Monday, May 30, 2016

The Witches 5 go one last round

Cyprine and Pitiol are doing the full Shining now.

The Foe Yay was strong in this episode.  Eudial pinned Mars down and I was like "that's hot" and then they all basically put their counterparts under an Enchantress spell.  Tellu remains my favorite going off Crystal.  Anyone not slashing the Witches with the Inners already should start now.

They switch to a Tuxedo Mask ending song right when the plot sidelines him.

Mistress 9 is fabulous.

I like CrunchyRoll's subtitles better then Hulu, they're bigger and automatic.  But why do their ad breaks have to be so random?  First one was during the opening theme song and the next was almost mid-sentence.  This was was written for television, it has designated ad break points.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

About Captain America being Hydra and the fan reaction

I'm pretty sure this story-line is going to be stupid, like what they did to Cassandra Cain during One Year Later.  And will not at all be a serious thoughtful exploration of what I'm going to discus below.  And it's particularly insulting they did this the day after Marvel said it'd be inherently out of character for him to ever have a male lover.

The thing is the argument has always existed that what Captain America is unwittingly reinforces Fascist and Aryan ideology.  This was mentioned like a decade or more ago in the History Channel documentary Comic Book Superheros Unmasked.

And the argument I keep seeing even from liberals when this is acknowledged is "but that's the point, it's the Irony of Hitler's ideal Aryan punching him in the face".  And hearing it expressed that way only makes me more uncomfortable with it, defeating Fascism with Fascism is actually a victory for Fascism.  (And yes Fascists can be in conflict with each other, Mussolini actually hated Hitler, under slightly different conditions they'd have been on opposite sides.)

And it kind of is an unintentional SciFi analogy to my more cynical outlook on the real history of WWII.  The Allies did commit virtually all the same offenses the Axis did, especially in our treatment of Japanese Americans, and then one upped them with dropping the Bomb.  (And the concentration camp was actually invented in America under the Andrew Jackson administration to deal with the Cherokee.) but History is written by the winners.  Nazism lost, but Fascism merely changed it's face.

Oliver Stone's Secret History of the United States critiques the conventional view of WWII from a liberal perspective.  Pat Buchanan's The Unnecessary War does so from a Conservative perspective.  I as a truly Bi-Partison Libertarian-Communist see value in both their takes so I recommend both, though I ultimately agree with neither on everything.

Acknowledging this about Captain America has become less popular since his movies became big hits.  My fellow SJWs currently love MCU Steve Rogers, so the idea of condemning his basic archetype as inherently problematic the way the same websites do James Bond and Indian Jones is currently unthinkable to them.

I'm not saying the character should be rejected, the movies are a lot of fun, I personally took on Winter Soldier's harshest critic on this blog.

But an Elseworlds kind of story exploring the logical conclusion that perhaps the Aryan who punched Hitler in the face actually believes a similar Nationalism just for a different nation, I think is a very valid concept.   The founders of the CIA fought Nazism during WWII but then worked with Fascist groups to oppose the USSR during the Cold War, like the whole P2 scandal in Italy, Hydra could easily be used as an allegory for that inconvenient truth.  Again I don't think that's what this current twist is actually doing.

But I keep seeing the meme repeated that this is especially gross because Captain America's creators were Jewish.  As if Jewish writers couldn't possibly write something problematic.  A lot of American Jews are on the Trump bandwagon right now, so they are not inherently immune to the appeal of Fascism.  And many Palestinians Arabs feel for very valid reasons that the Israeli Government is no better then Nazi Germany.

But I'm not going to suggest Jack Kirby was a Fascist.  Just that it's valid to criticize him.  And that Death of the Author applies to all Authors not just privileged ones.

