#i write sonic in some aspects
( pltbhplbhbh )
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20 Questions With Darren Criss: How Acting Has Helped Him Make New Music
While Darren Criss has graced our TV screens with a range of characters, from high schooler Blaine Anderson on Glee to serial killer Andrew Cunanan on The Assassination of Gianni Versace, he was last spotted just being himself, on our For You Page on TikTok. “I’m walking to rehearsal with a guitar on my back with a Trader Joe’s bag ... I did not bring an umbrella because I forgot that it was raining. I’m rocking that NYC musician life,” the Glee alum explained in the hilarious clip posted three days ago.
While Criss’ acting work has earned him acclaim and stardom, he leaned into making music during the pandemic. On Aug. 20, he dropped a new EP, Masquerade, featuring five new tracks that Criss says were inspired by the different characters Criss has embraced throughout his career. After Criss wrote songs for his musical comedy web series Royalties and Apple TV+’s animated sitcom Central Park before the pandemic struck the United States, he then used those experiences as a precursor to his new EP. As Criss continues to promote his new music, he answered 20 of Billboard's questions – giving us a peek into how his new EP came together, and how growing up in San Fransisco shaped him as an actor, singer and all-around artist.
1. What inspired your latest project, Masquerade?
Although I would have preferred that it come at a far less grim cost, I finally had the time. Before the pandemic, I had written 10 new songs for my show Royalties -- along with an original song for Disney and another for Apple’s Central Park. These were all assignments in which I was writing for a certain scenario and character. Go figure. It was the most music I had ever written in a calendar year. This really emboldened me to rethink how I made my own music— to start putting a focus on “character creation” in my songs, rather than personal reflection. The latter was not proving to be as productive. The alchemy of having this time and having set a new intention with my own songwriting and producing made me put on a few of my favorite masques and throw myself a Masquerade.
2. How do you think your background as an actor complements your music?
They are one and the same to me. I treat acting roles like musical pieces— dialogue is like scoring a melody; there’s pace, dynamics, cadence, tone. Physical characterization is like producing -- zeroing in on the bass line, deciding on the kick pattern. Vocal characterization is like choosing the right sonic experience, choosing the most effective snare sound, and mixing the high end or low end. It goes without saying that it works in the complete opposite direction. Making each song is taking on a different role literally and employing the use of different masques to maximize the effectiveness of the particular story being told.
3. On Instagram you wrote that “Masquerade is a small collection of the variety of musical masques that have always inspired me.” Which track do you identify with most in your real life?
Everybody absorbs songs differently. Some key into the lyrics, some into the melody, some the production, some into vocal performance. When I listen to songs, I consider all of their value on totally different scales. So it’s hard to say if there’s any track I “identify” with more than any others, since I -- by nature -- identify with all of them. I think I just identify with certain aspects more than others. If it helps for a more interesting answer, I will say I enjoy the slightly more classical, playful -- dare I say -- more Broadway-leaning wordplay of “Walk of Shame,” but that’s just talking about lyricism. I enjoy the attitude of “F*kn Around,” the batsh--t musicality of “I Can’t Dance,” the relentless grooves of “Let’s” and “For A Night Like This.” All have different ingredients I really enjoy having an excuse to dive into.
4. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?
Beatles audio cassettes: “Help” and “Hard Day’s Night.” I just listened on repeat on a tape-playing Walkman until my brother and I got a stereo for our room with a CD player in it, which was when I just bought the same two albums again, but this time as compact discs.
5. What was the first concert you saw?It’s hard to say, because my parents took us to a lot of classical concerts when we were small. But I guess this question usually refers to what was the first concert you went to on your own volition, and that my friend, was definitely Warped Tour ’01. My brother and I went on our own— two teenagers going to their first music festival, in the golden age of that particular genre and culture. It was f--king incredible.
6. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid?
