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Insomnia drove me to watch a ton of SU. Last episode was the one where Ruby becomes a cowgirl.

I strongly suspected that Rose Quartz was Pink Diamond for a while now. I wonder how the other Diamonds are going to react when they find out their sister had( and became) a kid? Someone tells me they aren't going to get it and Steven needs to do something crazy to show them he's different. And since this is the last season I'm betting they do some anime **** like a last minute villain like THE CHAOS or someone pulls out a mecha.

5 hours ago, majestic said:

Don't you mean rose?

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2 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

If that's really all there is to it, it's kind of a wonder that some of these shows last for more than a season or two at all: ain't no merchandising to be found basically at all for their more serious shows.

Some things are probably contractual.  I've read some of the DC stuff Cartoon Network shows is forced on them from the upper WB group.

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25 minutes ago, ArtistFormerlyKnownasKP said:

Insomnia drove me to watch a ton of SU. Last episode was the one where Ruby becomes a cowgirl.

 

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I strongly suspected that Rose Quartz was Pink Diamond for a while now. I wonder how the other Diamonds are going to react when they find out their sister had( and became) a kid? Someone tells me they aren't going to get it and Steven needs to do something crazy to show them he's different. And since this is the last season I'm betting they do some anime **** like a last minute villain like THE CHAOS or someone pulls out a mecha.

 

00c03ebd0f299fc148451a2e7978b0215d06198f

Minor spoilers, sort of, so only click if you really want:

Spoiler

Ever wondered why the Diamond's ships are hands? Since you think there'll be a mech, well... four Diamonds, two hands... two missing ships, you do the math. Does that add up to MECH? :p

 

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55 minutes ago, majestic said:

 

Minor spoilers, sort of, so only click if you really want:

  Reveal hidden contents

Ever wondered why the Diamond's ships are hands? Since you think there'll be a mech, well... four Diamonds, two hands... two missing ships, you do the math. Does that add up to MECH? :p

 

With how the diamond emblem was stacked and the arms correlating to the sides of Yellow and Blue I was expecting a mecha. I think there was a white head in the background of the gem homeworld,  so I guess White Diamond is going to be the head of the mecha. I guess that means Pink Diamond was the (lower) body, wonder if her ship gets recovered.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

"Get some poor minorities, that keeps WASPs away easy." - Malcador

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On 4/28/2021 at 8:20 AM, Bartimaeus said:

Yeah, I think that's definitely true. The same way I hear a lot of 90s and especially post-2000s Japanese voice-acting and can't last for more than ten seconds, and then I actually hear Japanese people talking (or stuff from pre-1990s) and they sound perfectly normal to me.

Sometimes anime directors hire amateur voice actors for their characters, so there are definitely some (not only pre-90ies) animes where people sound very different because they are, or rather, were hired to sound more natural. Miyazaki still does that, for instance in The Wind Rises, Jiro Horikoshi is voiced by Hideaki Anno.

Whom you might recognize as director of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Definitely not professional Japanese voice talent.

But the difference between anime voice acting and real life conversational Japanese goes way beyond what most (non-native) people could possibly imagine. Unlike, say, if you learned German from watching TV, you'd probably sound like a total dork if you picked up Japanese from watching anime, while "TV-German*" is essentially what you're taught when you attend a German as a foreign language course, even in Germany or any other German speaking country.

*Well, there are differences between Standard German and the so called Theatre German, but they have the same origins - it's an artifical common denominator codified to be able to have one mutually intelligible spoken German language (in addition to a codified standard written version), which was understandably important for travelling acting troupes. It's also the reason why actors sound so different from people who are just being interviewed. There are of course similar examples for English, say, Scots or Glaswegian. Scots vaguely looks and sounds like (modern) English, but that's only because the languages have a shared ancestor. Take that hundredfold and there you go, different German dialects. :)
 

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica: How to ingeniously craft introduction scenes and making you care in record time.

This one's been stuck in my head for a while, ever since I watched the first of the three Puella Magi Madoka Magica films after having seen the anime proper. It is really interesting to see how the first two episodes are set up and how incredibly different the scenes that play out are on a second watch. It's crafted so well that I'd argue for rewatching the first two or three episodes after having seen it all is very much worth the time investment.

What makes this special isn't just the way it is made, but how little time the creators needed to spend on the characters to make the viewer care about them. Everything else that follows is spoilered because - surprise! - it contains spoilers. So take care if you want to watch it with an open mind. Time for a shameless attempt at getting a like from Shady: There will be no further audio written warning.

Spoiler

   

 

Part 1, the first 30 minutes: Meeting four of the five main characters and Kyubey

 Madoka Kaname

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The film version leaves out Madoka's opening dream. This works in the film's favor by delaying when we see Homura and Kyubey the first time.

It opens with Madoka talking to her father after waking up. He tells her that her brother is trying to wake their mother up, and she's off to help him. Her father is, at the time, tending the garden (and gathering tomatoes that will be had for breakfast soon). Madoka and her mother share a scene where they're brushing their teeth and talk about school, what her friends are doing, and which ribbon Madoka should wear, in other words, by far and large traditional girl stuff.

We also get a first hint at Madoka's self-esteem, or lack thereof. She tells her mother she doesn't think she has secret admirers like her friend Hitomi does. Her mother tells her she should behave like she has regardless, that's the secret trick of every pretty girl, i.e. she tells her to be more confident. They then have breakfast, with her father watching them eat from behind the kitchen counter.

All this sets up Madoka, her family, her self-image and her relationship with her family. In all but two and a half minutes. Madoka's pink color scheme also immediately evokes other qualities that she will express. Everything about Madoka is extremely kawaii (which, in case you don't know, is Japanese for cute, pretty, adorable and has become an aesthetic concept more than just a term for cute). This is par for the course when it comes to Maho Shojo anime. 

Now the opening credits play, and we see Madoka being really friendly (and unlike with Sailor Moon, these scenes really do have subtext) with a girl we haven't met yet. We'll soon find out that this will be Homura, and that the opening credits are nothing at all like the relationship the seem to be having after she's introduced.

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Not sure if that text here is "sub" though. Does it get any more obvious?

After the opening credits, Madoka meets with Hitomi and Sayaka. Of the two, Sayaka is clearly her best friend, and while she talked about Hitomi first with her mother, she's not going to be a main character. Hitomi will act as a catalyst for one of the plot twists later (way later, and not part of this post).

Sayaka Miki

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Madoka meets Sayaka and Hitomi. They talk about Hitomi's love letter, Madoka mentions that her mother thinks boys that can't tell you about their feelings in person aren't worth a damn, to which Hitomi replies that she'd love to be able to make up her mind this quickly. Sayaka expresses admiration for Madoka's mother (who is, so far, implied to be a successful businesswoman) and wishes she'd have Hitomi's problem for once.

She then talks about Madoka's new hair ribbons and she tells them her mother picked them out. Sayaka teases Madoka, telling her that she will not let her get popular with the boys, and jokingly tells Madoka that she's hers. Notably, while Hitomi looks a bit uncomfortable watching the scene play out, Madoka doesn't object to it at all. I think the movie verison cut out dialogue where Hitomi rejects the idea as improper. She just looks uncomfortable with it.

At this point, not factoring out the film opening or the opening credit sequence, we're at six minutes runtime. Sayaka is shown to be a bit of a tomboyish character who, while joking, also is somewhat jealous of Hitomi's popularity with the boys in their class. It also establishes Hitomi as the prettiest of the three friends (which is obviously subjective, but in-universe it is what it is). While Sayaka and Madoka play, Hitomi coughs slightly to make them aware that school's going to start soon.

Homura Akemi

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The teacher introduces her as the new transfer student. As we will later find out she's been transferred after a longer bout of heavy illness and recovery. She walks up to the teacher to introduce herself. Everything about this scene is meant to demonstrate just how much confidence this girl exudes. Slight gasps signify that not only we as the audience but her new colleagues are also suitably impressed.

Sayaka and Madoka in particular are also impressed. Homura looks at Madoka and she blushes. In the next scene, the three friends are watching her, and talk about her. Hitomi thinks she's mysterious, and Sayaka asks Madoka if she knows Homura from somewhere. She does, in a way, from the dream we didn't see in the film version. Homura tells her admirers that she doesn't feel very well, then walks up directly to Madoka to ask her to show her to the nurse's office. Madoka is the nurse's aid for her class. Something nobody on screen has ever told Homura.

Homura explains that her teacher mentioned that, which is pretty much a lie or happened off screen. She also knows the way to the nurse's office, which she really shouldn't know on her first day. Homura's manner of speaking is serious, deliberate and somewhat slower than normal for a girl her age, which gives her dialogue more severity (she's not shown to be slow, if anything, she's a model student being proficient at writing kanji, as shown earlier).

Madoka is super flustered around Homura, which brings us back to her lack of confidence. She's clearly enamored with Homura and not really sure why she's talking to her at all. Madoka tries to make smalltalk and puts her proverbial foot in her mouth. Homura stops dead in her tracks, looks at Madoka and asks if she loves and treasures her life and family, which she clearly does - and tells her so.

Homura gives Madoka an incredibly ominous warning: Don't try to change the life you have, or the kind of person you are. If you do, you'll lose everything you love.

We're now ten minutes into the film, in what would be the middle of the first episode.

Sayaka, Hitomi and Madoka are in a cafeteria at the mall. They talk about Homura and the weird warning she gave Madoka. Sayaka thinks it's an act, and that she's trying to be a weird transfer student stereotype and is way too moe. In a bit of meta fun, when Madoka tells Sayaka that she thinks she knows Homura from a dream, she says: "Great, now you're acting like a weird anime character too!"

