seemingly infallible personality stops. The black man has always wanted to do things rather unheard of, of his race in terms of stereotypes. He speaks about always having a dream of becoming a hockey goaltender and genuinely enjoying country music, but the officer (who is off-duty by the way) shrugs this off by assuming the man is joking. Because a black man cannot possibly have such absurd tastes after all! The passenger notices the religious figure on his dashboard and begins laughing. This is unsettling for the off-duty officer, and the man begins to pull out something from his pocket. Assuming he is pulling out a gun, the officer goes into cop-mode and warns the man before finally firing at him, thinking it was either this or getting shot himself.

Instead it is revealed that the man was merely pulling out the same figure out of his pocket and that was what he found so amusing. The officer panics, throws him out of the car and eventually drives away. He ends up burning the car elsewhere. What is even more fascinating is that the man he killed was actually a petty criminal car-jacking for a living, but despite such a lifestyle was generally a decent person, demeanour-wise, since he and another man had run over someone else earlier with the car they stole, and they went into an argument of what they should do. He was the one who defended the wounded man and reasoned that he needed to go to the hospital instead of just leaving him there in panic. These two characters were the ones painted with the nicest coat of colour early on in the movie, but both end up with terrible, live-shattering fates. Meanwhile, the other officer and other characters, though do not get happy endings exactly, do get off scott-free for the things they did and mostly keep their lives intact.

So what am I trying to say with these things? There is a very real and heated debate out there about the integrity of the police in general, especially in a city like LA where this movie was taking place. The answer in the end isn't that all the officers in the world are terrible corrupt people, or that they are all model citizens who have the safety of the people at the top of their minds no matter what. The answer is that cops are people too, and they can make mistakes or do stupid things, or in other cases, actually be pretty damn efficient and excellent in their job. Unfortunately our world is not a perfect one, where we can expect (though we should) that those put in place to protect us will do so without incident. It's not just about cops in general though, but about everyone in the world. Even if this movie was trying to tell their audience all about the horrors and reality of racism, I think it's better to take out that instead, it's more about how we think of people in general, not just their race or sex or orientation or what-have-you, but everything! We are all human. Not one of us is perfect! And I don't mean that on equal grounds either. The saying "no one is perfect" does not in any way imply that we all have equal levels of virtues and flaws, but that no one is completely free of flaws nor that is someone completely free of virtues. We all have our own levels of how much of a decent person we are, and how we are raised in whatever environment with whatever it is we are born with, is what will pave our lives and make up the personality in our person.

So that takes me to the next topic...recently I've been falling back into some Touhoumon, in particular the Nuzlocke community and their delightful storytelling that again, could be up for question. (There are certainly many criticisms that can be had of the stories and I generally avoid most of them unless I'm sure there's enough content to warrant that the run was indeed, entertaining) But still, I cannot help but to end up reading, enjoying them, and ultimately wishing to do one myself. (I updated this~!) There was a particular one I ended up enjoying immensely, since it had a ridiculous amount of added plot for a run that mostly follows the standard outline of a Pokemon game. In fact, this person's Nuzlocke was actually an entire trilogy...with puppets returning sometimes for a second time and dramatic, climatic ups and downs throughout the story, twists to the usual turns and attempted reasoning for the nature of the game itself. One thing I found interesting though was that the author was male, which shouldn't be all that out-of-the-norm in itself, but the characters he wrote, mostly of females, felt very free and different from how one would expect when they are used to the misogynistic biased writings usually seen in male writers. Am I wrong to be surprised by this? It felt like it was written by a girl, honest!

To throw out some examples, every character that happened to be male who wasn't a villain was either extremely nice, extremely handsome, or extremely stupid/egotistical. You're probably wondering what exactly is wrong with that, but there are many many puppets you can catch in a Touhoumon run, and in the early days of Pokemon romhacking, the gender ratio was largely untouched, so male puppets of female Touhous occurred quite often. Basically I found the variance of character between the females to be far more diverse than the males, though there were still more females than the male characters. Though due to such circumstance there were indeed female characters with bland personalities, the males just felt more like of a standard than usual, as opposed to a deviance. There was also a cute love story of sorts between the protagonist and the rival that I actually cared very little for, but the way it was written also felt like a female fantasy or something of some way. I don't mean to be throwing up stereotypes in how I see things, but basically I was reading a drama aimed at females somehow written by a guy.

But why am I surprised by this exactly? ZUN, the man himself, stated in an interview or somewhere that he never wanted Touhou to ever have fanservice, at least in canon. (I forgot why) Though somehow Byakuren ended up with jiggly breasts in HM which annoys me to this day but perhaps the prevalence of well-known fanon throughout the background characters of the game influenced such. In an non-Touhou example, the creator of Hetalia is a male. There is no need to elaborate on that statement. But I'm not just talking about interesting and stereotype-breaking males, there are also the females...

It's not like a girl who likes hot guy-on-guy action is breaking any social norm, but there is an artist in the Touhou community that I mostly love. They draw tons of Miko and well, I quite like Miko. Miko has become quite the breakthrough character for me. And this person's art is gorgeous! Her colours are so pretty to look at and she draws extremely adorable Taoists/Byakuren. The art style has a very wispy-watercolour-like feeling, where the images appear as if they are in a dream with its lighter colour palette. I could stare at some of this stuff forever, or have it on my wall in all its glory. But recently her art has become far more of the carnal variety, which is not a problem at all actually because well, I'd hate to admit it but I do enjoy such pieces once in a while (if my entire post praising Gentle Pulse didn't clue you in already) but the nature of the artwork and the sudden frequency was somewhat alarming.

