Monday, October 29, 2018

Sorting Storybrooke into Hogwarts Houses

A couple months ago I did a short run down, sorting the Avengers into Hogwarts houses. Now, as my wife and I re-watch Once Upon a Time, it's time to sort some heroes and villains from the Enchanted Forest. Where do you think they'd end up?

Evil Queen/Regina Mills - Gryffindor
It's funny how, despite being the on-and-off villain of the series, Regina ends up being one of the most valiant heroes of the series. Currently my wife and I are re-watching the Wicked Witch arc and this is when Regina really begins to transform into a hero. Once she owns the light inside of her, Regina becomes a brave addition to the heroes. She was the saving grace for me in Season 7, the poor reboot that couldn't. And due to her bravery, I'm sorting her into Gryffindor.

Snow White/Mary Margaret - Hufflepuff
Maybe it's the play "Puffs" in my head, but Snow White always seems like the overly peppy, hopeful, friendly type (even when she has her moments of doubt). Despite many setbacks and maybe disappointments, she has her hope. Beyond that, she's also all about her family and loyalty. Not just loyalty to people, but loyalty to what's right as well. Because she's the epitome of Once loyalty to me, she's sorted into Hufflepuff.

Prince Charming/David Nolan - Gryffindor
David is kind of the stereotypical, overeager Gryffindor. He has a good heart. At the same time, he'd kind of headstrong and impulsive. He's also the stereotype of Gryffindors being a bit self-righteous. That being said, he'll bravely charge into battle to defend his family, even if it means delivering Emma to the wardrobe or crossing into the Wish Realm to save grown-up Henry. So for his big-headed courage, he's in Gryffindor.

Belle French - Ravenclaw
This one is maybe even too obvious to post. But Belle's whole hero MO was her brain. Instead of grabbing a sword or a bow, she would much more quickly grab a book. Instead of fighting, Belle fought with knowledge. We know this from her trip to Arendelle, her discovery of Hook's cloaked ship after his arrival, or any other number of events. That being said, she also threw her fair share of punches.

Captain Hook/Rogers - Slytherin
I'm sorting both versions of Captain Hook into Slytherin, due to their cunning. Even when Hook (both original and wish version) became a hero, he was cunning and scheming. The original's ambition and devisivenss in winning Emma's affection and fighting to keep her shows his ambitiousness. In addition, Wish-Hook/Rogers crossed realms and endured curses in order to rescue and reunite with his daughter Alice. Finally, it was even stated to Tinkerbell (in a shared history for both) that Hook was all about self-preservation, a key trait of the house.

Rumpelstiltskin/Mr.Gold/Weaver - Slytherin
I don't think this should come as any surprise to anyone. Slytherins are known for their cunning and ambition. Whether we're talking about his scheming to get the Sorcerer's Hat in Season 4, his manipulation to break the Dark Curse in Season 1, or his long-term plans to get him back to Belle in Season 7, Rumpel was all about ambition. If we need further evidence, we have extensive conversations in Season 3 in Neverland talking about his self-preservation habits, a trait common among Slytherins.

Emma Swan - Gryffindor
I think I knew from the start that "the Savior" would be a Gryffindor. There was no question. She's too cynical for Hufflepuff, she's too just for Slytherin, and she's too impulsive for Ravenclaw. The thing she does have is her impulsive bravery, just like her father. Whether she was charging into the Darkness to save Regina in Season 4 or taking control of Storybrooke's chaos in Season 2 right after the curse broke.

Where do you think our Storybrooke heroes should be sorted? What about our Season 7 reboot heroes?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Pokemon: Codename Looker


As I mentioned in a recent post about Pokemon, the life of a certain Looker is a little fuzzy. So I wanted to put his apparently timeline together (assuming that theory was correct).

In Pokemon RBY/FRLG, there's a Global Police agent aboard the SS Anne. This black and white Global Police Agent was on the trail of Team Rocket. He has no name, but as I previously theorized, this is likely Looker.


Shortly thereafter, in Pokemon ORAS, Looker washes up on the shore of Hoenn. Whether the SS Anne capsized like in the Anime, or he simply washed overboard, Looker shipwrecking could have easily had something to do with the storm that Kyogre whipped up in AlphaSapphire (where he ended up in the non-Mega Evolution timeline is another question, but I'm not going to discuss parallel timelines here).


Stated in Pokemon SM, 10 years before those events, Looker, Nanu, and another faller track Guzzlord. The unnamed faller died, but Looker and Nanu find Anabel in the Alola region. It's unclear when exactly this happens, but it's likely it was after his appearance in Pokemon ORAS and before his appearance in Pokemon Platinum.