Madoka is put out by her friend being mean to her, but Sayaka drives it a lot further, by saying that Homura and Madoka probably knew each other in a different time and life, and that fate has brought them together again. You know, like in another magical girl anime that you might or might not know. Where all the main characters are reincarnations from, uhm, a different age and kingdom. Yes, yes. :)

Spoiler

Much lik Ronaldo in Steven Universe saying that the rock people are there to hollow out the Earth, Sayaka is so much closer to the truth here than she could possibly know. First time watchers also don't.

Hitomi acts as the voice of reason, telling them that she probably just saw Homura somwhere before. She notices that it's late and she needs to go to her tea ceremony class and leaves, Sayaka casually remarks that it's sometimes probably not so bad to not come from a rich family.

Sayaka and Madoka prepare to leave too, Sayaka asks Madoka to accompany her to the music store. Madoka asks if she wants to buy something for Kyosuke again. Sayaka blushes and tells her yes, something like that. 12 minutes into the anime we already know Sayaka is in love with a boy and worried that one of her friends might surpass her in popularity, and that she wishes that Kyosuke would reciprocate her feelings (wishing for Hitomi's "problem" of getting love letters).

While sampling music (specifically, I think Madoka is listening to the TV version's theme song, but I'm not 100% sure of that), Madoka hears someone calling to her, by name. Following the voice in her head, Madoka (followed by Sayaka) finds a closed section of the mall. It's either closed for renovation or still under construction.

A visibly hurt Kyubey falls through a shaft in the ceiling.

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What a great way to set him up. He's cute, fuzzy and severely hurt. His breathing is laboured, and Madoka picks him up. Homura shows up and tells her to get away from the creature. Madoka explains that he called to her for help. Homura glares at Madoka and Kyubey, but Sayaka, who followed Madoka, uses a nearby fire extinguisher to make Homura back off. They leave with Kyubey in hand. This scene further cements the idea that something's wrong with Homura, and we're left wondering about the opening credits and the tender moments Homura and Madoka shared.

Suddenly a surreal hellscape replaces the construction site we just were in. Weird cotton balls with moustaches are closing in on Madoka and Sayaka. They're chanting something in German, and the hellscape looks to be inspired by 1920's German expressionism (for the record, I have no idea what they're saying, most of it isn't intelligible). This is when we meet the fourth girl of the main cast:

Mami Tomoe

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Mami is bubbly, really cute and happy that they saved Kyubey for her. She was worried about him. She also looks a bit older than Madoka and Sayaka, in fact, she's sixteen and therefore two years older than the others. She saves them from the ever so creepy cotton ball things that in the meantime have begun to carry scrissors and barbed wire and sport strange black eyes. She's wearing the same school uniform as Madoka and Sayaka, but they don't know each other. Madoka explains that Kyubey called to her.

Mami says she has to take care of something first. Then we see her transformation sequence and an attack. To properly appreciate this, we need a YouTube video of the scene. This is from the movie version. The TV version is shorter and doesn't, for instance, feature her corsett being attached to her magical girl uniform.

Underscored by her theme song Credens Justitiam ("Believe in Justice") she defeats the weird creatures by what has to be the absolutely coolest magical girl anime attack ever: Summoning a thousand flintlock rifles that fire in unison.

Here's the music track on its own:

This video has the TV verson transformation and attack sequence starting at 2:10. It also serves to show how much more detailed the film version of the anime really is and that they really put in a lot of work in recreating everything instead of just recutting the show and calling it a film. The theme itself is a fusion of classical choral and modern, driving techno beats. It - like the rest of the soundtrack - is simply perfect for the scene it is used in. They lyrics are made up, but meant to sound vaguely like Latin - which they more or less do, depending on how familiar one is with the dead language.

It gives Mami's scene and her character an upbeat drive. Everything about this is deliberately and carefully designed to be impressive to the girls that see it, and for us as the audience.

Homura shows up, but Mami scares her off. She uses the device she held in her hand to transform to heal Kyubey, who then introduces himself to the other two. He appreciates the help, and tells the girls that he wants to make contracts with them, so they can become magical girls too, like Mami.

Well, who in their right mind wouldn't want that after the showing they just had?

Mami invites them to her home, introcudes herself and they drink tea and eat cake. Mami begins to explain about magical girls, and Sayaka is visibly interested. Kyubey explains that making a contract means becoming a magical girl, and in exchange, he will fullfil a wish for them. Any wish. He also explains that magical girls fight witches. Magical girls are born from wishes, he says, but witches are born from curses. Magical girls bring hope, witches despair. Mami fairly tells them that being a magical girl is dangerous, and offers to let them accompany her on a witch hunt.

Spoiler

How many alarms this sets off right here depends on how genre savvy one is, and how much we examine Homura's affection for Madoka as shown by the opening sequence with her ominous warning and her attack on Kyubey. To be honest, when I first watched this, I immediately figured out that something is amiss. There's something utterly wrong about Kyubey, and the anime having passages of Faust sprayed on a wall in the second episode just sealed it. Kyubey isn't just being nice when he offers wishes, and as the old adage goes: Be careful what you wish for, lest it becomes reality.

And, much like the Wish spell in (A)D&D, you best be careful how you formulate your wish. :yes:

We're 22 minutes in and the setup of the world and most characters is complete, Kyoko Sakura will show up much later. We had a good look at what drives the girls, how Madoka is lacking a bit in confidence, how Sayaka wishes she'd be more like Hitomi and secretly is in love with Kyosuke who apparently at least doesn't reciprocate her feelings, or at least isn't aware of them.

Homura is a wildcard that deals out an ominous warning and attacks a cute little creature for seemingly no real reason. She's somber, deliberate and yes, scary. The exact opposite of the happy and bubbly Mami, who immediately after saving Sayaka and Madoka becomes something of an older sister and mentor for the two girls.

In just one episode's length, we learn all we need to continue, we start caring about Sayaka, Madoka and Mami, and think Homura is too ominous and creepy to be an ally to Madoka, let alone a friend, or friendly as the opening sequence looked, a potential girlfriend. Everything about this setup is perfect, down to the subtle hints that something's not as it seems. Pretty damned impressive for just one anime episode's worth of runtime.

Part 2: What really happened at the construction site

So, with that in mind, how can a second viewing after the fact change how we perceive the scene at the mall that just played out? Here's an upfront, fun answer: Completely. Because nothing, absolutely nothing that happened here was what it seems to have been. This part has even more and harder spoilers than the other one, so if you're maybe interested, turn back now.
 

Spoiler

 

First, what we realize after having seen it all, is that Kyubey was never in any danger. He didn't need saving from Homura, nor healing by Mami. In a later scene, he is killed, only to immediately reappear as if nothing happened, and the new Kyubey immediately consumes the corpse of the old one. What Homura did, however, was to cross his plans, the reason why he was at the mall, to either lure Sayaka and Madoka into the Witch's labyrinth and offer them a contract (thereby saving their lives) or to introduce them to Mami. He is really interested in making a contract with Madoka, because she will be the most powerful magical girl yet. Sayaka is just there too, and he'll soon be using her as a convenient way to put Madoka into situations where the only way out might be a miracle. Sayaka is just someone to use and discard. Her potential is limited, and he knows that. However, he also knows that her potentially unrequited love for Kyosuke makes her an easy victim.

Kyubey manages to salvage the situation by appearing hurt and weak, putting Homura into a position where she seems unreasonably cruel an vindictive towards a cute, cat-like create that has done nothing to her that we know of, and creating a standoff between Mami and Homura. Homura at this point is as much of a mystery to him as she is to us. She's a magical girl, but as he says later, he can't remember ever making a contract with him. That she's belligerent towards him, however, shows that whatever happened did not go as planned.

However, it works out seemingly perfectly for him. The girls are clearly enamored with Mami and Madoka is much more likely to disregard Homura's advice at this point. We also know how and why Homura knows where to show up, because she'll be doing that whenever Kyubey creates a situation that would cause Madoka to make a contract with him, and why Kyubey cannot recall making a contract with Homura. It hasn't happened yet, as Homura's wish was to save Madoka, the girl she loves, after she died in a fight against a witch a few weeks in the future. Homura creates and controls her own stable time loop, unable to let go, she perpetuates her own suffering.

Something else we learn is how Mami became a magical girl. Kyubey appeared to her after she was involved in a fatal car crash that killed her parents and left her dying. With no way out, she took the contract. Mami is grateful for him saving her life, but really... all he did was, as usual, prey on the weak and those who see no other way out.

Everything about this, except Homura's appearance, was a deliberate set up by Kyubey to lure some more girls into his trap.

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Finished up Steven Universe. I half expected to hear the musicbox version of Moonlight Densetsu pop up several times.

Spoiler

So we learn that Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond left because the gem home world is horribly abusive...which frankly has been completely expected. So much so that Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond accept this and Steven. White Diamond however does not, and I WAS ****IN RIGHT, THERE IS A MECHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In a callback to season 1, Steven doesn't get to see a giant woman but becomes a giant woman. 

There's then the final conflict, which Steven solves by letting White Diamond know that it's ok to accept your flaws and her accepting she isn't perfect. They predictably go to Earth and fix all the corrupted gems, before Steven sings an original song about changing someone's mind.

@majestic mentioned something about Sailor Moon similarities and in some ways I think this is actually better. There's the obvious similarity of neither wanting to run away from problems or fight but solve things without violence. But Steven wins not only for not becoming Shinji for five episodes before deciding to work things out, but by really changing White Diamond's mind that being who you are, even if it isn't perfect, is actually a good thing while Usagi turned into an Angel and saved Galaxia with love power. I guess you can say that Galaxia had lost the ability to be reasoned with before being purified but I still prefer the SU ending.

And I think I found another reference when looking at the Diamonds' character designs. In the teaser for Yellow Diamond she is doing a particular pose surrounded by yellow and green shades with her face in the shadows and only her eye being really clear.