The Golden Age comics never addressed the Holocaust or other real War Crimes of the War.  They just depicted Germans as mustache twirling villains and the Japanese as demons.  Cap punching Hitler was always designed to appeal to American Tribal Patriotism, whatever deep down motivated the authors, on the page it was never about the real reason that war is now considered a just one.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Palpatine's Plan in The Phantom Menace

The TVtropes page for Xanatos Gambit defines it mainly as a plan where no mater what happens the planner wins.  I think there is some accuracy to that, but from my analysis of the plans done by the Trope Namer, and the other villain who's most strongly linked to this Trope, Palpatine in The Star Wars Prequels.  I think it could be more accurate to say that what the Heroes are dealing with isn't the main plan at all, and the villain has got what he wanted by the time the heroes even start fighting the immediate threat.

In fact I'd say not only does the Heroes succeeding at their immediate objective not hurt his plan, it is if anything preferable, since they've just tied up a potential lose end for him.

This trope defines most of what Palatine does in the Prequels, but perhaps when viewed in hindsight it is most interesting to look at it in Episode I.

Palpatine's only goal in this film is to become Chancellor via a vote of no Confidence in the current one.  Any other ways events of this film play into the following Episodes are him taking advantage of those developments.  But the goal here was just to become Chancellor.

Number 1, that means his plan is arguably dependent on the Queen making it to Corusant.  He could have called for the vote himself in response to something tragic happening to her like being forced to sign a treaty, but her doing it helps keep his hands cleaner.

Now some critics of the film I've seen think he genuinely really wanted the Treaty signed because of what he says to Newt.  The Trade Federation leaders are not in on his real plan.  In the long run he was going screw them over no mater what, they probably didn't know Sidous was Palpatine. Signing the treaty would not have hurt because then he could point out it was obviously signed under coercion.

One criticism is how the Trade Federation could have honestly thought such a Treaty would be held up.  But that's what shows the manipulative persuasive power of Sidious, he convinced them he'd make it legal, and maybe he could have but I'm certain he never intended too.

After calling for the vote, some people think he was genuinely trying to stop Amidala from going back to Naboo.  He was trying to talk her out as part of the his mask, but he didn't actually care.  His surprise at her making that decision could have been genuine, but it was in no way even hypothetically a threat, he'd already achieved his goal.

And then the Heroes succeeding in liberating Naboo on their own just means Palpatine doesn't have to worry about doing the first thing he was elected to do.

Even losing Maul wasn't a real loss to him, I suspect he already had his eyes on Dooku.  And was certainly now putting them on Anakin.  But Dooku's role was always going to be needed for phase two, even if not Dooku specifically the Separatist cause needed a respected Jedi.  Maul was already a failed apprentice from Sidous viewpoint I suspect.

However early on Amidala could have made a decision that would have avoided Palpatine getting what he wanted.  Though my pointing out this option may go against what we usually assume Lucas political agenda was, but I believe in Death of the Author.  Either way it's overlooked simply because it's never verbalized.

That option was to not seek the Republic's help to begin with, since she wound up saving her planet with what the Planet already had all along, the key piece being the Gungan Army.

You might ask "How could Maul have been dealt with without the Jedi there?" but Maul wouldn't have been sent if the Jedi weren't there.  Again pretty much the only role Sidious ever planed for him was to announce the Sith's existence to the Jedi, because he wanted them to know.

Now from a narrative standpoint I understand that she needed to meet and develop a friendship with Jar Jar in order to realize she had that option.  (And that is why Jar Jar is in fact very important to the story, of this film as a stand alone, way more then Anakin or the Jedi.)  But my observation still remains, she never needed the Republic.

Basically I'm of the view that a Galactic Government is a bad idea, period.  I'm not sure Lucas would like that viewpoint, but it's one I'm able to interpret his work in support of.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Season 2 of The Flash

Spoiler Warning!!!!

Well I was wrong on the real Jay Garrick being a new actor.  It's fine, JWS fits the costume well.

I'm not fond of them ending with the Flashpoint set up.  I was really hoping the end of Season 1 meant weren't going to go there.

It's normal for me to say this, but the second really was inferior to the first.

I highly doubt they actually wrote the first 10-12 episode planning for that Jay to be Zoom.  And when they went there, it felt way to much to me like repeating the same basic "twist" of season 1, the mentor is the villain.