My dad was in private banking and advised really, really wealthy people on how to handle their money. My mom was, by choice, a stay-at-home mom, but in reality, she was my dad’s consigliere. They discussed absolutely everything together. They were a real team, and I saw that every single day in the house. They both had a background in finance (That’s how they met in the first place.) and were incredibly skilled at all the hardcore adulting things that I absolutely suck at. They were total finance wizards together. So of course, instead of becoming an accountant, I picked up playing the guitar and ran as far I could with it. Luckily, they were all about it.
7. What was your favorite homecooked meal growing up?
My dad was an incredible chef. For special occasions, I’d request his crab cakes. They were unreal. I’ve never had a crab cake anywhere in the world that was good as my dad’s.
8. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?
I don’t know if I’ve actually realized that yet.
9. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?
The specifics change every day, but the core idea at the top is to continue being consistently inconsistent with my choices, and to keep getting audiences to constantly reconsider their consideration of me. But I mean, sure, what performer doesn’t want to play Coachella? What songwriter doesn’t want to have Adele sing one of their songs? What actor doesn’t want to be in a Wes Anderson film?
10. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?
San Francisco. I mean, come on. I was really lucky. The older I get, the more grateful I am for just being born and raised there. It’s an incredibly diverse, culturally rich, colorful, inclusive, vibrant city. By the time I was born, it had served as a beacon for millions of creative, out-of-the-box thinkers to gather and thrive. I grew up around that. The combination of that with having parents, who were unbelievably supportive of the arts themselves, laid an incredibly fortunate foundation to consider the life of an artist as a legitimately viable option. It’s a foundation that I am supremely aware is not the case for millions of young artists around the world. I was absurdly lucky.
11. What’s the last song you listened to?
I mean probably one of mine, but not by choice. I know, lame. But I’m promoting a new EP, what’d you expect? But if you wanna know what I’ve been listening to, as far as new s--t is concerned: a lot of Lizzy McAlpine, Remi Wolf, and Charlie Burg.
12. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?
The Beatles is an obvious "yeah, duh." Sammy Davis, Mel Tormé, or of course, Nat King Cole. I would’ve loved to see Howard Ashman give a lecture on his creative process and his body of work.
13. What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd of one of your sets?
I feel like just having a crowd at all, at any one of my sets, is pretty wild enough.
14. What’s your karaoke go-to?
The real answer to this I’ll write into a book one day, because I have a lot to say about karaoke etiquette. I have two options here: I can either name a song that I like to sing for me, for fun, or I can name a song that really gets the group going. The answer depends on what kind of karaoke night we’re dealing with here. So I will say, after I’ve selected a ton of songs that services a decent enough party vibe for everyone else, then I would do one for me, and that would be the Beatles’ “Oh! Darling.”
15. What’s one thing your most devoted fans don’t know about you?
What I have up my sleeve.
16. What TV show did you binge-watch over the past year?
Dave is a stroke of genius. There are episodes that I believe are bona fide masterpieces. Also, My Brilliant Friend is a masterclass in cinematic television.
17. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?
It’s A Wonderful Life.
18. What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Get used to sharing everything about yourself and your life now, or more astutely, to the idea that you don’t necessarily get to control how your life is shared. I know it’s not really your thing, but you’re gonna have to get used to it, so start building up those calluses now. And don’t worry, all the stuff you love now will be cool again in your mid-thirties, so keep some of those clothes because you’ll be a full-blown fashion icon if you just keep wearing exactly what you’re wearing. Oh nd also, put money into Apple and Facebook.
19. What new hobby did you take on in the last year?
I’ve always been a linguaphile. My idea of leisure time is getting to study or review other languages. This past year, I took the time to finally dive into learning how to read, write, and speak Japanese. Other than making music, it was one of the biggest components of my 2020-2021.
20. What do you hope to accomplish or experience by the end of 2021?
I hope I get to play live shows again.
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Sonamy Paradise – a reflection on recent and future events
[Translator’s note: this article was originally written in Spanish by @latin-dr-robotnik. Every link with an asterisk leads to a Spanish page.]
Today we’re going to delve once again in a topic that is well known but still discussed in our fandom.