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I showed this to my fiance and she agrees, this is a riff on the DIO pose.

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I think there may be a lot more stuff I'd pick up on a rewatch, but I went at this hard and will probably take some kind of break before watching the movie and future. At any rate this show has been a huge surprise that managed to be really fun and heartwarming. Thanks to @Bartimaeus and @majestic for the recommendation.

 

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

"Get some poor minorities, that keeps WASPs away easy." - Malcador

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lmao @ that YD/Dio pose

Glad you really liked it, genuinely wasn't sure if you would.

Spoiler

There are an absolute boatload of foreshadowed details throughout the series, whether it's the Diamonds, Pearl's true nature, Garnet being a fusion, Amethyst being defective, Steven being a diamond, et cetera, et cetera. There's a huge tvtropes page detailing a lot of them...but neither of you should yet look at it, given that you still have Future to watch and as short as Future is, there are some interesting things in there that you'd be better off waiting until you're both done with the entire series.

I would agree that the finale of SU works better than SM's, which I think @majestic agreed with. The final moment where they call WD a child and how that resolves may not necessarily have hit the hardest, but I've only seen Change Your Mind just once - when it aired live - and I still get chills just thinking about when WD straight up demon-possessed Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst - if nothing else with this show, the journey leading to the eventual resolution is almost always great. Would've been nice if it could've slowed down a bit and given more room to breathe (while also being able to resolve other subplots like Lapis' and Lars', who both got completely screwed by there simply being zero time left to resolve their character arcs with the time they would have needed), but they did a fairly admirable job of at least trying to deal with the most important stuff. Lars and the Off Colors I don't care as much about, but it seems pretty clear they had more intended on how they'd have finally resolved Lapis' long-running and deep-seated fears, rather than just having her be like "lol I'm back *****es, now eat this barn".

Now go watch The Movie and then SU:F. Hey, maybe you'll finish SU:F before majestic does!

 

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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25 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

lmao @ that YD/Dio pose

As much as the show takes from anime and manga, that had to be intentional. Yellow Diamond wishes she had that mullet though.

Spoiler

There were definitely a lot of hints along the way. One of the worst, which I read about, is how ****ing Uncle Grandpa dropped a diamond hint when he told Steven to polish his gem. While SU didn't have anything like Super S, I have to say that episode absolutely sucked.

I agree about slowing down and breathing, there could have been another season or so of content and it does feel like a rush at the end. In spite of Cartoon Network ****ing things up again, it was still a wonderful show and I hope the movie and Future are also good but different.

I'll probably watch the movie soon, but I think I'm going to wait at least a day. Maybe I will beat majestic, depends on how much other stuff he gets caught up in.

 

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

"Get some poor minorities, that keeps WASPs away easy." - Malcador

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Spoiler

I don't know anything about gem-polishing, so even after seeing the entire series and having the misfortune of re-watching that episode, I didn't pick up on that until you and majestic pointed it out, :p. As I recall, he also polishes his gem at the beginning of Catch and Release, the episode where Peridot is captured back in season 2.

Also, warning about The Movie: it's a bit of a musical. Super hit or miss with different people, was initially a miss for me and some other people I know until a re-watch, but a hit for majestic and others as well. Something to mentally prepare for if you have trouble with a lot of that. I love how SU the show handled singing, since songs were, with very few exceptions, pretty much always handled extremely organically, so it pretty much always worked for me - The Movie...not so much. Took some time to adjust to.

Steven Universe is thankfully not as horrible as either its haters OR supporters make it seem. If you listen to either of those groups for any amount of time about it, I would absolutely forgive anyone for thinking the show is probably a terrible nightmare mess written and made by hack frauds with way, way too much of a painfully obvious pro-social agenda on their minds...but it's by and large not, and like Sailor Moon, is much more about the characters than anything else.

 

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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I fully plan on watching Steven Universe: Future soon, the problem right now is this weird thing called "work" that I have to do more often than usual these days, and that I'm a little burnt out on Steven, which isn't his fault. At least, not mostly his, because the first two episodes of Future were... yeah, not really there after that finale, and the movie.

Spoiler

Speaking of Uncle Grandpa, the only reason why I actually caught that was because the episode went out of its way to tell us that it's not canon. Something like this just makes me pay extra attention, much like Ronaldo's seemingly insane conspiracy ramblings. The moment he thought the Rock people were on Earth to hollow it out I knew he was right about that at least. I can't exactly tell you guys why I thought that, but it "felt" correct, much like I could tell the polish part of Uncle Grandpa was more than goofy non-canon crossover nonsense.

That, and my father has a minor crystal collection and we sometimes visited cavesm mines and museums while on holiday. Heh. That was 30 years ago, time sure flies.

 

7 hours ago, ArtistFormerlyKnownasKP said:

Finished up Steven Universe. I half expected to hear the musicbox version of Moonlight Densetsu pop up several times.

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So we learn that Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond left because the gem home world is horribly abusive...which frankly has been completely expected. So much so that Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond accept this and Steven. White Diamond however does not, and I WAS ****IN RIGHT, THERE IS A MECHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In a callback to season 1, Steven doesn't get to see a giant woman but becomes a giant woman. 

There's then the final conflict, which Steven solves by letting White Diamond know that it's ok to accept your flaws and her accepting she isn't perfect. They predictably go to Earth and fix all the corrupted gems, before Steven sings an original song about changing someone's mind.

@majestic mentioned something about Sailor Moon similarities and in some ways I think this is actually better. There's the obvious similarity of neither wanting to run away from problems or fight but solve things without violence. But Steven wins not only for not becoming Shinji for five episodes before deciding to work things out, but by really changing White Diamond's mind that being who you are, even if it isn't perfect, is actually a good thing while Usagi turned into an Angel and saved Galaxia with love power. I guess you can say that Galaxia had lost the ability to be reasoned with before being purified but I still prefer the SU ending.

And I think I found another reference when looking at the Diamonds' character designs. In the teaser for Yellow Diamond she is doing a particular pose surrounded by yellow and green shades with her face in the shadows and only her eye being really clear.

08157ed137ee50bcab1403f2a32bda93.jpg

I showed this to my fiance and she agrees, this is a riff on the DIO pose.

25-253558_jojo-bizarre-adventure-dio-pos

I think there may be a lot more stuff I'd pick up on a rewatch, but I went at this hard and will probably take some kind of break before watching the movie and future. At any rate this show has been a huge surprise that managed to be really fun and heartwarming. Thanks to @Bartimaeus and @majestic for the recommendation.

 

First things first, not sure what I did to deserve a credit in making you watch this. That was @Bartimaeus mostly. I just thought it was a really great show with some fantastic character building (except maybe for anything with early Lars and the Hipster McHipstergang) that was well worth discussing in detail.

Spoiler

 

Now for the rest, as I've now seen NGE (except for End of Evangelion):

Well, actually, I don't disagree so much with the assessment that Usagi and Shinji behave similarily, but I found myself never really hating Shinji. I immensely disliked him not even trying to console Misato after the death of Ryoji (why is everyone calling Kaji by his last name in the show, did I miss something?), but it never even came close to the dislike you guys have shown for him.

But I'm used to such things by now. While watching NGE I googled around a bit to see if I was the only one who thought that Misato exhibits behaviour that is often coming from sexually abused children when they grow into adults, only to find endless threads about how Misato attempted to abuse Shinji in episode 23 where she offers to console him over the death of Rei, before they know she can just be recreated - good thing Shinji never pays attention to what other people say, because Rei told him as much earlier.

I... wow, I have no idea where that came from. I mean, the offer, by Misato here, is clearly sexual. Shinji just lost an attachment figure and the same happened to Misato, and the scene is the entire reason why I looked if others shared my view. While she's mostly exhibiting behaviour associated with women who had emotionally distant or completely missing fathers, down to falling in love with Ryoji whom she describes as being a younger version of her father, expressing emotional closeness and attempts to console others through sexual offers is very much something that abused children will show later in life, and Shinji certainly isn't anything like Ryoji (and by extension, nothing like Misato's father).

I initially said that I don't like Asuka, but she mellowed down a little and stopped telling Shinji to "man up" and just called him an idiot all the time, and I started to like her. In the end, the two of them were really bad for each other, both craving the attention and praise that comes with successfully piloting EVAs but neither getting said attention and praise from the one other person they would have liked to get it from: Asuka dealing with Ryoji's rejection by trying to appeal to Shinji as a woman, not a child, and Shinji who is incapable of giving her the attention she wants, even if he would notice what's going on.

She clearly likes Shinji and wants both love and emotional support from someone who cannot give it, and later thinks his inability to give her what she wants is rejection. Worse, he sees Shinji come to Rei's aid and not hers. Shinji on the other seemingly emotionally latches onto Rei - but not in the same way Asuka does with Shinji, but by projection towards Rei's familiarity with his father (which for us as viewers makes sense, what with Rei being an attempt to recreate Yui), but that's not really the entire case either. Shinji wants to be accepted by Asuka, which she can't do. And so, everything goes to hell.

And from what I've read, everything goes to hell in a handbasket in End of Evangelion, where Shinji apparently masturbates to an unconscious Asuka in the hospital (oh dear god) and later tries to kill her, and Asuka accuses him of being his masturbatory fantasy. Well, nice to know that before watching the film. I like subversions as much as the next guy, but NGE was a deconstruction of anime tropes enough, there's no need to grant Asuka her wish in the worst possible way.

 

I'm not sure if the film is going to make me dislike Shinji, but at this point the comparison to Usagi falls completely apart anyway, so... back to the actual topic (I'll combine the rest of the talk about SU with the text below Bartimaeus' post).

6 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

lmao @ that YD/Dio pose

Glad you really liked it, genuinely wasn't sure if you would.