The show was still a lot of fun, unlike Arrow which has become indistinguishable from the film verse.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I've watched Code Geass: Akito of the Exiled

The decision to tell it as 5 hour long OVAs makes it effectively a 5 act play, which I find awesome.

Akito is the title character, but I feel like Leila is the real lead, in both the POV character sense and who the story's about sense.

I'm always intrigued by the Japanese interest in the French Revolution.  In this case it is the legacy of an alternate history version of the Revolution that lingers over much of the plot.

The story was good and I highly recommend it.

But it is much darker in tone then the Series.  Not as much of the fun scenes.  But doesn't feel like it's egregiously doing that for the pretentiousness of it the way Batman V Superman did.

I watched them Subbed because that's all we have right now.  The Code Geass series I've still only seen dubbed.  The first thing I notice in that regard is how kind of weird it is to see characters expressing racist attitudes towards the Japanese, when they're speaking Japanese.

I also find it amusing that the Eleven designation it used outside Britannia, by people at war with Britannia.  It doesn't seem logical to me.

Spoilers Ahead!!!!!!

I'm really unsure whether or not the story might have been better if they didn't shoehorn Suzaku and Lelouch into it.

They only contribute anything substantial to episode 3, and even there could have been done differently.  They never interact with the protagonists, just the villains, they are basically there for the Worf Effect, and to reference things potential new viewers wouldn't get.

Still the potential is there for their scenes to be really good for their fans.  From what I can gather in Japan they have the same voice actors they always did.  But for me I won't really be able to connect them to the characters I know and decide if they're in-character or not till I hear Johnny Yong Bosch and Lowenthal perform these scenes.

Thing is, C.C.'s scene is the ideal way to do a Cameo from the original main cast in a spin off, for something of this genre with this kind of lore.  But her Cameo may have felt more meaningfull if they hadn't already dangled the other two stars in front of us.

Then Rollo shows up at the very end to help sell the idea that this bridges the gap between R1 and R2.  I never perceived there to be a gap, but whatever.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Haruka's Sword grew larger because of Usagi

Someone un-followed me on Twitter this week because they found my Sailor Moon Tumblr reblogs to be"Childish", I suppose this title won't help that.

Sailor Moon finally evolved into Super Sailor Moon.

Then we got our first taste of Mistress 9.

Then we got the whole Sailor Saturn backstory and exposition.  And I have a reference I'm holding off on.

And then we got full on Mistress 9.

This Episode was awesome.

So for two weeks now these Crystal reactions have been all I've done on this blog.  I'm gonna try to make up for that soon, this may not be the only post I make today.

And you can expect before the week is over my thoughts on Season 2 of the Flash, which I don't expect to be too articulate.

Monday, May 16, 2016

So that's why she has half of Usagi's hairstyle.

Also I think it's safe to say this Witch gets two episodes because she can split in two.

The Subs mishandled what Mirichu says about Haruka's gender.  The intent was not actually to make her sound Non-Binary.

This Witch can also repeat one of the Plagues of Exodus.

It occurred to me during the episode, I think the reason the Outers never become as close friends with Usagi is because they are so overly formal.  They see her as Princess Serenity first, while the Inners see her as Tsukino Usagi-Chan first.

I think DeviantArt will have fun with this episode, we got some some brief bondage and mind control.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sailor Jupiter Vs Poison Ivy

So the Witch for this week I think was meant to be Makoto's counterpart.  I'm starting to question the logic of having the generals mirror in the Inner Shenshi when that is rarely relevant to how the battle goes down.  The theme this story-line seems to be the Outer Senshi sweeping in to save them like the Eagles of Manwe.

Makoto's current crush called her Sempai, so she is capable of being attracted to younger dudes.

Usagi is starting to crush on her future daughter's girlfriend, that's kinda funny.

Haruka was wearing a Miniskirt, about the last thing I expected.

Sailor Pluto makes her presence known right at the end.

So only one of the Witches 5 is left.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The-Fanboy-Perspective is making excuses for BvS

I wanted the film to be good and a hit as much as he did, but I've accepted that it wasn't what I or most fans wanted.