Sonamy. Yeah, I know, really original, right? Well, the audience of this blog is largely attracted to this side of the Sonic franchise, and I don’t see why I should stop analyzing it. Some months ago, we discussed about the progression of Sonamy in IDW Sonic, and before that we also talked about the current situation of the dynamic and its impact on the main canon. In both articles I said very interesting things that are worth bringing up again:
The way SEGA has been recently trying to push Sonic and Amy in front view (and for the entirety of 2020, based on the articles I mentioned in the beginning) tells us the harsh truth we all have to accept sooner or later: Sonamy sells, and it sells a lot. From a strictly business point of view, the ship is so iconic and popular, with fans and detractors alike, that it would be absurd for SEGA to ignore the chance to print these two characters and get a load of money. […] Outside of the business perspective, I believe we’re facing the moment that we’ve been waiting for: it’s time they’ll establish once and for all the dynamic of these two characters, following more closely the original Japanese vision of Sonic. I said many times that, in trying to change canon, the West, especially SEGA of America, did nothing but confuse fans and generate more discussions than needed, by introducing different data and portrayals that contradict the canon established by Sonic Team.
[…] nowadays I think that SEGA has spoken loud and clear. I think canon is ready to negotiate the idea that Sonic and Amy, apart from being excellent friends who would risk their lives for each other in a heartbeat, have something else on their hands (probably the other’s hand). This won’t automatically translate into a kiss, or a complete love declaration (although Sonic X came close…), or a commitment to a formal relationship like we know them in real life. SEGA canon affirms that Amy is “Sonic’s girlfriend” and nothing more. Outside of that detail, they still pretty much function as friends interacting with a little flirting here, and a little Sonic running away there. It’s the basis of their dynamic, now enhanced by the fact that SEGA is giving us a clearer message.
SEGA and its most recent Sonamy side – more canon than ever
An interesting detail that wasn’t included in the ask and that makes me think is the possibility that all of this will feature in the games as well. This is a completely different matter for another day, but I like to think that there is the possibility that we’ll see SEGA being more interested in inserting more Sonamy in the games, even if in an indirect way like in Sonic Unleashed and its emotional support, especially if the rumors that we’re about to get a soft-reboot are true. Romance is not something Sonic games are famous for doing well… at all, but that doesn’t mean it would be a bad idea to add a little sprinkle of IDW Sonamy in the mix.
Opinion: How could Sonamy progress in IDW?
Based on these quotes, that reference the more corporative side of SEGA and the actual Sonic canon, along with the huge wave of shipping material in the recent IDW Sonic #39, my plan for today is to compile some of the opinions that friends of mine have shared (thank you for your time!). The question was simple: Do you think this recent IDW push could be part of a bigger change in direction going forward, or just blatant amounts of fanservice for the sake of it?
The council of the people
The first person to offer her opinions about this Sonamy debate is Beevean, who helped with previous projects like the music in Sonic Forces and by translating some of my articles in English. As I was the reason that she became a shipper again, I asked her a few questions, including the one above that will serve as a guideline for all the other contributions. Beevean then offered a short chronology of interactions, before giving a piece of her mind about the present and the future of the ship:
Well, I’m not sure if you ever chronicled every interaction between Sonic and Amy in the main series to see how their relationship has changed during the years? Not counting the Classic series where the only signs of Sonamy are CD’s manual and outro, from 1998 to 2005 you can see a steady flanderization from "Amy likes Sonic and teases him but they’re still good friends" to “Sonic can’t stand the sight of Amy because she’s a psycho”. Thank you for your service, Sonic X.
Then in Sonic ‘06 they barely interact because Amy is Silver’s amiga, but Amy says her prone-to-different-interpretations line “If I have to choose between the world and Sonic, I will choose Sonic”, up to you if you read it as romantic or obsessed (‘06 has a weird theme of people putting their loved ones before “the world”)
As for Unleashed, I lost count of the times I’ve linked to your emotional support post, so I will say they were trying to ship tease a little more - a ship tease that was all-but-confirmed in Black Knight, the last game written in Japan first.