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There are an absolute boatload of foreshadowed details throughout the series, whether it's the Diamonds, Pearl's true nature, Garnet being a fusion, Amethyst being defective, Steven being a diamond, et cetera, et cetera. There's a huge tvtropes page detailing a lot of them...but neither of you should yet look at it, given that you still have Future to watch and as short as Future is, there are some interesting things in there that you'd be better off waiting until you're both done with the entire series.

I would agree that the finale of SU works better than SM's, which I think @majestic agreed with. The final moment where they call WD a child and how that resolves may not necessarily have hit the hardest, but I've only seen Change Your Mind just once - when it aired live - and I still get chills just thinking about when WD straight up demon-possessed Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst - if nothing else with this show, the journey leading to the eventual resolution is almost always great. Would've been nice if it could've slowed down a bit and given more room to breathe (while also being able to resolve other subplots like Lapis' and Lars', who both got completely screwed by there simply being zero time left to resolve their character arcs with the time they would have needed), but they did a fairly admirable job of at least trying to deal with the most important stuff. Lars and the Off Colors I don't care as much about, but it seems pretty clear they had more intended on how they'd have finally resolved Lapis' long-running and deep-seated fears, rather than just having her be like "lol I'm back *****es, now eat this barn".

Now go watch The Movie and then SU:F. Hey, maybe you'll finish SU:F before majestic does!

 

 

Spoiler

 

That I also agree with. Steven Universe's finale might have been rushed, but it being planned ahead meant it worked better than the one in Sailor Moon, simply because when it comes to episodes, too brisk a pace is mostly better than one too slow, and Sailor Moon all but comes to a screeching halt in some of the earlier episodes. They also feature manga holdovers like Usagi dreaming that everything is all right, which comes from her spending most of the arc repressing the horrible things that happen to her and her friends left and right.

So in essence, the SU finale working better isn't a surprise, is it? It might be a surprise that it got made, after the series was cancelled and un-cancelled and what not by Cartoon Network, but it being better was a given. Steven Universe also moves part of the fight between Galaxia and Usagi - everything that happens in "Bismuth" to a much earlier episode for some better set up.

Ultimately, the finales are really similar though. I'm not surprised that @ArtistFormerlyKnownasKP expected the Heart Locket version of Moonlight Densetsu to play, although the slower, instrumental version of the Sailor Stars song would be more appropriate to expect (interesting to note that they made two of those, one extremely sad one, and one more upbeat with a piano), I guess - that was what was used extensively in Sailor Moon Sailor Stars.

Both Usagi and Steven are bereft of all their support. White Diamond dominates everyone else while Galaxia poofs and bubbles everyone except the Starlights who are all but spent and can't fight any more anyway (in a much more violent way, owing to the different age demographics here). Both are shown to be capable of dealing with their enemy by force - Steven by having immense gem powers that kind of come from nowhere at this point after being separated from his human body and Usagi by getting a weapon out of nowhere. Sort of. I'd say Chibi-Chibi has more of a setup than Stevens immense powers, aside from him being shown to possess super human strength in times of need before. But hey, being pressed for time does that.

Neither of them destroy their enemies. Steven makes White Diamond realize that her fear of imperfection is an imperfection in itself, and Usagi... yes, Usagi does purify Galaxia by the power of love, but the change and the want to do that comes from inside Galaxia, much like with White Diamond. It is Usagi reaching out to her, and Galaxia actively taking her hand in the dreamspace sequences. While superficially CHAOS in the Sailor Moon anime (unlike in the manga, where it is totally played straight) is an evil energy being that corrupted Galxia, it is also readable as the inevitable result of trying to solve violence with more violence - the conclusion of Nietzsche's famous quote from Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Beyond Good and Evil): Whoever fights with monsters should see to it that he does not become a monster in the process. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

It's not Usagi that defeats CHAOS as much as Galaxia realizing that she was wrong, and that force is not a solution to the cycle of violence, and with some encouragement from Usagi goes to attempt to right the wrongs she made by restoring everyone with the Star Seeds (with the implication that all her henchmen survived and will live on as their true Sailor Guardian selves). White Diamond realizes that she was wrong, and what she has wrought on everyone was unjust, and goes to Earth to help restore the corrupted gems.

Insofar the finales aren't just similar, they're functionally the same. The trappings are different, and the one in Steven Universe is necessarily more concise than the one in Sailor Moon due to being subjected to even more time constraints than the ever troubled production of Sailor Moon was.

I do agree that Steven Universe's finale was better, but I cordially disagree with the idea that Galaxia's change of heart is foisted upon her. It's her that takes the first step. Usagi - like Steven for White Diamond - shows her a different way. Unlike in Steven Universe though, that reading of the Sailor Moon finale isn't completely inambiguous. If one is inclined to take CHAOS at its face value, then the White Diamond resolution wins out by coming completely from the inside indeed.

I do not think it was meant to be read that way, especially not with the pains the writers went through to show that not asking for help is a bad idea. It fails Haruka and Michiru in an immensely painful way (can you imagine killing your friend and surrogate daughter only for it to prove ultimately the most pointless sacrifice posssible just because you didn't want to listen to Usagi?), it arguably fails Usagi when dealing with the absence of Mamoru, and it certainly failed Galaxia when she thought she'd need to deal with CHAOS on her own.

 

 

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I think the problem was Usagi was being...kind of un-Usagi-like throughout the last handful of episodes? In addition to being just kind of sad and pathetic for a lot of it, why did she keep insisting on phrasing everything as if everything that was happening was her own personal loss, or that her friends literally dying was something being done to her? I thought that was bizarre while I was watching it. That was behavior I'd have expected from a much earlier version of Usagi, or maybe a SuperS version of Usagi, not end of the show, end of Sailor Stars Usagi - Sailor Stars Usagi should be out there kicking butts (metaphorically) while keeping everyone and everything together like she'd been trying to the entire season. So I think I kind of get what KaineParker means, though I don't think the comparison to specifically Shinji holds up, but that's fine - she was being something all of her own making that was kind of unpleasant and undermined the message of what she was trying to accomplish at the end there.

1 hour ago, majestic said:

I cordially disagree with the idea that Galaxia's change of heart is foisted upon her. It's her that takes the first step.

I didn't have any clue what was happening during that entire sequence re: Galaxia, she was acting kind of bizarrely herself without clearly expressing what was going on inside and I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to be getting out of her dialogue and actions. The way I initially read her finally taking Usagi's hand was that she was somehow being forced against her will. You're almost certainly right in that that was simply not the case, but boy, I was having trouble following how I was supposed to be reading her.

Also, who said you can use my reaction videos?! Guess that's what I get for making them public...:p But anyways, the fact that you loved SU probably further helped convince KP to watch it, so at least indirectly, you had a hand in it - particularly seeing as he'd only heard terrible, horrible, no good things about it outside of my singular self bringing it up on here.

Spoiler

I completely forget what Misato's backstory is. There's something...towards the end of the show I want to say...she's like a completely broken amnesiac or something? I can't remember. I'll need to eventually re-watch this series someday - hopefully knowing how things work out will help make stuff make more sense throughout the whole thing, :p.

You have a much fairer read of the whole Shinji/Asuka dynamics than I do. As a real person, he would have my utmost empathy and sympathies; as a character, I still want to kill him because I had to listen to him whine and cry and introspect and be generally pathetic for about 8 hours straight. This is one of those cases where character view vs. real person view produces wildly differing results. ...Also, I did watch literally all of the series all at once - maybe that impacts things, too. ...And I have a noted automatic prejudice against male protagonists. Steven, in a rare victory for men, won me over in time, but Shinji did the complete opposite.

Also, SU:F does get more interesting. Although there's a couple of episodes...well, you'll just have to get through them, :p. Maybe I'm wrong, but it actually seemed like KP was much less bothered by some of the lesser quality episodes than we were!

 

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7 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

I think the problem was Usagi was being...kind of un-Usagi-like throughout the last handful of episodes? In addition to being just kind of sad and pathetic for a lot of it, why did she keep insisting on phrasing everything as if everything that was happening was her own personal loss, or that her friends literally dying was something being done to her? I thought that was bizarre while I was watching it. That was behavior I'd have expected from a much earlier version of Usagi, or maybe a SuperS version of Usagi, not end of the show, end of Sailor Stars Usagi - Sailor Stars Usagi should be out there kicking butts (metaphorically) while keeping everyone and everything together like she'd been trying to the entire season. So I think I kind of get what KaineParker means, though I don't think the comparison to specifically Shinji holds up, but that's fine - she was being something all of her own making that was kind of unpleasant and undermined the message of what she was trying to accomplish at the end there.

That's fair, and actually sadly quite true. Don't really have any explanation, other than her breaking down entirely after losing her friends and Mamoru. If I had to venture a guess, she only changes after Chibi-Chibi ("The Light of Hope") replaces her broken Star Seed. I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the manga arc putting Usagi under a long spell of PTSD and repression. From what I've read about it (no first hand experience yet) she spends the arc pretending whoever just died never existed, beginning with Mamoru.

By the way, speaking of your earlier point about reading what haters and superfans of Steven Universe say about the show potentially putting people off, what do you think would anyone guess what Sailor Moon is - for the most part - after reading our discussions? Not sure what, but certainly not what it really is. I also ran into trouble trying to explain Sailor Moon to someone else recently. It's such a strange mix of things sometimes that... uhm. It's one part superhero magical girl anime, one part slice of life, one parts silly comedy, one part character development and the occasional sprinkling of super serious subject matter in a very open and progressive setting that feels so natural that you don't even notice how heavily it features feminist and LGBTQ ideas.

edit: To clarify, what I mean by this is that it never feels like Sailor Moon is virtue signalling or including a token minority just for the sake of checking off a list. It's glorious in its simple perfection when it comes to these things - whether it's Kunzite and Zoisite, Haruka and Michiru, or Setsuna whose complexion is noticably darker than that of the others (Ms. Takeuchi intended her as part Romani), or the Three Lights who clearly are transgender (in the anime, that is), or in how it shows women and men to all have all sorts of jobs regardless of their traditional gender assignment in society.

