She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 4

This contains Spoilers for the new season

So.

Yesterday I binged the entire new season of She-Ra and I’m honestly still not over it. This season was dark. Not in a hopeless sense, there are moments of levity and hope for things, but the season had this tone over it that’s much darker than the previous seasons and I really enjoyed that.

This season, like the seasons before it, really shines with its character interactions. Getting more of the secondary princesses was great. I loved that we got to see more of Mermista’s dorky side and her with Sea Hawk is just golden. Seeing Perfuma in a new setting and watching her deal with that and bounce off different characters is lovely. Forsta didn’t get as much, but what we do see is still cute and funny.

But the real meat of this season was what was going on between Glimmer, Bow, Adora, Catra, Scorpia, and the new character, Double Trouble.

Glimmer is dealing with the death of her mother and she’s stuck in her grief. Glimmer wants to go out and continue fighting the horde, not simply staying behind like her mother had done. She’s learning magic from Shadow Weaver, growing more and more powerful (seriously, Glimmer kicks so much ass this season) but there is a kind of darkness growing inside her; she uses Adora as a decoy, at first without her knowing, and then starts going off on missions by herself without telling anyone else.

While she’s growing closer to Shadow Weaver and taking more of her advice she starts to lash out at people for not following her orders, not listening, and not trusting her. There is some meddling going on from other characters, but Glimmer’s feelings are still real. From her perspective, she’s lost her whole family, she’s so desperate to protect people and destroy the Horde that she pushes people away. And at one point she flat out blamed Adora for the “death” of her mother and shouts that at Adora in a heated argument. Then when she thinks that she has the power to stop the Horde she wants to use it despite the danger it could bring to the planet.

With all of that Adora does feel guilty about what happened to Angella and hearing Glimmer, in a sense, repeat something that Catra had said to her. That she was a terrible She-Ra, that all of the bad things that happened, happened because of her. It was messed up. Then going to see Madam Razz again and learning about Mara and more about the First Ones…Adora is essentially told that she is a key to a huge planetary weapon. Her worst fears could potentially come true, she could break and mess up the whole world and there could be nothing she could do about it. Though she tried which is why she fights soo hard against Glimmer to use the weapon.

Bow got to shine and flat out says that it’s hard to maintain relationships. You have to work at them, and that he gets tired of always being the “happy go lucky” guy, the one who’s always working at it. I know that this isn’t a lot but I feel like there’s so much depth in that line and idea. It’s so powerful, I loved it.

Double Trouble is a new character and I love them. They are a kind of theatre kid archetype and I can understand how some could find them grating but I certainly didn’t. What’s so interesting about them I think is their relationship with Catra (which I’ll get to soon) and how…transactional it is. This is the first character I think that’s really just in it for themself and money. The moments of joking around with Catra were great, but when Catra shows some vulnerability to them, Double Trouble is quick to remind her that all they do for the Horde is for a price, and once it looks like the Horde is gonna lose, they jump ship and give Catra a complete dressing down, which leaves her sad and broken. It was also fun watching Double Trouble sew seeds of discord throughout the rebellion, it was a lot of fun to watch everyone be so paranoid. I hope they come back so I can see more of them in action.

Now Catra. Catra, Catra, Catra. She was really at the bottom of the barrel this season. From all of the abandonment she’s been through, plus with her abusive background, she’s been craving power to try and make up for the fact that people keep abandoning her. She thought that winning would be what she wanted, that it would make her matter and make her important. But all it did was leave her more lonely and stressed out. She even managed to push away Scorpia, something she probably thought was impossible. Watching Catra continually make the wrong choices out of fear, anger, and hurt has been a rough road. Everything she did made sense to me as to why she did it, but I would still sit there and shake my head. Then at the end of everything she just gave up, Hordak found out about what she did to Entrapta so he tried to kill her, the rest of the Horde is in shambles, and Catra is just so, so tired.

But all of that was for the best I think. Now Catra is forced to choose to do something different. She will have to change, on some level, she’ll have to have some kind of positive growth. I could talk all day about Catra, but I’ll save that for another post.