In terms of frequency, a large portion of this person's artwork remained safe for the longest of times. Eventually, it was like a flood gate began to ease open and perhaps, though this is pure speculation, the artist started becoming more comfortable drawing such things. But then the gate was torn off its hinges and a mountain of porn just totalled every single building in sight! The adorable cutesy artwork began to become more-and-more rare. At first I assumed someone just found the stash of un-privy material and decided to upload it all at once, but as time went by more and more new material was of the inappropriate nature. Eventually this seeped into the safe-for-work artwork, when a normally adorable Taoist family-like image depicted Tojiko with a bust so large it broke the fabric laws and moulded her dress itself perfectly around her mounds. Not to mention Tojiko's expression was not of a normal "I AM HAPPY TO BE WITH MY TAOISM BUDDIES" but of a lecherous stare! It just felt so out of place, as if her pretty cute art was tainted by the previous flood of that-which-should-not-be-named!!! (And in terms of nature, gee this stuff isn't very original! Like 80% of it is Miko, and in 90% of that looks like the same image of Miko with slight edits each and every other time! Suddenly this tidal wave feels cheap and pointless, losing the creativity and beauty of the innocent works once before! Let me give you an example, here is an image of Tojiko in an alternate universe, if she were a schoolgirl. The artist cleverly explains her legs as being prosthetics, seeing as Tojiko has no real legs as a ghost. There is no sign of any fanservice whatsoever in this image. Here is the recent "family Taoist" image I mentioned, and it's simply an image of the three being happy...with the sole exception of Tojiko and whatever happened to her face/body. Nothing is particularly clever or cute about this image! The best example of balance between incessantly cute and occasional daring dive into the sensuous unknown is Konac)

So that's when I start wondering....is this artist actually a female!? Why is my mindset so determined to push apart such aspects and traits of people, when I myself break such stereotypes and when my friends/family break them as well!? What has the media done to me to think in such ways when surely, in a perfect world we would not ever assign specific actions with one type of person over the other? All these things definitely make one think, that's for sure. My male friends do not ever bring up adult topics, but perhaps that's because guys tend not to that in the presence of a female. Maybe when I am not present it is a topic that is constantly brought up! But such an assumption is unfair because they are indeed my friends and it'd be pretty damn stupid to hold things back in front of other friends, especially if you're that close no matter the gender or orientation or race or what-have-you of the person. You as a reader may believe I am some sort of stereotyping fool perhaps to always default to such thought processes, but...let me give you an example of how I felt the other day.

I had eaten some watermelon. I LOVE watermelon, to the point that I've never once encountered anyone who may dislike watermelon. The idea that someone could possibly dislike watermelon was so foreign to me because it seemed like the perfect, "king of fruit"! This is how certain people may feel about other, more relevant issues than different preferences of food. That doesn't make them any less of a bigoted jackass, but it just brings into question how hard-wired our opinions or brain could be, and how difficult it the mission in life is to change the ways of people to get them to accept what they must accept and thus make the world a better place.

I would end it here, noting that I am indeed Spotto and the post is over, but I had a rant I wrote a few days ago that I never bothered to post yet. It is a lovely rant about Reimu:

Rarely do I rant or type walls-of-text on here anymore...especially about Touhou. (Its characters/lore and such, not the game or whatever) 
 

Let's fix that.
 
 
POPULARITY POLLS~~!!
 
 
Well, not going to post the poll or comment on individual placings, been doing that quite a bit here anyway. You know the drill, "noooooo my favourite character is in an Aki sandwich so disappoint" except this time around I actually kind of like the placings of my current favourites, which as my Tumblr followers know is clearly Nitori.
 
Ha, well Miko got 27th. Massive improvement from before, HM likely helped out a lot since Koishi was a whopping SECOND and Kokoro the newcomer has already kicked away many old-favourites by somehow reaching 14th and where did all the Suwako lovers go her placement is surprising...oh right, individual comments, whoops. Well before I ban myself from discussing this, I am a little sad Keine was 38th, but well, not surprised really. Never surprised, not even to you, Kogasa.
 
Anyway this post is going to be about our good ol' arguably probably not lovable main character, Reimu! Lately I've noticed, especially in the western fanbase, the general distaste people have for Reimu. Meanwhile for the, I dunno, forty-fifth? time in a row Reimu placed first in the popularity polls...which is quite astounding by the way, for one character, even if it's the main one, to consistently top the charts year-after-year. Mayhaps ZUN is somehow rigging the contest? The playable character is the one everyone loves! More Reimu for all! Fwahahahahaha~! Well, I'm not really complaining, but again many out there seem to be. So I'd like to address that in this rather pointless post, just a pool of all my thoughts that floated in my brain for the day.
 
 
Any long-time reader of this blog will know that I often dislike the main character. Every damn thing I've seen, read, watched, I've always preferred the side-character to the spotlight-stealing parasite. There were a few rare exceptions, but I generally kept with the status-quo, filling my heart with deep hatred on why such an unoriginal, annoying/bland character could ever possibly topple over my beloved favourite for the heroism and love of everyone else. Oh, it was just so unfair! My favourite would be worf'ed, my favourite would end up relying on the main one, or my favourite would be pushed aside, irrelevant due to their minor influence on the plot! Oh such woe I had suffered over the years, forcing myself to watch/read/play stories upon stories where the one ignored in the background was forever ignored! It was such a travesty, I tell you.
 
 
Regardless, you get used to it and realize...welp, it's their story. I'm sure if I wrote one my main character would be sufficiently spotlight-stealing and probably bland/annoying too. But that's not even a point I can apply to Reimu. You know why? I like Reimu. She's cool. She's a bro. And she doesn't really spotlight steal...not especially. Oh sure, she's in pretty much all the games and in pretty much all the side-media, but it's never ever Reimu's story...that's the problem. In the games it's always the bosses you face who cause and are the main characters of the story. Reimu (and of course Marisa/other main character of the day) are merely the ones who come to investigate, so we the player will also learn ourselves. The side-media focuses on a new character introduced mostly for that particularly material, with of course Reimu and Marisa taking a big part, but they usually aren't the spotlight. They never are. They could share the spotlight, but we're not reading a coming-of-age story of Reimu, or the incident she caused because youkai kept sleeping in her pad. Of course not!
 
 
I like Reimu. She's a very simple character. You could say she's like all the shrine maidens introduced in Japanese media, but eh, while I agreed with that initially that doesn't seem to be the case either. If I had to describe Reimu with one sentence (or meme in this case) it would be "Notto disu shitto agen". Youkai are very strange creatures y'know, and when the only humans you know are crazy-eccentric (because what kind of human would hang out with youkai!? Only that rascally Marisa, what a fella) you're bound to end up a little fed up. Reimu gets the lovely job of having to deal with them. She was probably born in this role. It is all she knows. And it will be all she ever knows. Because of that, Reimu can be a little short-sighted...or perhaps very short-sighted. She's probably so fed up she doesn't think things through, or give youkai the benefit of the doubt. There's just too many of these cases interrupting her lazy tea-drinking afternoon, so she needs to finish them off as quickly and efficiently as possible. Seriously, Reimu is not the definition of " stereotypical main character" to me, not at all, and probably one of the reasons I do like her.
 