For Steven Universe, not very surprisingly, I'd have the same problem. It's Usagi and his friends saving the world. Technically. And technically, if someone were to watch it for this, it would maybe disappoint them. I have no idea.

Feels like trying to explain The Big Lebowski to people who have never seen it. :p

7 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

I didn't have any clue what was happening during that entire sequence re: Galaxia, she was acting kind of bizarrely herself without clearly expressing what was going on inside and I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to be getting out of her dialogue and actions. The way I initially read her finally taking Usagi's hand was that she was somehow being forced against her will. You're almost certainly right in that that was simply not the case, but boy, I was having trouble following how I was supposed to be reading her.

Yes, that final sequence vectored a bit too far into thematic exploration without clear indication of what's going on for Sailor Moon (incidentially, the scene would be sort of expected for NGE). On the one hand you have Usagi flying towards Chaos Galaxia who is trying to fight her off and failing, and on the other hand you have internal Galaxia seeing Usagi's light and reaching for it, accepting what Usagi says about the last fragment of hope that is left in her (which she removed with her Star Seed to save it for someone else) and the love for the world(s) that she used to fight for. Left unsaid was the change of heart insofar as that her reaching for Usagi's hand symbolizes her final rejection of what she, under CHAOS' influence (or under the influence of beleiving that she has to fight to define herself and what she does, depending on how you want to view it) said to Usagi earlier - pride in being a soldier, and how pathetic it is to not want to fight.

On a more applicable level, because the intention is too unclear, this could also be read as a statement on toxic masculinity, which as a concept isn't directly linked to men, after all. There's no reason Haruka and Galaxia can't have toxic masculinity just because they're women. They clearly espouse problematic ideas usually associated with masculinity, but I've already talked about that in a post that's way too long anyway. It's not for a want of trying that Sailor Moon's finale falls a bit flat. The ideas were great, the execution wasn't so much.

Speaking of long posts, I sub-divided the Madoka post above by adding additional spoiler tags. If you want to read it you should be good as long as you stay out of the sub-spoilers. Mostly. I mean, you already know it's a subversion and deconstruction of maho shojo tropes. It's the second (much shorter) part that goes deeply into spoilers. It's an exploration of the first episode and how incredibly economic the writers and animators were in setting everything up.

7 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Also, who said you can use my reaction videos?! Guess that's what I get for making them public...:p But anyways, the fact that you loved SU probably further helped convince KP to watch it, so at least indirectly, you had a hand in it - particularly seeing as he'd only heard terrible, horrible, no good things about it outside of my singular self bringing it up on here.

I'm sorry, please send me a DMCA takedown notice or a request for royalties. :p

Far be it for me to refuse credit twice for something when it is offered. Heh. *bows*

7 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

 

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I completely forget what Misato's backstory is. There's something...towards the end of the show I want to say...she's like a completely broken amnesiac or something? I can't remember. I'll need to eventually re-watch this series someday - hopefully knowing how things work out will help make stuff make more sense throughout the whole thing, :p.

You have a much fairer read of the whole Shinji/Asuka dynamics than I do. As a real person, he would have my utmost empathy and sympathies; as a character, I still want to kill him because I had to listen to him whine and cry and introspect and be generally pathetic for about 8 hours straight. This is one of those cases where character view vs. real person view produces wildly differing results. ...Also, I did watch literally all of the series all at once - maybe that impacts things, too. ...And I have a noted automatic prejudice against male protagonists. Steven, in a rare victory for men, won me over in time, but Shinji did the complete opposite.

Also, SU:F does get more interesting. Although there's a couple of episodes...well, you'll just have to get through them, :p. Maybe I'm wrong, but it actually seemed like KP was much less bothered by some of the lesser quality episodes than we were!

 

 

Spoiler

 

Misato was in Antarctica with her father when the Second Impact happened. He saved her but died in the process. Prior to that Misato hated him for being absent all the time. Misato, Asuka and Shinji all have family issues. Shinji has a distant father and a mother who died early (sort of, I mean, there's Rei and the EVA), Asuka had an absent father and amother who killed herself over it, which is probably why she didn't go through with her suicide attempt after becoming what she felt was completely worthless to the world, because nobody cares for her, only what she can do for everyone.

The bitter irony here is that Shinji potentially cares for Asuka in his weird, internalized way - even if it is only because he would and does miss her absence. He just can't express it, much like he can't get over himself and at least try to hug Misato when she needs it. That's like playing a renegade Shepard and not hugging Tali. That's just something you don't do. *nods sagely*

I'm already frustrated by End of Evangelion knowing how this will turn out before I've even seen it. It makes sense, obviously, but it's a bit like watching Makoto be the punching bag again. Not that she's not completely free of fault here, but Asuka deserved something better.

It just struck me as strange that Misato would attempt to emotionally connect with Shinji by trying to seduce him, allegations of abuse from her aside. Not only is that completely tone deaf on Misato's part, it's also not really how her problems work. I mean, as far as a real life issues reduction to characters in an anime would go. But, well, not everything's ideal. Again, he could have reacted differently there too, not yell at her, but he can't really know that she's about to die, I guess. She sure does. At this point she also thinks she failed as guardian for Asuka and Shinji and just compounds the issue here. It's all rather depressing, really. It shows that Mr. Anno was suffering from depression.

I don't know if binging factors into this or not. Shinji isn't the most likeable protagonist, and it somehow is kind of obvious that Asuka was originally supposed to fill that role. The way it is, they're both different sides of the same coin. Not sure why, but he didn't bother me that much yet. I'm sure he will once he starts masturbating next to a passed out Asuka, unless that scene is somehow done in a way that makes it less bad than it sounds. I kind of doubt that.

On the other hand, in a way, it's what Asuka wanted from Shinji, affection for her for something other than being an EVA pilot. Just twisted and cruel. Unlike a certain episode with Makoto, this fits perfectly with the rest of the show, so... I might not really like or enjoy it, but at least it's not out of place.

I don't really dislike Asuka and Shinji. I stopped disliking Asuka after a while (understanding her brashness sure helped), never really felt much for Shinji. I've said that before, I really like Misato, but she also really reminded me of a friend of mine, and Rei, but...

Spoiler

Rei sort of has the issue that Ami did for you, turned up to 11.

Finally, not so good SU episodes, well, he was also much quicker with the first season where I really got mired in sometimes having to force myself to watch an episode because it dealt with Lars, or with Onion, or... yeah. I don't know. It's not that I minded the one-offs where nothing much happened, together breakfast was awesome, for instance. But yeah, I thought I binged hard, but KP just one upped that. Seems like we share a sentiment there, KP seemed much less bothered. Or else he was less vocal about it. Which is sort of the same in how it comes across. :)

 

 

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There were individual episodes of SU I didn't like, but they weren't anywhere near stuff like we've complained about in SM Super S. It also helps that episodes are mostly 11 minutes, so it got over quicker. When I really think about it, the only episode I actively dislike is Uncle Granpad hijacking the show.

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Well, finished watching The End of Evangelion.

That was more what I expected from the series proper ending in terms of being laden with metaphors and wrapping up plot threads, at least. It's interesting insofar as it does the same as the actual anime series ending, just differently. Not with a different outcome, just... differently.

Spoiler

There was a scene at the end that was supremely uncomfortable for me, and I'm not talking about Shinji choking Asuka again.

Regarding the final ending, that might just be the happiest choking someone scene in the history of entertainment, unless I'm completely wrong about what this was meant to express. Not sure if others will come back from Instrumentality / the weird metaphysical soup of life that everyone's floating in at the moment.

Because if not, then these two broken characters that have only just learned to move on and accept themselves and each other will become our new Adam and Eve, and oh boy mankind, you're in for a world of trouble if that really is the case. At least it's not as ridiculous as the exploration of solipsism of the original ending because in this case it's your own perception that only creates a separate, discrete you, not your perception that creates everything - but it's still, and I apologize to people who might like this particular part of philosophy, this is such a mind bendingly ridiculous concept for me that I just can't take it seriously.

More on this maybe later, not sure yet. I've already said a lot about it, and honestly...
 

Spoiler

 

There's one thing I haven't talked about yet that pervades the entire anime more or less from the middle point on. I really don't like Judeo-Christian / Abrahamic mythology, and in ESPECIALLY NOT in sci-fi settings. I don't mind space magic like the Force in Star Wars, my dislike is really about religious mythology relating to magical creator entities (even if they come in the guise of panspermia, which, as far as I know, has nothing to do with the theorized massive impact that created Earth's moon and is what I think was supposed to be the First Impact).

This really is just a pet peeve of mine and only related to science fiction (not fantasy, or horror stories, or anything else, really). I absolutely hated the idea that God is real in BSG at the end, and that Head!Six was really an angel. While I generally can't stand entertainment trying to push a Christian agenda, at least in this case that wasn't meant to be, because Adam and Lilith originated from a progenitor race (and are, in a way, what Yui wanted to do with the EVA project), but The End of Evangelion just doubled down so hard on using religious symbolism to explain what was going on that it became uninteresting for me to watch, and I started to phase out.

 

  

5 hours ago, ArtistFormerlyKnownasKP said:

There were individual episodes of SU I didn't like, but they weren't anywhere near stuff like we've complained about in SM Super S. It also helps that episodes are mostly 11 minutes, so it got over quicker. When I really think about it, the only episode I actively dislike is Uncle Granpad hijacking the show.