She-Ra season 4 is amazing and while I only talked about a few things that made it so great in this post, please know that there’s so much more! If you’ve watched the season, let me know what you liked about it, or what you didn’t like about it. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

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Here’s a Ramble

So, I’ve been thinking about this since I’ve seen these movies but I’m ultimately having trouble coming up with a thesis statement so I’m just going to ramble about it for a bit and see if y’all find it interesting.

Recently I’ve seen the remake of Child’s Play and the remake of Jacob’s Ladder. I make have different feelings on them when I rewatch them but the main thing I took away from them was that they really took away the mystical elements that the original films had.

In Child’s Play, there’s no hollywood “voodoo” magic to have the soul transfer into a popular doll. Here it seems like…a disgruntled worker messed with the code and that’s what made the doll go crazy. In Jacob’s Ladder…well with all the mind-bending stuff going on it’s a bit difficult but the medical angle is really played up in this movie as opposed to the original movie. Of course these changes are, in a way, natural. Keeping all of the mystical elements would really just be doing what the originals did, but bringing these projects closer to…realism let’s say, really takes out any kind of punch the originals had.

Child’s Play did better than Jacob’s Ladder it seems, though I wonder if it’s brand recognition. I wonder if the people in charge are just too focused on being “modern” as in the case of Child’s Play, or if they just don’t think the mystical aspects are appealing, in the case of Jacob’s Ladder. I can’t say, but it does remind me of something I heard about a year or two ago: it’s hard to get moviegoers to abandon logic for movies to go on a kind of emotional journey (I think that it came from a Lindsey Ellis video, but I’ll have to double check) and while I watched these movies that’s what it felt like. Like the movies weren’t about an emotional journey. Jacob’s Ladder certainly was, and I felt that the original Child’s Play was on some level too.

I don’t know. It’s late where I am and my thoughts on these movies are still jumbled. I guess these will get my eyes again and then I’ll write something more concrete. We’ll see.

That Blue Sky Feeling vol. 1

Recently I finished reading the first volume of That Blue Sky Feeling (Sorairo Flutter in Japanese), written by Okura and drawn by Coma Hashii and I gotta say…I really enjoyed it!

It’s a sweet BL, Slice of Life, Drama where we see our main character, Noshiro Dai, build an adorable friendship with classmate Sanada Kou, who we quickly learn is gay.

The relationships in this volume were written very nicely. We see Sanada slowly open up to Noshiro in certain ways, though he’s still pretty closed off in other ways. Noshiro is a pretty honest guy, open and friendly, who seems to really care about Sanada and wants to do right by him. It’s a very soft kind of story, even the drama didn’t feel particularly angsty.

One thing I like is that there’s an older gay man named Hide, who is Sanada’s ex-boyfriend (and I can say a lot about how I personally feel with a 26 year old dating a 17 year old, or maybe younger but whatever), who helps both boys deal with their feelings.

While I find the art style clean and soft (like the rest of the story) I think there are times it looks kind of wonky and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but overall Hashii’s art really helps bring the story to life in this volume. I especially like the body types of Noshiro and Hide (Sanada has a type) which breaks away from what I’m used to seeing in BL and its a welcomed change.

You can read That Blue Sky Feeling online but it has been licensed by Viz Media and I recommend buying the official release if you can. I consider it worth the purchase.

note: maybe unimportant to most but i refer to this story as BL because that’s how I’ve seen it listed (shounen ai) and i know there are people who get up in arms about separating BL, which is seen as primarily targeting (straight) women, Gay Manga/Bara which primarily targets gay/bi men, and like Yaoi, which is porn. But I don’t want split hairs.

She-Ra season 2 First Thoughts

The other night I finished the second season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and I’d like to share my thoughts with all of you!

First a quick background with how I felt about the first season. I loved it! I thought the story was fun and interesting and I like the interpretations of all of these characters. I used to watch the original series on…a channel called Qubo (I think) when I was back in school so I’ve been a fan of She-Ra for a while.

The first thing I’ll say is that I’m sad that its only 7 episodes, and the 7th episode doesn’t feel like a proper climax to the season so it makes me wonder if this is only half a season and season 2 has been broken into two parts. I don’t have any news sources that say either way but that’s what it feels like.

The character dynamics are still great, Scorpia and Catra are a really high light for me, closely tied for Entrapta and Hordak. The Best Friend Squad (Bow, Adora, and Glimmer) are still great and I get sad thinking about how we missed out on Entrapta and Bow being science buds.