 
But what is it with Japan I wonder? There seems to be a case that the main character wins the polls there all the time. I'd chalk that up to culture. After all, the story they are enjoying...it is of that main character, it is their journey of course, and if they really do enjoy what they are enjoying, they will obviously love the main character the most. The problem here is...again, Reimu's never really the focus of the Touhou storytelling. She's more like an anchor to the audience, kind of like how you control her in the games. So...I'm not here to explain WHY she's consistently most popular or whatever, perhaps the fact that she's very, very Japanese? And thus her audience will adore her? Which may explain, in my opinion, MoF's larger influence in the East than the West? Eh, hell if I know. Also I suppose all this applies to all the main characters/playables in the games. (the danmaku ones at least, and no partnerships/PoFV doesn't count) So that includes Marisa, Sanae, Sakuya, and Youmu.
 
Well, I've got zero problems with Marisa. I suppose the only reason anyone would dislike her (and this extends to the others) is overexposure, like if you're a shipper and you ship non-Marisa pairings. (who am I kidding? I'm the only one!) Or if you happen to like your Alice to not come with a Marisa side-dish. Sanae is also quite awesome, being a priestess to goddesses that actually show up on screen and actually do shit in the Touhouverse. (well, mostly Kanako...is that why Suwako dropped so much??) Sakuya and Youmu are two very devoted followers to radically different masters. Youmu often being the naive, overly-straightforward idiot compared to the ever-scheming trollish Yuyuko, while Sakuya is a sanity anchor towards Remilia's arrogant, haughty attitude. These two I'm not as fond of, mostly because Spotto will never like a serious character ever, but also due to my general dislike of follower-master type relationships and thus-characters. Regardless, every playable has a reason to be liked and disliked, Reimu is no exception.
 
 
I've actually no clue what else to talk about. This post was mostly "Reimu's not that bad" and Touhou is awesome because of it.
 


This has been Spotto~! Woo!
spotto: (NUUUUUUUUUUEN~)
Recently a new EWI came out, after one year of nothing.

Recently HM came out, after an entire year of no new Touhou games.

Recently Spotto fell in love with a character named Toyosatomimi no Miko.

AND THE CIRCLE, IT CONTINUES.



So anyway I'm not actually reviewing just THAT video, but all of them in general. There are common complaints and common praises for these series of videos. Sometimes if you're hoping for that one PV some awesome doujin animation group might make for your favourite Touhou cast herd, the creator of EWI may produce it instead, provided you can tolerate the excessive amount of swimsuits and schoolgirl gym outfits. You also not only get to watch some talented animation someone did on their free time purely from their love of Touhou, but also some talented person with an instrument I've never heard of until these videos, blare out their magnificence for all those Touhou fans' ears to hear! This hope was pretty much fulfilled for me back in the day when my favourite cast herd were the Buddhists from UFO. You could not get a better video divulging all that you love about certain characters than Byakuren's EWI vid, and to this day still the longest and probably most ambitious video this man has done until he chalks up an even more impressive one. (But considering it took him a year to make a new one, and this one must've been done in the past month due to how recent HM has been released because of Miko's cape, he's either very busy or working or something else)

 The first EWI was Suwako, a fairly simplistic version with no switch of camera angles or anything happening in the background. All it is is Suwako playing the EWI in a school swimsuit. To provide fanservice, the initial intro image has better (though not entirely) anatomy detailing all the juicy bits of an ancient goddess who looks like a ten-year-old. Sometimes I wonder how I've built up such tolerance to this, but after going through the MLP fandom I don't think anything out there shocks me anymore. Anyway because all the fanservice is relegated to merely an image and the actual video is of a very adorable super-deformed Suwako happily playing her amazing song, it's not much of a complaint. The music is good and catchy and the visuals never bore you whatsoever. Definitely something you'll be fine investing a few minutes of watching.

The sequel, Sanae, is an actual sequel, since Suwako is still there in the same video near the same spot. Again fairly simplistic, but fancy danmaku is added and the amusement of Suwako's attempt at grazing. I forget what year this video was released because Suwako could simply just jump into the ground to dodge everything like in Hisoutensoku. Anyway it's quite amusing all the gameplay mechanics involved like how Suwako loses and life and simply disappears into her hat at the end. There is obviously way too many EWI videos to actually review each individual one, so I'll just point out the big ones and certain changes that happens throughout the series.

At first the order of each video made sense and had continuity. After Sanae it was Aya, who was probably in the area to pick up the EWI. Then Komachi had it, which probably made least sense in the series of events because initially the spirit, that turned out to be myon, had it, but then after that video Youmu had it which did make sense, and right after that we had... Flandre. Sooooo yeah. The early videos also used Marisa as a buttmonkey. She dies in both Youmu and Flandre's vids. I especially liked Flandre's how she used four of a kind and the movements of her other selves. Mokou's is also a favourite mine since it details, or at least elaborates on with some fanon details of her tragic backstory. (Plus Keine turning EX to attempt to stop the fight only to fall out of screen for whatever reason is funny) Tewi and in the future other characters collecting point items also ends up a running gag and a favourite of mine. Obviously by the time you get to Mokou everything starts to unravel into much more elaborate videos. Some EWIs will depict a story while others will merely show a danmaku battle. There are a few that just have the characters playing instruments and showing off! One part I very much enjoy is how the they animate the bouncing of the characters to the beat of songs. Their sprite's basically just compressing and extending back and forth but it really gives the character animation some depth with little effort! I find it akin to say, animated comics where they basically redraw the comic three times and layer it ontop of another, then have it rotate through the frames constantly to give it this childish "moving" look without really doing much to the picture in the first place. It's very effective and efficient.