Then Pontaff happened, and Sonamy took several steps back due to the cast shrinking down, including that awful Generations scene that was so unneeded and mean. This is, IIRC, the last time Amy was depicted as someone Sonic found annoying and clingy; as in Lost World Amy does say (in the English version, I should check the Japanese one) “I’m sorry I couldn’t say...” before “dying”, but aside from that, Amy’s only role is to worry for the Flickies, almost a way to distance her from her “Sonic obsessed” characterization.
And then Boom changed things, and since then Sonamy exploded and that’s how we got to IDW as it is today. Forces in the meanwhile doesn’t do much in the Sonamy department, aside from one single scene where Sonic looks mildly overwhelmed by Amy, but when put it like this it definitely looks like the Boom cartoon tried to establish a more stable dynamic between Sonic and Amy and it was so successful that the rest of the Western media tried to follow suit.
I wonder... IDW is the most faithful adaptation we ever had, even more than Sonic X, and we know that SEGA keeps a close eye on the writing and depiction of the characters (remember that panel that was changed because they didn’t want Sonic to blush?)
I seriously doubt we’ll ever get a game with nods as blatant as IDW simply because IDW is a comic so it’s focused on the story it wants to tell, while Sonic games are on average light on plot (and I suspect Forces’ failure have convinced SEGA that Sonic games should not strive to go back to a more serious tone)
However, there has been Sonamy merch recently... like, some IDW issues even had Sonadow ship tease moments, likely for fanservice reasons, but I ain’t seen t-shirts with those two :P
You can see here that she broached a theme that was not explicitly included in the question, but was alluded to: the possible existence of a game that will capitalize on this change of direction. The elephant in the room is Sonic Unlimited, but as I keep saying, as I am writing this piece, we’re one month away from the possible 30th anniversary announcements: we have little time left to speculate, as we’re so close to discovering the truth.
I then asked the same question to Jessica, the person in charge of the petition for a series based on IDW Sonic in the past, who is still following with me the development of the comic and especially of Sonamy.
I believe they are going to hint at the fact that there’s something more than friendship going on. There won’t be any kisses, but there will be insinuations.
Jessi in particular has showed a remarkable interest for these recent interactions between Sonic and Amy: she has pointed out how hard it is for them to hide the fact that there is something more under their friendship, and how writers, Evan Stanley most of all, are trying to show more of this peculiar aspect of the dynamic of these two characters.
Now, the next opinions come from a group of friends that are even closer to me. I left my question to a team that maybe you guys know if you have actively participated in the discussion spaces of the blog. We’ll start with Mort’s* opinion. The mind behind the Sonic Caos* channel, moderator of our server and co-host of the Seaside Hill Podcast*:
I still haven’t read the last IDW issues. Now you’re hyping me up and I can’t wait to read them ASAP. But this is causing the Unlimited idea to make a lot more sense. Thing is, whatever is done with Sonamy, the theme is always fanservice. Although they tried in Unleashed to put these characters closer, this development was cut short by the poor quality of future games. It's not crazy to thing that they’re going to deepen the characters and their relationship in this new era, going as far as changing the way Amy interacts with Sonic.
I have to mention that Sonic Unlimited was a main theme of the first episode of our podcast, and it will probably be brought up again in the second episode, the 22nd of May. Our debates always tend to orbit around the same topics, but it’s interesting to see that the perspective of the previous articles, a supposed change in direction for the Sonic-Amy dynamic, ends up being mentioned or alluded to, regardless if you consider the perspective that the ship sells.
Now roll down your red carpets because the next opinion comes from our residential Sonamy expert, Yvanix Rose*. She’s a translator*, an important member of the Sonic Stage Argentina* staff, moderator of our server (she still hasn’t taken part in our podcast, maybe one day…), and someone who has contributed multiple times to the Sonamy debate on this blog, directly or indirectly in the form of threads or translations:
I don’t like closing myself to a single option or point of view, I usually just consider the possibilities and try to test the waters/define/calculate which ones are more likely to happen and which ones are not.