THREE YEARS LATER

Somewhere in the three years after, Looker appears in Sinnoh during Pokemon Platinium. Over the course of the game, Looker helps the player (Dawn/Lucas). They meet several times throughout the game, as Looker helps Dawn/Lucas fight Team Galactic. Ultimately, after Cyrus goes into the Distortion World, Looker investigates Charon, finally arresting him.


A FEW YEARS LATER

Sometime after (probably two or three years), Looker made his way to the Unova region. He first meets the player (Hilbert/Hilda) after the defeat of Team Plasma at N's Castle. He gets Hilbert/Hilda's help in capturing the Seven Sages. After each is defeated, Looker takes them into custody.


TWO YEARS LATER

During the two years following Pokemon BW, Looker makes his way to Kalos, eventually basing himself out of Lumiose City. After the player (Calem/Serena) beats the Elite Four in Pokemon XY, he signs him/her on as his assistant. The various assignments Looker sends Calem/Serena to do eventually lead Looker and his assistant to Xerosic of Team Flare. After apprehending Xerosic, he leaves Kalos, not to be seen for another two years.


TWO YEARS LATER

After becoming the Champion in Pokemon SM, the player (Elio/Selene) is put to work by Looker and his boss Anabel to investigate and catch the Ultra Beasts.

And of course, based on a previously stated theory, all of this timeline could go out the window if Looker jumps into his TARDIS and does all these events out of order anyway.

He's even frantic and erratic like the 10th Doctor


Friday, October 19, 2018

The Quiet Power of Inara Serra

The legendary TV series Firefly brought us over a dozen incredible characters, but the hardest to understand yet arguably strongest is the companion Inara. Despite her controversial career choice, she is the voice of comfort, wisdom and the matriarch of the Serenity's crew.

*If you haven't seen Firefly spoilers and also what's wrong with you? Seriously, get your life together and watch it.*

Inara is a companion. In the Firefly universe this essentially means a high priced prostitute, but she is so much more than that. Inara is a lady in every sense of the word. Trained not only in the physical aspects of her job, she is also well versed in the art of conversation, tea service, and socializing. She frequently mingles with the upper crust of society, honored and accepted in her station and even envied for her lifestyle. She works from the Serenity as a way to expand her clientele and see what the universe has to offer, converting one of the shuttles into her own private lounge.

Inara's strength doesn't come from her ability to fly a ship or shoot a gun, but from the pure feminine energy she extrudes in every aspect of her being. Her cabin is a drastic contrast to the rest of the ship, decorated in silks and cushions, making it a soft welcoming place, as opposed to the hard edges and metals in the rest of the ship. She speaks gently whenever she talks, even in anger or frustration, using her force of will rather than volume to defend her space.

Her relationships with her shipmates are as diverse as the crew itself. With Kaylee she acts as an older sister, with River she becomes a mother. With Jayne she's more of a scolding nanny and most interestingly besides her psudeo love interest is her relationship with Shepard Book. Shepard in this context is a traveling minister for a vaguely unexplored Christian denomination, and when he first meets Inara both seem slightly standoffish, as their professions seem to be polar opposites. They quickly grow to see the wisdom in each other's council, and form a mutual respect in one another, sometimes even appearing as the only sane people on the ship.

Inara-focused episodes don't break out into her firing a gun or chasing down a spaceship. They focus mainly on her place as a companion and what that relationship brings out in others. The most notable episode featuring this is Jaynestown, where a wealthy merchant hires her as a companion for his son, with the hope to "Make him a man" by taking his virginity.

Inara, in true form, performs her job but explains to the young man that what they did does not make him a man, and that it's not her place to do so. She helps him navigate his complex feelings of masculinity and his relationship with his father, helping him see that weather or not he is a man is up to him, not up to his father or society. He defines his masculinity, which ties into the other characters conflict and ends up saving the day.

It's easy to say Inara is a throw-away character by hearing her profession described. Most prostitute characters are played purely for laughs, occasionally as tragic characters like Les Miserables Fantine, but rarely are they painted as people to respect or admire. In Firefly's short lifetime we met a strong fascinating woman that exemplified femininity, not despite her profession but because of it, making her one of fiction's strongest women.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Almost Invisible Alien

(This post was originally posted on my personal blog in March 2013)


SPOILER ALERT FOR ANY DOCTOR WHO FANS!!! I’m going to be talking about a Season 5 (Eleventh Doctor) episode today.