Of course, with improvement comes well, better defined "bodies" for the girls, not just in the initial intro or ending image but in the animation itself! So now the video itself has fanservice, which I still tolerated so long as interesting things happened and the video did not comprise entirely of showing off some girl in a swimsuit. The videos I've yet to mention after the ones in the above paragraph still stuck with the super deformity for the most part, elaborate videos like Yukari's notwithstanding. But still, there was still some danmaku or story being told that in my opinion greatly overshadowed the so-called "skimpy" parts of these vids. By the time you got to the special "IaMP" one though... it was now everywhere. Why? Because EVERYONE is wearing these swimsuits and because of all the action you get the "BELOW THE GIRL" action shot where Youmu is posing all cool, but it's ALL FOR NULL because of that specific angle! At this point of the series if you couldn't tell these things were the creator's fetish you were a blind, blind fool! Though despite my initial annoyance at that, Yuyuko shrugging off knives in the face was still the highlight for me. 

Then we get to Momiji, who gets all her angle shots taken by Aya to go with that fanon interpretation of her. (It's interesting to note the contrast between this video and Aya's, because Aya's came out before Double Spoiler that made Momiji's dislike of Aya canon. Before that game came out Momiji was merely the generic moeblob everyone could pile upon because she was a portrait-less, spellcard-less midboss with no lines. Then came DOG SIGN, RABIES BITE and eeeeverything changed) And I haven't mentioned it yet but alluded to it, continuity, continuity everywhere! Yukari's vid revisits previous EWI locations and what might be happening there now, implying all these videos, at least at that point, were happening at a short time after another. Of course after that just like with the brief logic within the order of themes played, it did not last. The newer vids being a whole bunch of different videos of different happenstances without much continuity between them. With some exceptions like the Yuugi/Satori ones seemingly looking like live stage performances. Anyway after this point we reach Byakuren's, the pinnacle of the EWI videos imo.

Being incredibly biased for Emotional Skyscraper, it is of no secret that this EWI is my favourite. It tells a heartwarming story, spells out all the good deeds Byakuren has done for various youkai... and also shoves Hijiri's chest into the camera so much it's like she has two chestbursters hiding beneath her blouse about to explode out in ever-loving violent glory like the popping of a balloon. I'm hoping that imagery ruins everything for everyone. I do like how he basically keeps the rest of Byakuren's costume though, so she doesn't look all that different from normal. But the massive differences and improvements like Byakuren's anatomy, ignoring the gazongas, is almost like one of a real woman. This is probably helped out by the theme itself, a very bombastic climatic tune, with quite possibly the longest loop of all Touhou themes. It is no wonder the video was so long and the story so well-thought out. Due to showing off her follower's past though, I feel that they probably won't get EWIs for themselves or if they do rather short ones with danmaku or something else as opposed to a story-based one.

The next few videos seems to be PC-98 galore with like Tewi randomly in between. I can't comment too much on these besides certain PC-98 themes being surprisingly catchy (and I dunno why I'm surprised it's still the same composer, I just rarely listen to such themes) The Konngara one seems out-of-place the most because at least the rest are of the more well-known pre-Windows characters but since she is placed with the rest of the oni and Suika (technically) and Yuugi already finished their EWIs, with Kasen not even having a theme, I guess if you wanted onis you'd have to go with Konngara (who is only theorized to be one in the first place!).  I found it especially interesting that Orin played her stage theme, not her own theme, Be of Good Cheer. Is Lullaby of a Deserted Hell so good it overrides her actual theme? In that case, if there is ever a Koishi one I hope to the end of the world that it's Last Remote instead. I'm just not that fond of Hartmann's Youkai Girl. I'm not really fond of that many Extra Boss songs in general. Beyond Flan's, Mokou's, and Suwako's the rest are, well they are at least unique and probably very fitting of the character, but not my favourite. (Futatsuiwa from Sado is TOO DAMN REPETITIVE and then it gets remixed twice in HM! WHYYYY)  

So that leads me to the latest video, Miko's. Following the same tangent with the above bracket statement, I was not impressed by TD's soundtrack when it came out. But I reasoned to myself that it was the first game I was around for when it first came out, so the music would need some getting used to probably, as opposed to the endless amount of remixes I had access to for the previous games. Nonetheless, there was something off about the music that I found missing from every other game. Granted I didn't even like UFO's soundtrack that much beyond finding the sixth stage and boss theme as the best ever in the entire series. Subterranean Animism had so many excellent tracks one-after-another, so UFO and TD coming in with fewer gems was a bit of a disappointment. The big one for me in TD though, was True Administrator. Every single other final boss theme was awesome, great, fitting, climatic, etc. I found True Administrator cripplingly underwhelming compared to others. Even final boss themes in the PC-98 games were amazing and catchy. 

But True Administrator WAS catchy, and did sound cool like ZUN had intended. It just felt like it was missing a part in the song. It had 3 parts of a complete song but not the final fourth. It felt like it dragged a lot of the intro and a lot of the lower tempo pieces far too long, as if it were covering up something missing or trying to be longer than it was. I think, though I cannot confirm, that True Administrator has the shortest loop of all the final boss songs, which is saying something. This is so evident because just last game, Emotional Skyscraper had the longest and was imo the best song ever. EVER! But, my love for Miko emerged so I tried to listen to some True Administrator remixes I might like. Many I did not, but it's not like I love every Emotional Skyscraper remix. Eventually I listened to the song SO much that by the time one of my friends (Cunchy) linked me simply to the original theme, saying he liked it, I found no flaws with the song. Was it my utter bias for Miko now? What happened here!? DID I GET USED TO THE TD SOUNDTRACK!? Was HM's remix that awesome??

So...the EWI video. A lot of people (or well, a significant amount) were saying there were a few parts of the EWI that was off-key. Perhaps the heat of the summer is making my ears delirious, but I simply can't hear these off-key notes these other people keep insisting is in the video. Perhaps I am wearing the overly-biased fangirl Miko earmuffs now. Nonetheless, the video though hyped me up and made me quite happy initially did end up in the long run (one day if that counts) a tad disappointing. Yes there is this whole awesome band and Miko shoots awesome danmaku in super adorable tiny form, but the entire video beyond staring at the Taoists playing instruments (Tojiko's literal electric guitar FTW!) was...SHOWING OFF MIKO IN HER SCHOOL SWIMSUIT. All the angles and all the shots of Miko in a generic school swimsuit. It wasn't even coloured differently to match her outfit, it was the same colour as a generic one. She threw off her awesome cape too early and we had to rely only upon the school swimsuit, as if it were king, as if it were the one thing we had to focus on...nothing else. Later Byakuren showed up for a fight that we get to see NONE of after Kaguya fought Mokou and Kanako fought Suwako. If Futo hadn't made the best facial expressions ever I'd have been even more disappointed with the video...oh and her so-called "Dead Parrot" pose at the end, it is the best.