Mermista, Sea Hawk, Perfuma, and Frosta don’t get much, but what they do get is nice. Plus we get some more horde interactions. So first thoughts is that I still love this show so, so much!

Those are my first thoughts! Stay tuned for more writings about this show once I have more time to digest things.

Thanks for reading!

BlackPink in your area!

Hey WordPress, I know it’s been a long time but I’ve been working on an essay I want to post here but in the meantime here’s a post talking about a KPop Girl Group that I’ve been a big fan of since I first discovered them.

Now, I’m really big into KPop, not really into music for that matter. I do listen to it all the time, but I don’t follow artists or anything like that. I simply listen to whatever sounds nice to my ears and repeat it over and over again. But these ladies, Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé (pictured below in order) have managed to get into my heart. So here are their songs listed based on how they’re grouped in AZlyrics and what I think about them.

blackpink
From Variety.com courtesy of YG Entertainment

Whistle (휘파람): I’m not sure if this is the very first song they recorded but it’s the first song I ever heard and I fell in love. Listening to it now their voices sounds different, maybe younger in a way, but they’re still distinct and I this song spreads the song in equal measure really giving the girls to show off their stuff. I also really like the beat to this one, it does change in places but I still overall lowkey, it doesn’t get my heart beating very fast is what I mean, and the whistling in the bridge and at various places in the song really tie things together for me. This song comes off as sexy and seductive. I think it’s a great mixture of the “black” and the “pink”.

Boombayah (붐바야): Now this song does get my heart pumping and makes me what to dance. A quick look at the lyrics will let you that that is the point, this is definitely a party song. On this one I feel like it more so belongs to Jennie and Lisa. I think it’s because Jisoo and Rosé’s voices feel like they get a little lost with the beat they used for this song. Not that the music drowns out their voices per se, all the singing is great in this song, but both Jennie and Lisa rap in this song and the beat under the rap really feels like it places it front and center while the music surrounds all of the singing (if that makes sense). This is another good one from them for me.

Playing With Fire (불장난): I find this one more similar to Whistle with it’s pleasant beat though it doesn’t spur me on to get up and dance. I think the music here complements the singing in a way that it lets it shine and stand out so it’s not just the rap verses that stand of for me. This one isn’t among my favorites of theirs to be honest, not one I play on repeat over and over but still pleasant.

Stay: This song belongs to Rosé and Jisoo. The soft guitar for this love song with the hand claps really works for those two. Similar to how I felt the song arrangement bolstered Jennie and Lisa’s parts of Boombayah here the music and the arrangement really help bolster the qualities of both Jisoo and Rosé. This is a very “pink” song lol. Jennie and Lisa do well in this song, though Lisa does get the shorter end of the stick, but Rosé and Jisoo just…shine! I really like this one.

DDU-DU DDU-DU: So this isn’t a bad song but…it really just doesn’t grab me the way the other songs do. Like…I like the beat, the drop is nice, there’s this…bass drop in the song that’s nice. When Rosé and Jisoo the music on their parts help their parts stand out. Jennie and Lisa are both great. But ultimately this song doesn’t do it for me sad to say. I just don’t really like it.

Forever Young: This is a nice song. I don’t want to dance to it but the beat is so nice here it makes me bob my head. It’s a bop. I don’t really have a lot to say about this one since, for me, it’s something I put on in the background. Nothing about it really…stand out for me, but it’s still very nice to listen to and play.

(Also, Jennie has started most of these songs so far, she was the first in the group to get a Solo song but like…come on :P)

Really: This is pretty smooth. This song gets me swaying a long and I feel like everyone has an edge to their voice this time around. Jennie and Lisa generally have an edge to their voices in most songs, but here I feel like Rosé and Jisoo also have more of an edge here than they’ve had in previous songs. Maybe it’s the theme of the song, demanding someone to express their love for you with words. It’s great! I like this style from them.

See U Later: The build-up of this song from the start to the first chorus is great. I think the beat is steady and it builds and builds which can mirror the girls’ frustrations with this person they’re dumping. Jisoo and Rosé’s singing came off as very frank in this song, not with the same edge as they had in Really but it’s still there. Also, the drop to the chorus isn’t like, huge or anything like that, but it’s got enough punch that the buildup feels warranted. This is another one I really like.