The episode features the Doctor and Amy, his companion, traveling back to nineteenth century France to meet Vincent van Gogh and take care of an alien he’d painted in a church. Whilst taking care of the alien, the Doctor finds van Gogh having an emotional breakdown that very much reminded me of my experiences with depression. Though there is no consensus about what van Gogh’s mental disorder was, the writers of Doctor Who portray it as a bipolar disorder. As I watched the episode, van Gogh mourning his loneliness, misery, and hopelessness, I was reminded of my own episodes of depression, feeling that I have no hope and I eventually all those close to me will leave me. Yet I can also relate to how only a little while later, van Gogh had cried it out and was a happy person again. He says that occasionally he’d be tormented by those moods, but then suddenly he’d be okay. Sometimes I feel like I can go days or weeks at a time feeling completely happy… and then an episode hits and I’m upset for a day, a few days, a week, or who knows how long. It wasn’t until the end of the episode when the Doctor takes van Gogh to the present day and he sees a museum full of his own work that he believes his life was worth something.

Depression, bipolar, and other mental disorders are a huge trial for many. One source I looked at said that about 10% of the US adult population deals with depression. Another statistic said that about 2.6% of the population deals with bipolar. Another thing I want to touch on here is suicide. Like van Gogh eventually took his life, there are many that feel mortality is too painful and so they take their own life to ease the pain. One website told me that in 2010 it was reported that there were 38,364 deaths in the United States. The same website says that 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. And what about the other 10%? Does that mean that that 10% without a diagnosable disorder could have been helped? Perhaps saved?

Back in the 1980s, Elder Ballard said about suicide, “Obviously, we do not know the full circumstances surrounding every suicide. Only the Lord knows all the details, and he it is who will judge our actions here on earth. When he does judge us, I feel he will take all things into consideration: our genetic and chemical makeup, our mental state, our intellectual capacity, the teachings we have received, the traditions of our fathers, our health, and so forth.”
  
It’s important to show love to those around us, because as the saying goes “everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” but oftentimes we can’t see that. Like in the Doctor Who episode, the alien is invisible to all except van Gogh. He’s labeled as crazy and mad. Even when the Doctor and Amy try to help him with the alien, they’re left pretty helpless because the only person who can see it clearly is van Gogh. It is just like depression and other mental illnesses. I have felt many times like I am fighting an alien that only I can see.

There is help though. If you are struggling with depression, bipolar, or another mental illness, see a doctor or see a psychiatrist. All else fails, call this number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Human life is too precious to give up so easily. Keep trying. No matter how many times you fall, keep trying, because you’ll make it to eternal life if you just keep trying to keep the commandments.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Digimon Adventure Loose Ends (2)

A year and a half ago, the Digimon fanbase was in the middle of the Digimon Adventure Tri series. I did a post about the loose ends the series left after that universe seemingly closed over 15 years before. So now that Digimon Adventure Tri has ended officially (and the dubbed has aired in English), we have another Digimon Adventure project announced. So in honor of that, I've got some more Digimon Adventure loose ends that this new series could address.

02 Kids and King Drasil
In the opening of "Reunion", we see the Season 2 kids taken down by King Drasil's Royal Knight Alphamon. They appeared to be in their Digital World clothing. We see nothing of them until silhouettes in "Future", where we learn they were interfering with King Drasil's plans. So Why were they in the Digital World to begin with? What happened to their partners? I'd personally like more details and maybe more than a sillhouette.


Dragomon, Maki, and the Dark Ocean
I referenced this one in my old post, but we had Dragomon alluded to in "His Master's Voice" (episode 2x13) ending with a silhouette and a cryptic narration. We saw the Dark Ocean again several times after that cliffhanger, but nothing. Last we saw of the Dark Ocean, we saw Maki being dragged into the ocean, seemingly by Dragomon's minions (Scubmaon/Divermon). So what happened to Maki? And Tapirmon? And Dragomon?


Gennai and the Black Sphere
Again, I alluded to it before. I feel like I have even more evidence towards it. In "The Ultimate Clash" (episode 1x45), Piedmon pushed a mysterious black sphere into Gennai's back. Could this be why Dark Gennai was working for King Drasil in Adventure Tri?


Daemon's return
Speaking of Dark Gennai, as he disappeared at the end of "Future", he referenced the possibility of Daemon coming back. Granted, this could be his insanity, but when Daemon was sent to the Dark Ocean in "The Dark Gate" (episode 2x45) he vowed to return. It would definitely be unexpected to have Daemon return out of nowhere, maybe with Dark Gennai's help?


Daigo and Maki's team
First seen as sillhouettes in "Now Apocalymon" (episode 1x53) and then in flashbacks in "Loss" and "Coexistence", we didn't have any information on the original Digi-Destined for almost 20 years. Then we met two of them and they've both (presumably) died. I would love to see flashbacks again, maybe from the perspective of the Digimon (now the Digimon Sovereign) to fill in some of the blanks. Or I suppose we could see some of the other three kids who remained nameless when we met Maki and Daigo?


Anything from Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, or Digimon Adventure Tri you'd like tied up nicely in the 20th anniversary movies? Maybe some action with Davis, Ken, Yolei, and Cody. Maybe they could get crests and reach Ultimate and/or Mega? That'd be fun.