But oh well, at least I've discovered True Administrator is actually 100% perfect contrary to my lying ears of the past. 

spotto: (Sims - Awesome :D)
On a whim I bought the GTA series, the entirety of it from Steam. It was on sale at a ridiculous price (12 bucks for all games + expansions wutt!?!?) and well...I've always said I never played one-player games. Never was too into them to be honest, either because I am a failure at games in general and thus give up easily or much prefer playing games with other people, who knows. (I never finished the campaign in SC2 for example) Regardless, since I went and bought these games myself, I figured it'd be silly to just buy them and not actually play the game for what it is as opposed to just mindlessly faffing about like I usually do in sandbox games.

So I've finished the storylines for both GTA IV and SA. My only previous experience with these games were GTA Vice City, Chinatown Wars, and GTA II respectively. (I played GTA II a lot when I was younger, Rockstar let you download it for free and all P: ) 

I played GTA IV first, vanilla. No mods whatsoever and just went through as it was. It ran fine on my PC despite its notoriety for being a bad port (GTA originated from PC, the latest game being a shitty port is just sad) and thus I did not get to play much multiplayer with Cunchy as I had hoped. (It did NOT run well on his system) Most of the time I finished the missions on first try and a majority of the missions were to kill a specific person or to kill a group of people, for some purpose or another. It was indeed a dark game with a downer ending no matter which options you chose (though one was far less sadder than the other) 

Then I played GTA:SA with a Touhou mod that wasn't stable whatsoever and caused the game to crash either periodically or frequently. This didn't help at all because I had found the game far harder than GTA IV ever was (very few of the missions I played I completed first try) and I ran into so many roadblocks and obstacles playing the game, I had almost abandoned it. Eventually I removed a majority of the mods (mostly the spellcards) and the game ran mostly smoothly from there. Not only that but I had modified the mod itself, switching up the models with which models I desired. This aspect definitely gave me more motivation to complete this game. Not only that but I discovered the game wasn't nearly as hard when I removed those mods (though still more difficult than GTA IV ever was)

And so...which game is better? Which game had better gameplay, storyline, characters, etc.? Which game did I ultimately enjoy playing more? Well granted GTA:SA takes the bias away, due to the mods. (I only modded GTA IV after I finished the game, which felt kind of pointless...running around killing people as Alice with no goal in mind) But even without the bias, GTA:SA is a far grander game than GTA IV. Initially I was annoyed at the immense amount of driving required (especially those missions that threw you at the other side of the state, sheesh) but there was just...so much to explore and so much to do. There are tons of side-missions unlocked and offered and you can customize your character (which I did despite using the Mokou model 95% of the time.. a select few missions require regular model else it'd crash) and the missions were so much more varied. You could fly planes (which took a long time to learn how to use, steep learning curve there) fly about in a jetpack, bikes weren't nearly as annoying to ride as they were in GTA IV (they were my preferred mode of transportation) though cars exploded and died far easier (part of the reason for the difficulty spike) and oddly enough it was in a way much harder to avoid the cops than in GTA IV. (Yes, a pay-and-spray saves all, but if you're not near one you are pretty damned screwed. GTA IV gives you a radar on the map and you just have to avoid it, but a pay-and-spray isn't your saviour since you have to go in without any cops seeing you... which makes sense, but makes those places less effective) 

And also in terms of story/characters, I slightly favour GTA:SA over IV...perhaps it's because I just completed SA and thus it is fresh in my mind, but GTA IV was pretty depressing in a way. You can only really rely on a couple of people and you're mostly alone, working as a hitman. The female characters in GTA IV were pretty bad actually. The first girlfriend you get, Michelle, turns out to be a double agent but her voice-acting is so terrible I don't even. (either that or she was voiced badly on purpose to hint that she's a double agent, but that makes Niko (the protagonist) a very gullible and sad person instead if he doesn't pick up on anything, so uh...) The next girlfriend you get, what's-her-face (SO FORGETTABLE I FORGOT HER NAME) ...KATE, that was it, was so bland it was super easy to go for the ending where she dies. (as opposed to your annoying cousin dying, but he has a certain charm to him and is one of the few characters keeping the dreary BROWN-IS-REAL atmosphere from going to crap) There was also this drug dealer lady with a cool name (I think Elizabeta is an awesome name!) but she goes to prison pretty damn fast and is pretty unstable/useless/pitiful.

San Andreas on the other hand gives you your SASSY and intelligent sister, Kendl. You get to date some girlfriends who are either extremely violent or extremely slutty, including the GTA III antagonist (SA is a prequel to III) who is, as her wiki article states "an extremely aggressive psychotic woman" which is already an understatement. Had my crashing not come to a pique at her missions, thus my constant replaying of them, I'd find her less annoying but otherwise she was utterly HILARIOUS. (Why did I make her Nue!?) And as far as my memory goes that's about it, but due to GTA's target audience I'm not expecting a large amount of female characters anyway. The point is the SA females were far more memorable than the GTA IV ones.

As for the non-female characters...my favourite in IV was definitely Bernie Crane, the incredibly flamboyant open homosexual. He runs so stereotypically as well. After I completed the game I downloaded a trainer mod, switched my model to him and spawned dozens of bodyguards with his model (which includes his mannerisms and voice) and when the cops came and started killing my fabulous army, the girly screams just threw me off my chair with laughter. Oh and his missions are all pretty damn amusing too. (I like how he was originally a really tough, intimidating Eastern European who has fought in a horrible war, seeing all his childhood friends except Niko get murdered, but his TRUE SELF is this fabulous gentlemen right here hahaha) 

I found other characters such as Roman and Little Jacob quite interesting but for some reason Brucie just really annoyed me. Perhaps it's his relation to cars that annoys me because I hated racing in GTA IV...thank god besides one mission they were all optional. Though I must admit, the line "WE'RE GENETICALLY DIFFERENT" was amusing. Dimitri was an excellent antagonist actually, totally didn't see the betrayal coming and the fact that he's not especially physically strong or anything, just extremely cunning with a complete lack of loyalty; it definitely gave him a love-to-hate appeal. It's too bad the ending I chose had the incompetent Pegorino end up as the big bad instead of Dimitri, but eh, all for letting Roman live I say.