That said, I will try to contribute something to this conversation, but perhaps there could be mistakes, I peaced out at the end of the Zombot arc and I have not read IDW Sonic since.
Both could likely be true:
- We talked about Unlimited many times already, and since Roger left we always get to the same conclusions (I remember that before that we only laughed about that supposed leak xd)
If Unlimited ends up becoming real we’ll see some changes, the fact that the Sonamy dynamic in IDW is in a form that we already know (?) would be a way of preparing the ground for what is coming in Unlimited It makes sense to me, it will help fans getting used to it and new fans have an approach to the franchise similar to what is coming from the 30th anniversary game.
Anything else I could say was already said by Mort xd
- Fanservice. It makes a lot of sense and there’s no need to explain it. “Sonamy sells” xd (?)
The only contribution I’d like to add is that there could be another reason. Are these issues still written by Evan or has Ian returned? If they are still written by Evan or if Evan and Ian are writing together ... Maybe the "fanservice" is because of that, because Ian is not the writer or he is but he’s not alone. Could be more like a decision / suggestion from Evan and not so much something from SEGA xd
I find interesting this position of expanding the debate beyond what I said about change of direction vs pure fanservice, and also opening the possibility that we are facing a conjunctural Sonamy moment, since these are the last issues written by Evan Stanley before she is replaced by Ian Flynn, who is coming back as the main writer starting from issue #50, mentioned as a major milestone in the latest IDW Sonic panel. In this case, the third position could be that it is just something nice that is being done without much direct order from SEGA. Of course, they are the ones who must approve each issue that comes out, but at the same time they might not be demanding “put more Sonamy here for that reason” (borrowing words from Mort), but it’s rather a proposal from Ian and/or Evan.
Other opinions that go around in our Discord server* (my other server in English isn’t as interested in this topic, but I’ll mention it to have an excuse to promote it) seem to follow a similar mentality: whether it’s arguing in favor of Sonic Unlimited, defending the fanservice, asking for a stronger and more widespread canonization, our public space for discussion seems to have taken a position in favor of the current way of presenting the Sonamy dynamic in IDW Sonic becoming the standard for all types of Sonic canon.
And finally, we have our last opinion, courtesy of Facu. Genshiro on Youtube* (he recently talked about SEGA and NFTs*), mod of our server and co-host of our Seaside Hill Podcast:
My journey through the Sonic IDW comics stopped at the end of the metal virus arc, with the Deadly Six and that beautiful Super Sonic/Silver scene. Since then, what little I have seen was because I spoiled myself or because of panels that were posted on different pages and here on Discord.
And to add my two cents, if I see a LOT of Sonamy in the franchise lately, I also think it’s fanservice, because Yvi said, and we all know that, “Sonamy sells”. But I find it curious that after the Unlimited leak, the success that it’s having and how every time it becomes more of a reality than a leak, it makes me think that it is a way to get used to what is coming, because, if Unlimited is real, it would be shocking to see Sonic and Amy together since they haven’t interacted for a long time, let alone having Amy as a playable character. Seeing that we’re getting a little more and more Sonamy each time makes me think that it may be because of Unlimited, to test the waters or simply fanservice.
I don’t think I have much more to say, as I said before, I stopped at the end of the metal virus saga with IDW, after that my relationship with Sonic IDW is based on spoilers that I see sometimes XD
Going back to the quotes I started this article with, I believe I’m not too far in my analysis of the situation of Sonamy in canon. In fact, I did not expect in any circumstance to see so many hints at their closeness as we did in #39, and this made me think about some things.