In one article he claims that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman aren't the kinds of Superheros who make funny quips.  Actually Superman as Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster wrote him absolutely did, Spider-Man's wise cracking was directly based on classic Superman.  When they had to force themselves to say something positive about Superman The Movie, all they could think of was that he said funny things.  So yes, the Superman I am a fan of makes funny quips as he also did during the Crisis to Crisis era.  Frankly the only prior precedent I can think of for a Superman who doesn't say funny one liners is Superman ret..... no I'm not gonna acknowledge it.  Of course I have no idea how crappy New 52 Superman has been talking.

And now there is this article where he is trying to lower the expectation for the teaming up of the greatest Icons of the Superhero genre.

The problem with trying to compare the correlation between name recognition and Movie ticket sales of Batman and Superman to say Ghandi, Jesus or Dracula, is that they are public domain, anyone can and does make fiction about them anytime they feel like it.  But only DC and WB can legally make Superman and Batman happen on the big screen, and people know that.  So when they appear it means something, it has a sense of authenticity to it that random Dracula movie of the week does not.

And I think epic blockbuster versions for Dracula or Frankenstein have become so rare because of that largely.  If the Source Material can be legally read online for free, making a movie out of it isn't as big a deal.

And the Pulp Heroes may be older but they've sadly fallen into relative obscurity, Zorro is the most still well known of the 3 mentioned, and he too should be Public Domain now, but people are trying to fight that.

Batman Begins was in a scenario where his last movie wasn't well received.  Batman was in the opposite position for BvS.  Begins wound up making more then expected, BvS made less.

And the kinds of people who'd complain about a Wonder Woman movie being too Feminist are exactly who should be offended by a Wonder Woman movie.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Flash update

I've been saying there is a real Jay Garrick but he won't be played by the same actor.  And I thik the thing about Henry's mother's maiden name confirms that.

I think it's safe to say Wally and Jessie just became Speedsters.

I fond the ending really compelling, then the preview shows Barry will be there next week.  I was hoping the show actually was going to spend awhile acting like Barry was really killed off.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mirichu-San goes all Jimmy Hendrix on her Violin

I hope all the remains episode are so easy for me to nickname.

Also Rei says half o the Legend of Zelda line.

I was reminded this episode how the Deathbusters arc is kind of the most Lovecrafting Sailor Moon Storyline.

People sometimes forget how much Sci-Fi is in Lovecraft's supernatural horror.  The idea of miniature sentient Universes is totally something he cold have thought of.  And the Daimons definitely have the right look.

Pharaoh 90 is either Azathoth or Yug-Sothoth, I can't decide which.

Ami suddenly goes all Ninja during Kaolinite's usually forgettable Mirror of Galadriel scene.  That really took me by surprise.

And Pluto is back at the end, yay.

But no Hotaru this week?????

The new closing theme was fun.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

I shall share some thoughts on Twilight Hatedom and an Anime called School Days

[Update July 2016: I feel really stupid, but i"m now aware that Vrai doesn't identify as male (or female).  It was not my intend to Misgender someone, I'm very very sorry.  I shall try to find any edit every part where I used male pronouns and change them.]

VraiKaiser is an online Queer media blogger who I'm a big fan of, I loved their anyalasises of Utena, Woman Called Fujiko Mine and currently Gankutsuo, and their occasional posts on Evangelion and Madoka.  They are very intelligent and insightful though I don't quite always agree.

But no one is perfect, and I feel their biggest blunder is this post on Twilight and an Anime called School Days.  First of all I do not share their general hostility to Love Triangles, and the subversive ending I'd like a Love Triangle story to have is allowing Non-Monogamy to be a real option.  But that's a minor quibble.

I shall copy here two comments I'd left on that awhile ago, but I have for here corrected the typos I made before and did some other polishing.  But remember this copied nature is why they are sometimes worded as if I'm talking directly to Vrai.

For the School Days part especially there shall be Spoilers, Vrai tried to avoid specific spoilers.  For the Twilight part especially what I say should be read by all Twilight Critics, really there is nothing there specific to what Vrai said.

Remember none of this is meant to insult Vrai who I respect a great deal.  It's a constructive criticism.