As for SA...I enjoyed the characters as a whole more than IV, but my favourite would have to go to Wu Zi Mu, the Triads' leader. He's blind but a better shot than Big Smoke. (THAT TRAIN MISSION! RARRHGH!) I had expected Cesar (your sister's boyfriend) to be basically the character with the second-most screentime after well, the protagonist (thus assigning Keine as the model among other reasons) but Wu Zi Mu is totally the guy who has the most screentime after. (This is including the Heist missions) He tries his darndest to keep the protagonist from finding out he's blind, but it's all so futile lol. The Triads as a whole were all pretty adorable actually. (Here I am, complimenting a bunch of fictional members of merciless organized crime as 'adorable' but seriously...my god. I was so sad whenever they died fighting with me.) 

As for other characters, I must admit I prefer Roman over Sweet because Sweet can be insufferable. (I STOLE A FIGHTER JET AND EXPLODED SPY SHIPS TO SET YOU FREE YOU UNGRATEFUL PIECE OF CRAP) But well, he wasn't that terrible just...insanely flawed is all. (Why did I make him Miko? He's an incompetent leader!) Beyond finding Mexican Keine amusing, Cesar wasn't too three-dimensional. (The Aztecas were horned-Touhous, mostly onis except Keine :D) But I did like a lot of the bosses like The Truth and Mike Toreno. (The Truth is totally a peaceful person if you ignore the rocket launcher he gives you to shoot down helicopters, or his requests for you to steal things from secret bases, or asking you to kill guards and such which he was going to do himself but he sucks at flying jetpacks! TOTALLY A PEACEFUL GUY DUDE) Toreno on the other hand is mysterious, hyper-competent and charismatic. (It probably helps that this game had a lot of celebrity voice-actors, but still)

The antagonist was literally Samuel L. Jackson, but even though he's evil as evil can be he wasn't especially interesting. At least Dimitri seems like a good guy before he turns bad. Tenpenny is bad the entire way and in a very predictable manner as well, like those cartoons and their stereotypical villains. Big Smoke betrays you yes despite being a nice dude in the beginning, but he pretty much disappears entirely after the betrayal until you kill him, so we don't really see him actually agreeing to deals and all that stuff, we mostly just know him as the cool chubby guy with the terrible shot who for some reason backstabs you. As for the rest of the characters...eh, they're here and there, there and here. 

MONEY was far more valuable in SA than IV. What the hell do you spend money on in IV anyway? Beyond weapons? Like...nothing? Maybe some clothes for certain missions but really, nothing! When I did the bank heist I had too much money to use. SA you actually have houses you can buy (thus more safehouses) which were only given to you in IV via storylines. Weapons were much more expensive in SA, if you want more ammo it's the same price as the entire weapon. Then there's upgrades to cars you can get, or way more variations of clothing. In fact one of the missions requires you to have 80K to buy an abandoned airstrip. As for making money, granted SA gives you more ways of making it than IV as well so yeah, but certain SA was much more fulfilling than IV in terms of earning and spending.

MOVEMENT/SHOOTING...in GTA IV you get two modes of moving, walking or running. In SA you get three modes of moving, running, running fast, or running insanely fast. While running ALL the time in GTA SA looked unnatural, you did get to places faster. Not only that but SA actually has bikes you can ride, and while the BMX is a terrible, terrible bike, the mountain bike rivals slow cars with its speed and handling. Sadly the mountain bike is rather rare, but I stupidly captured gang territories during the riot in SA, so I used the mountain bike as my main mode of transportation since it can't catch fire or explode. GTA IV gives you a pretty useful cover system to keep from getting hit IMO, which is partly why its missions were much easier while the only thing you could rely on in SA was crouch. Also the weapons in IV, while much less in number allowed you to zoom in much easier, so headshots were a common fare for me unlike SA which, while I could still get headshots, Touhou models tend to be shorter than the originals so I didn't know exactly where the hitbox of the head would be...so I just swiss-cheesed them with bullets.

DRIVING...is very different between the two games. GTA IV had more physics implemented which confused many GTA veterans at first, but since I played this game before SA and hadn't played GTA in a while I picked up this way of driving instead. So when I started SA I was like "wtf am I doing" for a while. Again, cars explode far more often and more easily in SA than IV, so being shitty at driving is more tolerable in IV. Unfortunately it is the other way around if you're on a motorcycle. (MOTORCYCLE CHASES IN IV ARE THE WORST THING EVER) Nearly anything you smash into on a motorbike will throw you off and hurt you immensely in IV, while the same is in SA initially (besides the hurting you)...because it has RPG-like elements and the more you ride a bike the better you are at handling it, eventually it's far easier and a much more preferable mode of transportation. (I certainly liked them better, anyway)

BOATING... (is that a word?) is far less emphasized in SA than IV, mostly because SA has so many other ways of travelling the boats aren't as important. It's pretty easy to steer a boat in both games actually, but I think they capsize easier in IV. Swimming on the other hand is far preferable in SA because not only can practice allow you to swim much faster, but you can go under-freakin'-water! In IV swimming is just tedious and asinine, and if you're for some reason far off from land you best find a boat to get back rather than swim the entire way.

AIRCRAFT... only helicopters are avaliable in IV, but I do prefer IV's helicopter controls over SA's. On the other hand I may not have been used to the helicopter controls in SA since I preferred flying planes and most flying missions required planes over helicopters. (I despised that one mission where you have to pick up a security truck with a helicopter, blargh the controls, blargh!) The plane controls took a long time to get used to, but once you're actually able to fly planes it isn't too hard to fly them... but the one mission (Freefall was it?) where you have to leap from a slow plane onto a fast jet, while chasing it? Yeeeeah, the best way to beat this I discovered was to turn the moment you see the jet, not when you're already behind it, otherwise it is too fast and you will NEVER catch up to it. Turning was awkward too because I cannot freely-control the camera and so I can't particularly tell what direction I'm trying to go to, since that mission there's only clouds and sea all around. If I didn't have War Thunder experience, piloting would've been MUCH harder.