Sonamy or not, we’re at a turning point. The Sonic in 2022 and 2023 will likely be different from the Sonic in 2020 and 2021. Between the comic, the movie, the TV series and the still-elusive games, a new identity for our blue hedgehog is being forged, and I don’t doubt for a second that we’re going to see it more and more this year. I’m inclined to believe that this process of resignification for Sonic will be also applied to his personal relationships (we’ll see what they’ll do with Knuckles, for example), and Amy will be at the forefront of these efforts. Between marketing and fandom reception, I believe that there is still so much yet to see, and somehow IDW Sonic could function as a testing ground if SEGA is really paying attention to what’s going on. Leaving aside Sonamy for a moment, IDW Sonic is the only medium that is currently bothering to give more context and a bigger role to the Deadly Six, trying to grant them a place that many in the fandom don’t believe they should take, after a mediocre introduction in Lost World and SEGA’s fascination to keep bringing back Zavok, like in Forces and TSR.
As I started to work on this article, SEGA’s most recent fiscal results appeared (just as I predicted on this blog): in particular they spoke with their investors about strategies employed according to the franchises they work with, depending on if they’re active or inactive/dormant. Among their strategies, they mentioned three possibilities: remaster, remake and reboot. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? This got me thinking about not only the franchises that can be revived with those three possible strategies, but it also left me pondering what SEGA intends to do with Sonic. Remaster is something we know they will do with Colors Ultimate (and that Generations and Unleashed would deserve as well); remake is something the fandom has obviously been asking for for years (SA1 and 2); and finally reboot, which sounds strange for Sonic... until we remember that the Sonic Rose/Unlimited leak claimed that it was a soft-reboot of the series.
What is my point? SEGA is aware of the strategies it has at its disposal, and among all its franchises it seems that Sonic is in the middle of everything. All the options are good for Sonic in this context, and that makes me think, makes me think more and more about this change of direction, given the possibility that what is coming in the next months will be great. Although we talk more than anything about Sonamy today, it will probably not be the only thing that is resignified for the future.
IDW Sonic #36, the panel that had Sonic blushing in its original draft.
I would like to use this space to thank all the people who took a moment today to participate in this article, to share their opinions and thoughts about what is happening or what could happen in the future. The Sonamy articles on my blog tend to focus only on my perspective, but I hope I have done a good job of presenting other opinions, offering the possibility to explain themselves to people with whom we always talk, people who participate in our discussion spaces, and people I feel deep respect and affection for.
We have shown these perspectives and we briefly commented on some of the details that caught my attention, but what do you guys think? Do you think that this huge Sonamy wave of the past 6 months, in and outside the comics, is a sign of a general change of direction in the representation of Sonic? Or is it simple fanservice that should not be analyzed too deeply?
As always, I invite you to participate to our Discord server*, and if you’re interested in hearing more from Facu, Mort or me, join us for the second episode of the SHP Podcast LIVE on Saturday, May 22nd. See you there!
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So Caro how do you like "butter"?? 😳🤔
i’ll be cranking out my media major, let's review butter stylistically. ✍️ in four aspects — sonically, visually, lyrically, and concept-wise.
sonically: 9/10. here’s an interesting comparison i found, this can be calculated by looking at the stats of a musical piece. if you want to do harmonic mixing with another bts song, seesaw (!) is the most similar to it. with the exception that it’s written in f minor but other than that, the bpm/energy/danceability is uncanny. mindboggling. in other words, two bts songs can have the same anatomy and be entirely different worlds. that’s seriously hard to pull off. talking genre, recalling that namjoon said it's a "super retro disco pop new age acoustic ballad", that description is right on 😂it gets very daft punk after 1:38, groovy, the production is quite proper. especially in the second half, it’s a firework and all transitions VERY well. what i liked less, the voices are quite meddled with and as last time, the pitch gets higher and higher so the baritones need more pressure on the voice to be heard (i salute taehyung, my mezzo would be breaking apart). it’s a miracle that rapline can handle these songs. they put a heavier bassline under yoongi’s and rm’s bars, and separated hoseok toward the end since his tone is higher so, i hear you, someone knows what they’re doing. as for the tenors, looking forward to the live rendition of the mixed register bits and the vocal runs. bts are stable like that and jk’s timbre carries the song effortlessly (as is everyone’s great english pronunciation, these guys work so hard) so they wouldn't need autotune, figure it's been added for artistic effect, the retro vibes. a bonus on the other hand, jin getting his lines, hell yes, the spotlight for him. and the arrangement of their parts in general is quite ingeniously done, that looks like the workings of namjoon’s giant brain.