I positively hated everything with Lars in it before season five, almost everything that was about Onion, and disliked the hipster gang, by far and large. And that food war episode. It really didn't help that the interesting story and character bits ground to a dead stop for these kind of episodes. Sure, Steven Universe doesn't stoop as low as SuperS does by virtue of not having a pedophile horse romance or an allegorical rape gang (except for Jasper and her forced fusion with Lapis, which was really uncomfortable and I have no idea how they got that past Cartoon Network when they had to fight tooth and nail for the gem marriage), but especially from season three onwards, these episodes were just about as interesting as a SuperS one where only Chibi-Usa and Usagi show up.

You're right about the 11 minute short form animation format helping in such a case. At least it's over quickly.

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Honestly I didn't mind Lars (keeping in mind he was supposed to be unlikeable) or the Cool Kids that much, and I'd go as far to say that Sour Cream is actually funny. Onion could be annoying or creepy and was unpleasant to see focused on, but thankfully that didn't happen too much. Of course, Ronaldo was the best townie character (and the part of Food Wars where he really did have a girlfriend was perfect).

It's not just the length of the episodes, it's concurrence as well. Super S had long stretches of bad episodes with few breaks while SU was over in 11 minutes and usually led to a good few episodes. That's a big reason why I was able to go through SU so fast.

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Does anyone want to feel really uncomfortable? I mean, like SUPER uncomfortable? Like "I regret watching this show" uncomfortable? Well, here you go:

I don't even remember this scene, but giggling Rini is so uncomfortable and then just goes on and on...my gosh. And then Pegasus' final line... "I know: it's magical every time." This...this implies that this is not the first time he's taken little girls into his dreams and given them wings, not by a long shot.

@ArtistFormerlyKnownasKP Yeah, I never particularly minded any of those characters except for Onion (well, I used to also hate Ronaldo, but a re-watch has convinced me that he's actually funny...most of the time). Onion sucks - and not only just because his character sucks, but also because he makes everyone else not as fun, too. But anyways, do I love the episodes heavily focused on the more random characters like townies? No, not at all - they're usually the weaker or weakest parts of each season...but I still don't mind the characters themselves. In a similar vein, I really actually like Chibi-Usa...BUT BOY a lot of the episodes that are heavily focused on her in R are less fun, and that goes double...no, triple...no, a hundred times for SuperS. That's not the character, that's the episodes. And the general point about those SU episodes slowing down the show and grinding character/plot development of more important characters is almost always true, :p.

6 hours ago, majestic said:

There was a scene at the end that was supremely uncomfortable for me, and I'm not talking about Shinji choking Asuka again.

 

Spoiler

That could really be any number of things. I remember being made uncomfortable in a variety of ways...maybe you're talking about when Yui and Shinji were physically on top/a part of each other? That was definitely weird and uncomfortable.

re: the ending: I think a lot of it is up for interpretation... Unlike you, I don't mind Judeo/Abrahamic symbology and stuff at all, but also, I only had a very loose idea on what the themes and ideas were supposed to be, :p.

 

Edited by Bartimaeus
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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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Metropolis (2001). Story and characters were pretty pants, but it was kind of an a fun little steampunk adventure that kept my interest for the most part...well, up until the end sequence, :shrugz:.

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Metropolis.jpg

Posters were better than the movie was, :p. Actually, that first poster is why I bothered to check it out at all... If I liked the movie more, I'd probably get it, especially seeing as I already have another print from this artist and this one's pretty cool too, but it seems kind of silly to shell out a lot of money to buy and frame a print for a movie I didn't even care too much for...

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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9 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Does anyone want to feel really uncomfortable? I mean, like SUPER uncomfortable? Like "I regret watching this show" uncomfortable? Well, here you go:

I don't even remember this scene, but giggling Rini is so uncomfortable and then just goes on and on...my gosh. And then Pegasus' final line... "I know: it's magical every time." This...this implies that this is not the first time he's taken little girls into his dreams and given them wings, not by a long shot.

This is a scene that happens very early in the manga. I think even the first chapter of the Dreams arc. Pegasus and Chibi-Usa fly above Tokyo and Pegasus shows her the dark place that the Dead Moon is creating. In the anime this is in the Albino Rhino episode. This scene is made so much worse because it's the first thing that happens in this episode, and it comes directly after Chibi-Usa turns back into a nine year old girl for Pegasus an episode earlier. It looks like it is her reward for making herself interesting to Pegasus again.

And oh boy, that love song. ❤️

Chibi-Usa can't be his first victim, no. He's way too good at this grooming business, from the easy and harmless beginnings at the dream lake down to the guilt tripping when she becomes curious, the threats of never being able to talk to her again if she tells someone else about him. Make no mistake, Pegasus picked up a filly or two... or a hundred... on his way to Earth!

I think this is the worst sentence I ever wrote on a subject in Sailor Moon. What WERE they thinking? I wonder if it's at all possible to reach anyone involved with this season, like Ikuhara or Enkido, or maybe the writer of this episode, and ask if they still remember anything about making Sailor Moon SuperS and are willing to talk about it. I'd sure like to know if that was intentional or not. I'm hoping it was not. Because if so, then someone needs to be locked away before they do actual harm in real life.

9 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

 

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That could really be any number of things. I remember being made uncomfortable in a variety of ways...maybe you're talking about when Yui and Shinji were physically on top/a part of each other? That was definitely weird and uncomfortable.

re: the ending: I think a lot of it is up for interpretation... Unlike you, I don't mind Judeo/Abrahamic symbology and stuff at all, but also, I only had a very loose idea on what the themes and ideas were supposed to be, :p.

 


 

Spoiler

NGE is full of symbology. Lilith was Adam's first wife, created by God out of the same clay as Adam, who wasn't properly subservient enough and left, so God replaced her with Eve, who was made from Adam. Like the EVAs (Eva - German variant of Eve, Chawwah in Hebrew, Hawa in arabic) were made from Adam, except for Unit-01. Sometimes, Lilith also resisted the devil and did not partake of the forbidden fruit and learned Yahwe's true name. Sometimes Lilith was also the serpent that seduced Eve and made her eat the forbidden fruit, or she seduced a corrupted Adam to give birth to demons, there's almost endless variations.

She also either was the first, or the mother of demons by her coupling with the Archangel Samael. Lilith and Samael's offspring are called Lilin (which is why Adam/Kaworu refers to humans as such). Either way, it's a cautionary tale that women better stay subservient to their men, otherwise hell will be paid. In modern feminist readings Lilith is seen as an example of emancipation from the patriarchy.

The more common interpretation of Lilith is that of a demon or demonic consort and is usually the origin of the idea of Succubi.

Feminist reading usually sees Lilith as the patriachy's fear of a liberated women and liberated female sexuality, it's kind of hard to argue with that interpretation in my opinion, but that's a different discussion.

There's a Lilith in modern astrology too, a point that represent's the lunar apogee, while its counterpart Priapus (sometimes Priabus) is the perigee. 

The Chamber of Guf is, in Judean mythology, the hall of souls, where human souls wait to be born (Seele is the German word for soul).

And that is all before it crosses into Christian mythology and religion, what with the crosses, the crucification of Lilith, the Spear/Lance of Longinus, the depiction of the mass produced EVAs as angels, and a lot more that I'm probably missing. The Dead Sea Scrolls also mention Lilith, albeit her demonic interpretation. I think this is also in line with currently accepted Jewish mythology and passages from the bible that state whomsoever goes to Lilith with stay there, being unable to be reborn or return to the path of life.

I subspoilered the post into groups of "whingyness", so you can freely decide how much griping you want to read. :p

I subspoilered most of the subsequent text from hereon out mostly to prevent the deplorables from accidentially spending the effort to click into it. It's not meant to be whiny, these things are all at least twenty years in the past now and a part of me that will always be there, but no longer is truly relevant. Much like both Asuka and Shinji, I've moved on. It comes up as something noteworthy to talk about whenever entertainment and art decide to make it a (or arguably, in case of NGE, the) topic. This is me writing it from a really detached point of view.

Writing this is going to take a while, I think. Well, short and easy things first, no, it wasn't Yui/Rei and Shinji. While that scene was awkward, it was clear enough in what it meant to not be completely uncomfortable. Although I'm not entirely sure what Rei is, in relation to Shinji. She is and isn't his mother at the same time, but that's luckily vague enough to avoid a real squicky moment once they separate and she's still sitting on top of him. I think the soul of Yui is still in Unit-01, floating in space for all eternity, so it can't be completely have been his mother.

There's a scene near the end where Shinji and the others who are now with him discuss his coping mechanism. I get retreating into one's head (or as they call it, his own private fantasy world where there is no one else that can hurt him), and emotionally distancing/detaching oneself from everyone. When I look at Rei and Shinji, there's way too much of my own childhood in there. Outwardly I was a lot like Rei, inwardly I was similar to Shinji. The best of both worlds, I guess. I didn't constantly bemoan my lot in life, I just tried to ignore it somehow (I also would have jumped at the chance to pilot a giant Cyborg Mech and become a hero, like Asuka).

Spoiler

 

Curiously enough, that's also something that brings me to Lars. I know he's not meant to be likeable, but his dealings with the cool kids and Sadie mirror certain things that happened to a very young myself in such uncanny ways that I can't but dislike (read: despise) him. People like him are the very reason for the above mentioned coping, in addition to being awkward and socially inept for other reasons, resulting in me not easily making friends in the first place.