As for the single most difficult mission in both games...for IV? Definitely definitely DEFINITELY the final mission (the Revenge route, not Deal) where you have to drive the motorcycle onto the ramp and jump to the helicopter. There's a barrel lying between your path and the ramp, and if you turn too late you won't be able to turn back in time with enough speed to hit the ramp AND you have to be driving fast the entire time or the helicopter will leave... took FOREVER to complete, plus being the last mission I had to do the entire lengthy thing over and over and over and over and over again. Compare this to the "Stowaway" mission in SA, where you have to drive a motorbike into an aircraft before it takes off while federal agents are shooting at you and barrels are thrown in your way the entire time. Again, there is a short timeframe to complete this so you have to be at full-speed without any turns the entire time, else the plane takes off without you. THIS part of the mission was 9000x easier than IV's final mission simply because I much prefer how motorcycles handle in SA over IV. 

As for SA...there were tons of frustrating missions, my god. It took me longer to complete SA than IV that's for sure, but the one mission that totally made me want to kill myself was actually not even a mission. It was the gang wars during the riots I had to to do to unlock the last mission. If i had read a guide or something that informed me capturing territory was hell during the riot I definitely would've complied, but I didn't. So I just went and spent a good six hours failing constantly at capturing territories one-by-one (needed 35% and a territory was like 2%, my god) Even the mission beforehand, Grove-4-Life I kept failing because it for some reason began crashing, or I got swarmed by enemy gangsters from all around (took me a while to find a spot where I can't be shot from behind) then when I DID start figuring it out cars kept RUNNING OVER SWEET! In fact the LAST time this happened we were both on a sidewalk, but some jackass STILL RAN HIM OVER! (or Miko in this case, P: )

Which leads me to the next category...ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

The NPCs shoot better in SA than IV...marginally, but the enemy can generally hit me more often than in IV...however they are still both terrible, terrible shots. (Thank god for that though) Perhaps that is inaccurate due to the cover system in IV, but still. The driving, well in IV whenever my car was damaged...it was mostly my fault. The driving AI wasn't bad in GTA IV unless you're a cop and you're chasing after someone I'm chasing as well, then you're inevitably going to explode or flip over or explode again. the AI in GTA SA however...

Well I just laughed...because man are the drivers morons in SA. On the other hand it gives them more personality. For example if you hit (most often a Taxi but other cars too) certain vehicles, the driver may get angry and just keep chasing you wherever you go, trying to ram you in retaliation. See? Personality, but it can be very annoying for certain missions. (Missions where I have to drive a car without damaging it and I cut off some guy? He'll fail my mission for sure :C) Also racing in SA is easier than in IV because your opponents are more idiotic (however these are only the missions required for the storyline, didn't really race much in the side-missions) Also the fact that there is a driving school in SA allowed me to learn how to turn better and such, and I never figured out how to drift in IV. 

Oh and don't get me started on the pedestrians. If you're driving towards a pedestrian, their instinct is to jump to the side to not get hit, but this coding isn't done very well, so if you were driving towards them but turned slightly left to avoid them, they will have inadvertently leapt IN FRONT of you because they assume you're going to drive straight (even if just ahead is a wall or the sidewalk) so you'll hit them anyway and they die, then cops will notice and chase you. It was FAR easier to obtain police attention in SA because of this. 

I think my favourite part of SA that isn't in IV at all is really, the missions where you're not driving but the one shooting and you can shoot behind you, ahead, and basically destroy absolutely everything. These missions were the funnest to play and definitely the most spectacular. I much much much prefer the drive-by controls in IV though, because having to switch camera angles in SA means you have no idea where you're driving and you're going to slam into a wall most likely. (It's like switching to gunner-mode when you're in a bomber in WT, can't tell where you're flying at all) GTA IV allows you to shoot as you drive so it's much easier and preferable. 

And uh, I've been thinking but cannot figure out what's in IV that isn't in SA that I miss in SA, soooooo.... 

So yes, the penultimate question...which game is better? Well...I liked the colours of SA more and the storyline/characters, but it was also overall a more frustrating game. However, despite its difficulty its experience was far more complete than that of IV. Even though I had to drive forever from certain places to another, I think I like it better. Also way more Touhou mods so I can be Mokou, whose mission is to destroy Kaguya and her corrupt Lunarians while helping out the Ministry. With my insufferable older sibling Miko and my sassy and intelligent younger sister Akyuu. (THERE IS A PERFECTLY GOOD EXPLANATION FOR THOSE CHARACTER CHOICES. If you know your Touhou, yes even beyond my own preferences and favourite characters and such) I fight it out in a similar situation with Akyuu's lover and my best friend Keine, as we work for the completely strange Byakuren Hijiri, somewhat morally questionable Shikieiki, and the honourable but silly Komachi. We will work to revive Kyouko's career and save Tenshi, Parsee, and Yamame from the evil hands of Utsuho and her underground mafia, while defending Komachi's people from those dastardly SDM members. It is indeed a fulfilling feeling to have beaten both IV and SA without cheats.

This has been Spotto and with this game completed, I now consider myself a gamer.
spotto: (koi)
I've found the more games I play the less introspective thoughts I have to share.

Nonetheless, Reitaisai recently happened and while I don't post on Tumblr more than a few times a week, mine exploded at the anticipation and the result of it. 

HOPELESS MASQUERADE.

I'm not entirely sure when I started to like Miko actually. When TD first came out I recall being rather disappointed with the designs and the music, especially the final boss. I was like "OMG SO UNDERWHELMING YOU SUCK" plus they were all so obviously evil and pesky and junk, so I was all prepared to fight for the Buddhist side TO THE DEATH in the Great Holy Wars, and yet... 

The likely reason is probably due to all my headcanons being shattered the more info came out about the UFO cast. Murasa having a skirt...still being murderous, not really improving in any aspect... Shou not actually a fighter, entire point is to mimic a statue and cannot even use her spear (it's for shou, geddit?) and she relies heavily on her pagoda...plus she's an alcoholic... Nue bringing in this ridiculously designed tanuki (who I grew used to finally, helps that her human disguise is like the opposite in the "style" levels, maybe youkai just don't give a shit about fashion) Nazrin not actually living with the rest of the crew and ultimately my image of Byakuren literally being Youkai Jesus (I really did want her to seem perfect and kind and nice because every other youkai in Touhou has jerkass tendencies, and turns out she has some crippling flaws which would really make her a better character actually but it kind of kerfuddled with my image of UFO's group dynamic) as not particularly true.