The Twilight section.

I really have no sympathy for Twilight haters, including when the hate is given on Feminist grounds.

I’m not a Twilight fan, it’s not the kind of story that interests me. But I get annoyed with all Internet hatedoms.  I did enjoy the movies for New Moon and Eclipse.  I really loved The Host movie, that was a great piece of Sci-Fi.

The Feminsit criticisms of Twilight are often valid but also sometimes unfair. It’s a massive over simplification of the books to say we’re supposed to think of Edward as flawless and perfect.  And I really take offensive to the whole “Bella gave up her friends and family for her boyfreind” claim, her family was broken and her friends were fake, the biggest casting mistake of the movies was that Anna Kendrick was too likable for her character.  She gained a family by marrying Edward, it not being her blood family doesn't make it any less valid.  This pro family message is what most reflects the author's Mormonism.

But the thing is the Hatedom is mostly driven by sexism and homophobia. By memes online that show a picture of Nosferatu next to Edward saying “Vamprie, Fa***ot, know the difference” unaware that the original literary Vampire was based on Lord Byron. And by a general attitude that the trash directed at teen girls shows what’s wrong with teenage girls while the trash directed at teen boys is the main stream pop culture of our society.

But since Misogynists insist on denying they’re Misgynists, every time I try to call them out on how sexist their attitudes are, they just point to the Feminist criticisms on TheMarySue to justify themselves. And really you’ll be surprised how often misogynists and feminists can be offended by the exact same things where Twilight is concerned. Your typical “Nice Guy” also loves pointing out what an abuser Edward is, they would like to identify with Jacob, but Jacob had flaws too so that angers them even more. And then there is the calling Bella a Mary Sue, the sexism of which has been explained to death in the wake of The Force Awakens and Rey.

And then there are the Vampire purists who don’t really care about any gender messages, they’re just upset that the Vampire sub-genre has evolved past Bram Stoker. But since the majority of those Classic Gothic Novels are by no means Feminist (even the ones written by women, just like Meyer) it’s equally hypocritical for them to use any Feminist arguments to justify themselves.

I’ve seen one try to give Bram Stoker Feminist cred simply because Mina had a Job. yeah for the 1890s that’s interesting but at the end of the day Stoker’s treatment of women in the story still revolved entirely around the Madonna-Whore complex.

Every Feminist criticism of Twilight also applies doubly to True Blood. But True Blood is marketed to adult men not teen girls. Meanwhile True Blood tries to send a strong Gay Rights message, both allegorically and literally, but undermines that every step of the way with it’s stereotyping and gratuitous violence. I liked Season 2 of True Blood and that’s it.

Plenty of Twilight fans are aware of it’s flaws, they are not delusional. Teen girls can separate fantasy from reality just as well as the people who like Transformers can.

The School Days section.

I have watched all 12 episodes of School Days now, and I find your interpretation troubling.

I find neither Makoto or Sekai nearly so unlikable, nor do I find pre episode 9 Kotonoha nearly so innocent. I find them all sympathetic and what happens to them tragic, if anyone is to blame for it all it’s their parents being completely absent.

But Kotonoha. I see as like the possible pre Acid Bath Joker we’re shown in The Killing Joke. Lots of people hate on it for supposedly showing a perfectly normal and sane Joker before his accident, but if you pay attention the signs of there being a psychopath beneath the surface were there long before any of the tragedy he faced.

When Kotonoha suspects Makoto is about to break up with her she Cockteases him into agreeing to meet at the festival. And she pretty much blackmails Setsuna. (I’m amused how many names here I recognize from other Animes but now being used by the opposite Gender.)

Yes, Makoto is a teenager who makes a lot of stupid relationship decisions because he has never been in one before. The fact that it’s so popular for older viewers to want to see fictional teenagers suffer horrible bloody fates for their typical teenage mistakes I find much more problematic and unhealthy then anything in Twilight.