As If It’s Your Last (마지막처럼): This is another bop, poppy love song. Very “pink” so much so that Lisa’s rap verse kinda doesn’t…fit. But you know, this one is fine. It’s not too bad but I don’t really care for it.

(Wow, the two songs I called bops just aren’t for me huh. Maybe bops just aren’t blackpink’s thing or at least not what I like from them)

Kill This Love: Okay so, this is their new single and I love it to pieces. It’s got like a marching band beat, the horns in the beginning, and how it sounds at the end is amazing! I also really love Jennie’s “Brrram bah bah bah bah bah bah” she has, her voice kind of goes deep and it’s great! I also think this is another song that does a good job showing off Jisoo and Rosé’s talents. Jisoo here sounds so…like dark kind of while Rose sound’s a bit brighter but there’s still so much intensity in her voice. Everything is just so great here I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. Jennie and Lisa’s rap verse are great here as well, they do a little trade off for like four lines and they just work off each other very well. Everything about this song is amazing to me.

Don’t Know What To Do: This song has a light feeling to it. This song gets me dancing and feels popp-y to me. I also think that this is another song where Rosé and Jisoo’s vocals shine, especially Rosé’s voice. This song doesn’t have any rap verse so Jennie and Lisa’s vocals also shine here, more so for me than in other sings. I really feel like the girls have grown into their voices some more. It’s great. I could label this as a bop, one from them I really really like. Light, sweet, and very lovely.

Kick It: Hm…this is another song that isn’t back but it doesn’t really do anything for me. Maybe I find this particular beat too…same-y, low down without anything to really grab my attention. The singing here doesn’t even really do that for me either, they aren’t grabbing me like with their other sings. I don’t know.

Hope Not (아니길): This is a slow one, very pleasant to listen to. All of the voices hold a kind of sadness in them, it’s great. The slow guitar (I think) under the singing really brings out a melancholic tone for this one. It’s not one I listen to often but it’s still very good.

DDU-DU DDU-DU (Remix): I just like this one better than the original. I think the beat is better than the last one. Plus the chorus whined up is just more pleasing to listen to. Other than that I don’t have too much more to say.

Welp, there you have it, I didn’t talk about songs they were featured on or Jennie’s solo because I wanted to focus on the collective group’s work alone. If you’ve listened to BlackPink let be know what you like or dislike about them. What’s your favorite song? Why? What’s your least favorite? Why’s that?

I look forward to reading your comments! Thanks for reading!

Did The Dragon Prince really Bury their Gays?

Hey all! Long time no post, I know, but today I have something to actually write about.

Recently I had watched the second season of The Dragon Prince, a Netflix show I’ve been really enjoying. The first season was a lot of fun and the second season really hit me emotionally. I love it so much!

But there was one part of the show that seemed to…well it didn’t bother me, but it did give me pause for a moment.

There’s a long flashback story told by the chief antagonist/villain Viren (one of my favorite characters) where we see a pair of WLW (Women loving Women) Queens. We even give an on screen lip-to-lip kiss. But then, in a heroic fashion, they die; killed by a dragon.

I’ve seen some people call this an example of Bury Your Gays trope. For those who don’t know what this trope is referring to the simple version is when a queer character dies in the story or reaches another kind of tragic ending (really this is a very simplified explanation of the trope you can research more if youre interested). With that definition I can’t say that the Queens don’t fall into this pattern…

Or can I?

For me, this trope needs characters, and I don’t see the Queens as characters. They are simply props for Viren and the plan he’s trying to put into action. So when they died I didn’t find to too, for lack of a better term, problematic when that happened.

As the series goes on I would like for there to be more LGBTQ characters who are actual characters and have growth and a story, not just props used in another’s plan.

Now, this reading has its own problems, introducing your first LGBTQ characters being already dead isn’t a good look considering how people view queer rep, but I still don’t see this particular instance fall into the Bury Your Gays trope.

This is subject to change as the show goes from here, but these are my feelings about it as the moment.

Let me know what y’all think, about this trope or about the show as a whole.

Thanks for reading!