So then Miko comes in and is just honest all the way. She's like "yeah I did do some terrible shit back then" and her openness and casualness and all that just made her so amazing. If you're going to be the villain, actually embrace the role of a villain! I remember liking Futo the most when TD came out, but then more info was released due to SoPM and it turns out she's like the really annoying little kid who backstabs everything and burns everything down. She's still a pretty awesome character despite her numerous flaws because who doesn't love an arsonist? But yeah, her existence felt so pitiful and joke-character like so I didn't warm up to her. Futo and Seiga do a great job of deflecting actual malice from Miko's reputation, even if she did technically use Futo as a test subject with the whole shikaisen thing and even if she did orchestrate an entire war that destroyed whole clans back in the day... still, she's just so charismatic and hammy.

My writing looks so casual now. Argh.

But anyway, I was also pleasantly surprised when Koishi was announced as a playable character. As we all know I was hoping for Keine or Mokou to be playable (Human Village had a large part of the story from what we were told initially, and Mokou/Kaguya were planned for earlier fighting games but could not be balanced) but that obviously didn't happen. I expected Murasa or Shou or whoever to represent the Buddhists with Byakuren and then SUDDENLY ICHIRIN, my least favourite of them all, so that ended that.  I was prepared to simply play as Miko and be fine with none of my other favourites appearing and then KOISHI out of nowhere. I didn't expect SA to actually get a representative really because they didn't really have much to do with religion. They're just the ghetto of Gensokyo after all, but turns out Koishi kind of makes sense to be in the game! She does wander around above-ground and she did become a Buddhist due to being mostly empty. I won't reveal the ending of the game for you but it actually makes Koishi grow as a character too, so her inclusion was very nice. PLAYING as her on the other hand feels like Suwako all over again, so strange and awkward...

After finishing the game I hunted down some translations and damn do I love the story. Basically the final boss is searching for her lost mask (she's a youkai that spawns when an item is neglected for a long time, sort of like Kogasa. Her item is the legendary 66 masks and Kokoro, the name of the boss, goes crazy because she lost her 66th mask, the Mask of Hope. So she's trying to figure out how to emotion or whatever and through numerous series of events (every single route is canon this time around, how nice!) Kokoro eventually learns emotions and realizes that religion suppresses emotions, so at the very final battle of the story where you control Kokoro and fight the religious leaders, you're trying to defeat them because of what they're doing. I love how the enemy of the game ends up as the heroine at the very end! 

Usually the fighting games' stories are pretty silly... in IaMP Suika just wanted to party, so she gathered everyone for feasts with her ability and everyone was like "why the fuck do we keep partying". In SWR Tenshi is bored with celestial life so she destroys and ruins things in Gensokyo to get people to come up to confront her. In Hisoutensoku, a giant mecha catches people's attention so they go investigate, but it's really an extravagant air balloon. To go from that to basically a coming-of-age story for a confused youkai is quite a feat I must say. Plus, Miko is based on Prince Shoutoku who was the one that made the 66 masks and thus Miko is technically Kokoro's creator! It's so amazing! Besides the part where Miko is like "YOU ARE CAUSING TOO MUCH TROUBLE YOUNG LADY. I'M GOING TO TURN YOU BACK INTO A BUNCH OF MASKS!" and I'll go on but again, no revealing endings. (How Miko tries to resolve Kokoro's conflict is highly amusing though!) 

Also as I was fighting Reimu, Miko, and Byakuren (that's the final boss for Kokoro) when Reimu initiates her first (or second I forget) spellcard, Miko appears to shoot flimsy danmaku at you. Then the next spellcard Byakuren appears and tries to slam into you several times at mach speed. The difference of power between the two was highly amusing. It makes Miko attempting to look foreboding with a badass cape futile because Byakuren still seems waaaaay more influential.

I'm not sure where I'm going with that.

Well I guess I'll end this post with I HATE NIGHT PARADE. Making this next video very satisfying:

Oh yeah and the DDC demo came out. I beat it on first try and the story so far seems to be calm youkai going crazy while your weapons are going crazy. Gonna have to wait for the full release to see what's up! The designs remind me lot of the PC-98 days with the limited palette and overuse of red. 
spotto: (Q_Q)
Nonetheless, in the sense of tradition, I updated my murals crappily printed and taped to wall images from the internet. Have a looksee under the cut!

very large images )

spotto: (flutts)
This post is only to update you, readers of this blog which is like two people, which I love pointing out every single time and is probably horribly old by now, of my other blogs that you probably care nothing about but in which they have been updated and so I must inform you. Did you like that run-on sentence?

First off this is a bit old but I've updated my Sims Blog a few weeks back with basically an ACADEMY version of all my Sims for the hell of it. Also, recently I've just been normally playing my Sims back in the Gensokyo neighbourhood as well, so if anything interesting actually happens there I may post of those too, but don't expect to much.

The other blog is the SPOTTOMON blog, which I call it such because while it has been updated once with a Touhoumon update also includes a PONYMON let's play blind run (video!). Ponymon is still in alpha however so despite all the Pokemon being replaced by ponies the game is still essentially FireRed.... replaced by ponies. It has not reached Touhoumon's point with the modded music, story, dialogue, EVERYTHING, so yeah. But there is new typing (as far as I remember) for the ponies and other such little things that aren't in the regular game that I've decided to just record myself playing.

So... got that? Sims Blog here! And Touhoumon/Ponymon blog here! 

I would technically say even my Starcraft blog updated except I abandonated livestream and am now using TWITCH.TV for my SC2 casts. (These seem a little pointless now that SC2 has the "watch replay together" feature, so unless you really enjoy listening to my speech impediment I guess this announcement isn't too important either. Oh yeah the stream is password-protected because I am silly. If you wanna get in it's "spectralinfantry". Yes, that is the password. 

As for anything else...uh... I'm tired and wish to go to bed. In terms of future posts here, I'm actually working on the GENSOKYO CRISIS scenario, extending it and figuring out how Marisa will work with her GET-OUT-OF-HELL free card (with horribly difficult conditions!). So, maybe or maybe not expect that popping up here. Also an image of a new (technically borrowed) car. These new things just blow me away with their ridiculous features. Perhaps I am getting too old when a car that has a USB port blows my mind. CARS DO NOT NEED USB PORTS!! And now they do...as with many other things.

This has been Spotto!

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