Which, quite frankly, was the very reason the people I thought would be friends began to distance (ideally and at best, it sometimes ended in hostility and bullying) themselves from me. Because being friends with the wierdo was detrimental to being friends with the cool kids, see. Like Sadie or Steven, before Lars noticed that Steven is popular with the cool kids. :yes:

I still have a deep seated, almost paranoid, fear that sometimes manifests itself in anxiety attacks: That people who are close to me will eventually "Lars" me again in an attempt to get with the cool gang. It's sometimes triggered by the simplest of things, like someone not answering a text message in time, not replying to an e-mail, or me excessively overinterpreting something someone said, or not liking my posts, god dammit why am I writing essays if not for you lot clicking that like button!

One of the items above is a joke. The others are not.

Spoiler

Yes, the joke is craving the validation of others by way of liked posts. That's something I left behind, like many things, a long time ago. I can joke about it now, it used to be much different, and I understand the draw social media has on people in this regard - it's similar to what Lindsey Ellis talked about in her video about Twitter.

It's made worse in Steven Universe by Sadie not just Lars' friend, but in love with him (Steven's attempt to fix that by posessing Lars was one of the weirdest and terrifying moments in the show for me - that was wrong on so many levels).

Life also decided to deal me cards with regards to social dynamics that always lead to problems. Not making friends easily, and people who I thought were friends turning their backs when it became inconvenient to be associated with the dork nobody else likes would have been bad enough, but I stumbled into situations where my entire social circle (or let's call that people I was used to) was upended over night.

I already mentioned my - then former - teacher transferring me out of her class because she hated me. That also meant, since the school building was large enough for that, being physically separated from people I knew, and with them having vastly different timetables I essentially "lost" being able to share train rides with somone I knew (and kind of befriended over that).

Train rides home, now just me and whoever thought it was a good idea to seat themselves next to me. Usually people with issues too. The kind of weirdos you meet in public transportation that start telling people they don't know of their innermost problems (the irony here is not entirely lost on me, what with me writing this on a public forum), elderly people who weren't like me but have lost their social circle to natural causes and simly latch on to whoever rides the train with them for any piece of social interaction, and yes, groups of people who were looking for victims to have fun with*.

That situation happened more than once, by the way. Twice, over the course of the five years I spent in High School, and once for administrative purposes in the four years of middle school before that, and instead of easier to deal with the experience became worse every time for me.

*

Spoiler

 

The worst of which was a group of young teenage girls, where one of them decided to sit next to me for no good reason, have her friends take pictures (ah, a time before selfies...) and then saying that she's going to give her mother a heart attack when she shows her the picture and tells her that "that" (meant in the "not a person, but a thing" kind of way) is her new boyfriend. Something similar also happened with my actual first relationship, when she introduced me to friends of her parents, and one of them just blinked and said: "What is that?"

No, really. What. I... is it any wonder I spent half of my life in a constant state of cold rage and detachment?

 

 

 

So, no, don't like Lars, never will.

 

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For most of the series, Lars is noticeably deeply unhappy with himself and the world at large. Maybe that's why I give him some slack - his life is going absolutely nowhere, and literally his two best (only!) friends is a girl that he couldn't figure out how to stop machine-gunning himself in the foot repeatedly even if his life depended on it...and Steven, a kid so positively radiating magnanimity that it makes even Lars realize the mean, empty, and pathetic shell of a person that he is...and he still can't really properly change himself even after that. Takes being literally thrown into a bunch of life or death situations for him to finally have some change. I don't know - I find both his and Jasper's characters to be sympathetic in a special kind of way that nobody else is: they are what they are, and they can't help it even though it's so clear that the way they are is not healthy for themselves, never mind everyone else around them.

But if he still is going to always be intrinsically linked to the type of people that caused you so much grief during your younger years, then it makes sense - I think everyone has biases for/against certain types of characters as a result of our upbringing and the lives we lead. Just a few posts ago, I said I basically can't handle most kinds of male protagonist at all, never mind simply one specific character like Lars. GEE, I wonder if that reflects on me as a person at all? Of course it does - I'm a complete misandrist! :p

Spoiler

Misandry-Icon-by-PhilMitchell-298x300.pn

Not really, but I definitely have problems with a lot of different kinds of men! Especially ones whose one behavioral makeup is rooted in traditional (and especially toxic) masculine roles and expectations...which is still the majority.

"It's made worse in Steven Universe by Sadie not just Lars' friend, but in love with him (Steven's attempt to fix that by posessing Lars was one of the weirdest and terrifying moments in the show for me - that was wrong on so many levels). "

Boy, was it ever. Hey, did I ever tell you how much I don't like the SU fanbase? The amount of people I've read who said how TERRIBLE it is that Lars and Sadie never did eventually get together properly after all of that "build-up"... My dudes and dudettes, did you not pay attention to all of the reasons that they DON'T work as a couple, and are not healthy for each other? Never mind both of their lives wildly diverging and them moving on to bigger and better things for their own individual selves... Gosh, I hate the SU fanbase sometimes, :no:.

Thanks for the additional context for NGE: I picked up on just some of that myself when I originally watched it, I had to read a bunch more online to get some more of it that I'd already forgotten before reading your post, and then some more of what you just said was brand new. Clearly, I need to brush up some on my Bible study. Also, while I didn't think Rei was Yui herself (I thought she was still in EVA-01 like you said), for some reason it was my impression that Rei/Yui became one in the thingy. You know, the thingy. The...oh, yes, the activated Human Instrumentality Project thingy. But what the hell do I know? ;)
 

Spoiler

 

"There's a scene near the end where Shinji and the others who are now with him discuss his coping mechanism. I get retreating into one's head (or as they call it, his own private fantasy world where there is no one else that can hurt him), and emotionally distancing/detaching oneself from everyone. When I look at Rei and Shinji, there's way too much of my own childhood in there. Outwardly I was a lot like Rei, inwardly I was similar to Shinji. The best of both worlds, I guess. I didn't constantly bemoan my lot in life, I just tried to ignore it somehow (I also would have jumped at the chance to pilot a giant Cyborg Mech and become a hero, like Asuka)."

The quote function is being really screwy with this post I'm making, it keeps not actually quoting and instead erasing stuff instead, so I'm having to make do with ye olde fashioned quotes instead. This particular bit of what you said might be why I hate Shinji so terribly much. I need Amethyst to barge in right now and say, "I'm NOT going to let you stand there and remind me of everything I hate about myself!". Shinji might not be toxic masculinity, but he's...a different sort of beast that I hate that I just cannot stand to see. Can't do it, just can't: he makes me too mad and pains me too greatly for so many different reasons. I want to strangle him...for some of the same reasons I have always been deeply unhappy with my own self my entire life, all the way back to when I was a child. Asuka, in contrast, is more...what I feel like I should be, want to be, even though she's just as horrifically broken as Shinji is - just with different ways of expressing it. I would rather be in a complete rage but acting...or dead altogether, than to be the passive, pathetic mess that Shinji is. But...Shinji is a lot of what I am, what I always will be. That's undoubtedly why I find him so completely maddening and enraging. I should have empathy for him as a character, I really should, but I just can't.

Rei, in comparison to those two, I found to be the most admirable of the three. Conforming to her circumstances without complaint, being what the people around her need her to be even if it's not always what they want - even if they HATE her for it, as in Asuka's case. Doing the job she was meant to do, that she was made to do, always willingly. She's, of course, a totally different kind of broken than the other two in other ways, but even that I liked in her - that sort of simple and honest directness that only a child like her could have is admirable in of itself, and most importantly for not being annoying like it might be for other anime characters, it actually totally makes sense and works for her. Often times I wish I could be someone like her, but of course, I can't be - trying to be that kind of person would break me, and very quickly at that. Ah well, :shrugz:.

I don't know where I was going with this. "Ah well" to that too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:
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For most of the series, Lars is noticeably deeply unhappy with himself and the world at large. Maybe that's why I give him some slack - his life is going absolutely nowhere, and literally his two best (only!) friends is a girl that he couldn't figure out how to stop machine-gunning himself in the foot repeatedly even if his life depended on it...and Steven, a kid so positively radiating magnanimity that it makes even Lars realize the mean, empty, and pathetic shell of a person that he is...and he still can't really properly change himself even after that. Takes being literally thrown into a bunch of life or death situations for him to finally have some change. I don't know - I find both his and Jasper's characters to be sympathetic in a special kind of way that nobody else is: they are what they are, and they can't help it even though it's so clear that the way they are is not healthy for themselves, never mind everyone else around them.

But if he still is going to always be intrinsically linked to the type of people that caused you so much grief during your younger years, then it makes sense - I think everyone has biases for/against certain types of characters as a result of our upbringing and the lives we lead. Just a few posts ago, I said I basically can't handle most kinds of male protagonist at all, never mind simply one specific character like Lars. GEE, I wonder if that reflects on me as a person at all? Of course it does - I'm a complete misandrist! :p

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Misandry-Icon-by-PhilMitchell-298x300.pn

Not really, but I definitely have problems with a lot of different kinds of men! Especially ones whose one behavioral makeup is rooted in traditional (and especially toxic) masculine roles and expectations...which is still the majority.

"It's made worse in Steven Universe by Sadie not just Lars' friend, but in love with him (Steven's attempt to fix that by posessing Lars was one of the weirdest and terrifying moments in the show for me - that was wrong on so many levels). "

Boy, was it ever. Hey, did I ever tell you how much I don't like the SU fanbase? The amount of people I've read who said how TERRIBLE it is that Lars and Sadie never did eventually get together properly after all of that "build-up"... My dudes and dudettes, did you not pay attention to all of the reasons that they DON'T work as a couple, and are not healthy for each other? Never mind both of their lives wildly diverging and them moving on to bigger and better things for their own individual selves... Gosh, I hate the SU fanbase sometimes, :no:.