Sekai I was reading as manipulative in the first episode and a half just because you put that idea in my head. The more the story progressed the more ridiculous that interpretation of her became. We see her by herself very often, we see she is genuinely conflicted. And once she learns she’s pregnant she starts becoming more irrational, which is understandable. But I can tell your interpretation comes from what is “revealed” in the final episode, not actual plot progression. I’ll get to that later.

What I find most bothersome is your saying of Makoto “lucks his way under many, many skirts” to describe him being sexually assaulted. First Setsuna who for the first 7 and a half episodes seemed to be motivated by a Yuri Crush on Sekai is given a flashback to reveal she has a crush on him, and them kisses him while he’s unconscious.

Then in Episode 9 there is what happens to him in the “rest room” (if any term should have been translated less literally by the subtitles it’s that one). I realize some might outright mock the suggestion that that was non consensual. But if the genders were flipped no fellow Feminists or SJWs would see it as consensual. That the Rape Kotonoha experiences the same episode is depicted as far more dramatic and disturbing just reflects the double standards in how society views rape.

In the following episode Makoto received another unsolicited kiss, now while awake, from Setsuna. After that he starts becoming much more sexually assertive with the women outside the main triangle, but that’s not an uncommon psychological response to being raped.

His behavior only became really dickish after he learns he got Sekai pregnant. But that’s a shocking revelation and not one any teenager is prepared to handle, people should tell him he’s being a dick because that’s how you learn. But I would have far less sympathy for someone reacting that way if he was a decade older. There were moments where he did seem to be starting to come to his senses, but Psycho-Kotonoha kept taking advantage of his confusion.

Part of which was her accusation against Sekai in the final episode, starting with the accusation that she manipulated Setsuna. I don’t take that at face value, nor do I believe the psychotic delusion Sekai later had seemingly confirming it. Both Women are mentally unstable at this point. But it’s Sekai’s I see as being temporary insanity, while Kotonoha makes more sense to me as being a mere unleashing of what was always there.

Then there is Kotonoha’s accusation that Sekai faked the pregnancy. We saw when Sekai came to the conclusion she was pregnant, alone by herself, not possibly acting for anyone. Now it could be she had a false alarm, which still makes Kotonoah’s accusation wrong. But the conclusion that there was “nobody in there” is based on the word of a psychotic teenager with no medical training who wants to see proof of what she’s already convinced herself. We have no way of knowing if she even cut open the right internal organ. Rather we are looking at Kotonoha seemingly from the POV of the dying fetus.

Perhaps this is the advantage of my being sober and alone as I watched it. I’ve read Paul Feval’s John Devil which has a comparably fake twist in it’s ending.

Vrai also describes the ending as if one person snapped and killed everyone else, but in fact the two people who died were not killed by the same person.

I rather liked it, it has flaws, but I’d consider it a good dramatic Tragedy.

I hope my thoughts were insightful.

I won't be seeing Civil War

There were things I loved about Batman V Superman and things that bothered me.  But the problems I had are all because it's a Vs film.  So that's why it really bothers me that BvS's disappointment is seemingly only further guaranteeing Civil War will be a success.

Batman V Superman is at least based on Comics that were well regarded despite my personal issues with some, from DKR to the Death and Return story-line to hints of Infinite Crisis and Injustice.  Civil War is based on a comics story-line everyone hated originally and that I never saw defended before this movie was announced.

BvS was a direct sequel to a movie that while flawed I really liked, Man of Steel.  Civil War is most directly a sequel to Age of Ultron, which while I enjoyed it, I ultimately consider a disappointment, and I would also consider AoU inferior to BvS.

I keep hearing that Marvel has Earned it's VS movie by having the relationships between these characters established.  No, that is crap, to me this idea of having them fight is only justifiable even remotely if they have indeed just met and still don't understand each other.  Hence the fighting we saw in the first Avengers movie.

That's why the Civil War premise was offensive to me in the comics and it's offensive to me for the Movies.  It's because I care about the movie versions of these characters that I hate seeing their characters assassinated like this.  Each trailer pisses me off even more.

I'll watch the movie eventually on DVD, but I will not support it in theaters and all other Comic Book fans who want to discourage stupid vs films should do the same.  Please don't reward the failure of one Vs movie by propping up another.