Thanks for the additional context for NGE: I picked up on just some of that myself when I originally watched it, I had to read a bunch more online to get some more of it that I'd already forgotten before reading your post, and then some more of what you just said was brand new. Clearly, I need to brush up some on my Bible study. Also, while I didn't think Rei was Yui herself (I thought she was still in EVA-01 like you said), for some reason it was my impression that Rei/Yui became one in the thingy. You know, the thingy. The...oh, yes, the activated Human Instrumentality Project thingy. But what the hell do I know? ;)
 

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"There's a scene near the end where Shinji and the others who are now with him discuss his coping mechanism. I get retreating into one's head (or as they call it, his own private fantasy world where there is no one else that can hurt him), and emotionally distancing/detaching oneself from everyone. When I look at Rei and Shinji, there's way too much of my own childhood in there. Outwardly I was a lot like Rei, inwardly I was similar to Shinji. The best of both worlds, I guess. I didn't constantly bemoan my lot in life, I just tried to ignore it somehow (I also would have jumped at the chance to pilot a giant Cyborg Mech and become a hero, like Asuka)."

The quote function is being really screwy with this post I'm making, it keeps not actually quoting and instead erasing stuff instead, so I'm having to make do with ye olde fashioned quotes instead. This particular bit of what you said might be why I hate Shinji so terribly much. I need Amethyst to barge in right now and say, "I'm NOT going to let you stand there and remind me of everything I hate about myself!". Shinji might not be toxic masculinity, but he's...a different sort of beast that I hate that I just cannot stand to see. Can't do it, just can't: he makes me too mad and pains me too greatly for so many different reasons. I want to strangle him...for some of the same reasons I have always been deeply unhappy with my own self my entire life, all the way back to when I was a child. Asuka, in contrast, is more...what I feel like I should be, want to be, even though she's just as horrifically broken as Shinji is - just with different ways of expressing it. I would rather be in a complete rage but acting...or dead altogether, than to be the passive, pathetic mess that Shinji is. But...Shinji is a lot of what I am, what I always will be. That's undoubtedly why I find him so completely maddening and enraging. I should have empathy for him as a character, I really should, but I just can't.

Rei, in comparison to those two, I found to be the most admirable of the three. Conforming to her circumstances without complaint, being what the people around her need her to be even if it's not always what they want - even if they HATE her for it, as in Asuka's case. Doing the job she was meant to do, that she was made to do, always willingly. She's, of course, a totally different kind of broken than the other two in other ways, but even that I liked in her - that sort of simple and honest directness that only a child like her could have is admirable in of itself, and most importantly for not being annoying like it might be for other anime characters, it actually totally makes sense and works for her. Often times I wish I could be someone like her, but of course, I can't be - trying to be that kind of person would break me, and very quickly at that. Ah well, :shrugz:.

I don't know where I was going with this. "Ah well" to that too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You're right, the quote function finally died in this thread. It's impossible to quote sections of your post and keep them in a spoiler area. Frustrating, but what can you do. I mean other than trying this with Edge of Chrome, neither of which I really want to do. So, let's do this differently:
 

Spoiler

 

Asuka, masculinity and misandry:

That's part of why my initial impression of Asuka was so negative. She constantly told Shinji to man up, to be more like what a traditional male should be. To get angry at her when she's insulting, to repsond properly to her attempts at seducing him. Dear Asuka, here's a hint: Wearing Misato's shirt won't tell Shinji that you want him to see you as a desirable woman, not a girl... particularily when he has no true interest in Misato, even if it looks like that because he's 14 and likes staring at breasts, in fact, it won't even tell the adult audience of the show most of the time, because it's such a minor detail barely anyone ever notices it.

It's really bad because her behaviour and body language express the opposite of what she says (and she doesn't say what she really wants - not to him, at least). How often is that used as an excuse in sexual abuse cases?

It's also really relatable insofar as that's something I've heard the few times I actually tried to actually talk to people about problems with others. Everything from "Just man up" to "punch back!" as if that was an option (even from girls, this is so deepinly ingrained in society that it'll stay for a while yet I'm afraid). Like I said before, even from the on time I talked to a teacher about it, after the chewing gum in my hair incident. My go-to solution was to do a Rei there, and just be silent about everything. In a way that's toxic too. Also somewhat masculine, right? Tought it out alone. Yep*.

As time (well, episodes) went on that mellowed away. That had also something to do with realizing where Asuka comes from, as a person, so that worked later on.

Lars, as a character:

Lars in season 5 is a good character. Actually, Lars is a good character in general, I just don't like him at all, and that's purely based on the way he treats Sadie, and all of that is related to my past, and you're probably right, we all have our own personal Larses, and whenever he shows up he either puts Sadie into a position that I've been in that is really painful to go through or he tries to do that with Steven. It's not that I don't get that his life isn't going anywhere.

So yes, much like you can't feel symapthy for Shinji as a character, I can't do either for Lars.

Lars, and how he's not getting to together with Sadie:

The Steven Universe fandom sounds really bad. How can you like this show and think that they would be a good couple? That's as baffling as watching Steven Universe and wanting Steven to keep the Breaking Point and start killing Jasper and the Diamonds. Guys, are we watching the same show?

That also relates to the Final Finale of The End of Evangelion. I'm not sure the implication there is so great. It's supposed - at least I guess - to demonstrate that Asuka understands Shinji now, that Shinji also does something similar with her, and that now means they have a future. What? Please guys, you can stay friends if you want now that you understand each other, but keep a distance. You two are clearly not healthy for each other.

NGE and bible study:

It's interesting in how much research or proir knowledge went into crafting the look and feel of the show, and the terminology, but the end result doesn't bring any more understanding. While it does have a concept of souls, NGE isn't religious to the point making a statement, I think. That's why ultimately it is a net positive for me. I have a hard time explaining this, but it's really related to science fiction. For some reason, God has no place for me in a sci-fi setting, beyond relating to the faith of the characters involved. Any indication that there might be a god (capital G or otherwise) that can't reasonably be explained, nope, thanks, I'm out.

Fantasy? I don't care. Contemporary shows with fantastical elements? Count me in. I mean, in X-Files, Scully clearly happened across a Seraphim, and her Catholicism was a topic in episodes every now and then, and how it relates to her being a scientist. In such circumstances, I don't really mind. Also in horror films like The Conjuring, The Exorcist or The Omen - I liked those.

In sci-fi? No. Not even if it's the sort of soft sci-fi that doesn't bother to explain anything, but certainly not in sci-fi (no matter how soft) that tries to examine the human condition. I'm not talking about faith in general - or even Christianity in particular, although my Christian upbringing (or rather, education - my parents aren't very religious, but I did have religious study as a class for 11 years). It's fine for characters to have faith. It's not fine for Head!Six and Head!Gaius being literal angels that confirm the existence of a creator God in the final episode of a gritty TV show that dealt with genocide survivors and their trials and tribulations while running for their lives for four seasons.

This has a lot to do with my personal conclusions that I came to, and me seeing sci-fi as a way to explore humanity under different aspects. That's something that should be free of an unexplainable paradox that I stopped caring about a long time ago. In spite of that statement, I'm not entirely an atheist. That would indicate me being firmly convinced in either knowing or believing that there is no God, and that would suggest I care, which is something I very, very much don't.

Relating to Rei, Shinji and Asuka:

I sometimes find myself thinking a certain statement that I quickly swallow and pretend it never came to my mind. It's "Please stop complaining and suffer in silence, as I have." - as Rei does. It certainly is less annoying to watch, but it's way better to either Shinji or Asuka it in or out (does that make sense?). It's particularily bad when that happens to be because it often comes unbidden as an of course unsaid reply when people tell me about problems. Often at work when people complain about something they have to do but don't want to, but also about private problems, with friends, family and indeed even my wife. #dealwithit

Stoic acceptance of everything and trying to conform to what is needed and necessary looks good, but it's not something anyone should strive for. It makes for a more interesthing character to follow on the screen, but it's just as bad a way of dealing with problems as the other two are - compounded when you inwardly Shinji yourself off from everything. Although I'm not sure Rei doesn't do just that too.

It's one of the few things that eventually worked. If you appear unbothered enough by everything, people will stop trying to bother you. They're also not every likely to try an associate with you (much like when the other two of the idiot trio talk about Rei), but that's for the best. I mean, it isn't, but it beats being hurt, at least up until the point where the inner loneliness exceeds that feeling.

It is what I by far and large meant when I said Rei is too close for comfort. At least Rei II. Because Rei III did something I wouldn't have done there at the end - rejecting Gendo. But hey, as you've said, "ah, well..." :)

*In a way, that also relates to what I said a lot of pages back in a different thread. I do have a saviour complex that seems to uncannily draw me to broken people, and in order to help others you don't actually need to love yourself, or even accept yourself, like art and entertainment often tries to tell you. All you need to do is appear to do just that, i.e. be at peace.

It doesn't matter if it is faked or not. It's also possible to love someone while hating yourself, just as long as you keep it sealed away so it doesn't spill out and hurt others. I know that. I'm living proof.

 

Edited by majestic
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No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering.

 

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17 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Does anyone want to feel really uncomfortable? I mean, like SUPER uncomfortable? Like "I regret watching this show" uncomfortable? Well, here you go:

After that I needed to watch this one to feel better:

 

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That's too much Chibi-Chibi in one video, I think. I laughed a lot now, and I found her hijinks to be really hilarious when spread out in the episodes, but watching it all back to back is a little irritating, but that "fight" with the old rich guy where she tickles him into submission is gold.

It also looks like almost every scene where Chibi-Chibi shows up was animated by the intern team, or there's something about the washed out DVD video that looks so much better than these higher resolution ones from the newer BR releases, even if that video is just a 480p on YouTube. Weird, weird.

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No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering.

 

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Steven Universe the Movie. It was pretty good. I'll try and write more later, but I'm feeling lethargic and typing is very difficult to do right now.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

"Get some poor minorities, that keeps WASPs away easy." - Malcador

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