visually: 9/10. the dancebreak being the highlight — this is the sexiest thing i've ever seen — we get to see some really fancy moves from everybody and the hairstyles are quite a feast. jimin and jk have been much-talked-about so i'll emphasize the extravagance of hobi's 2013 MAMA g-dragonesque neon yellow here. he’s the smooth like butter guy they’re talking about indeed, butter hair, butter attitude, butter on his plat! 😂it’s seriously good thinking to have one member embody the concept with a color so, pretty clever. making him stand out as the ending fairy and then blending in the butter logo is equally smart. they wanted to catch our eye, they achieved it. the couture: yep, fashion youtube will have a good time going through all the outfits. from tae's chanel earrings, jin’s skirt, to white suits to jackets over the shoulder. very stylish. someone put a lot of thought into it, and i'm a sucker for some gnc undertones so very cool stuff. the only (very trivial) minus i noticed, a lot of the tailoring does not exactl fit the boys’ bodies to a t, see jungkook’s or jin’s sleeves, though you can’t expect bts to have a tailor come in and fix so many outfits with so many comebacks at once. the dance, it's a compilation of many classic bts moves. i feel like it could be tiny bit more distinguished with a whopping new complex signature formation that bts is famous for in creating, then again the full dance practice isn't out and the head nodding part is quite a visual anchor. also: i noticed they put yoongi in front row a lot. someone’s shoulder is finally better again, we can prepare for some good stuff.
lyrically: 4/10. the song fulfills its function, it creates the mood, but i’m hard to please in that regard as mentioned before. why: time and again i realize that yoongi, rm, and pdogg spoil us with comforting or on-fire lyrics that hit home and are on brand. same idea as in dynamite here, we're hit with a lotta english catchphrases that we usually wouldn't hear from bangtan. it's party mode, it's the summer hit kinda writing, so yeah it does what it’s supposed to do anyway and anybody can sing along. it’s catchy and solid for sure. the 'smooth criminal/superstar/heartbreaker' idea is carried through as a red string so thematically, it's coherent at least. a lot of lines are downright hilarious with random analogies and i don't know if the writers are serious or not. they could go all the way to make it clearer that humor and braggadocio is the concept here, exaggerate it even more. you can’t always tell if it’s a parody of a ‘yeah i’m the man you all fall for me’ sentiment or if it’s 100% business. in some parts of the song it works, in others it makes less sense. where i’ve seen bts execute this well with their own writing is converse high, that’s the bar. it’s also a personal lesson for me since i write crack often, butter tells you where to put the punchlines and where to keep it neutral. a lot of it is all over the place. on the other hand, it fits right on the beat. and perfectly executed pop so i'm a bit torn. i like the ‘got that heat’ part they gave jimin. 'side step right left to my beat' is a good chorus entry as well. making light of it, every lyric works as a witty gif or tweet tagline and we'll be circulating these phrases to eternity. every line works as a good comeback in any situation of life. yoongi's verse legit made me giggle. TLDR: the lyrics are partially confusing but they blend with the music well.
conceptually: 8/10. hit the bell for that black and white intro, that was a good idea, same with the latest teaser. and: range, darling. only in a bts video could a cotton candy jimin go from a mugshot to being the president to a basket ball court hero to going full saturday night fever to flexing his legs in less than three minutes. jokes aside: it all fits in the universe of boy with luv and dynamite so points for consistency. bts's directors have outlined a new style for sure. the worldbuilding could go even deeper, but lumpens did a good job giving us many different eye candy serves and an innovative theme that hasn’t been tackled before, k-pop and pancakes why not! there are less actual film sets (and the difference shows, e.g. in Fire or Daechwita it really gave it some oomph), but it's not really needed. butter has no requirement for an agust d-ish plotline with historical buildings and the members' looks are in the center of attention. then again, i like those details of hoseok sitting in a retro apartment at the end — cozy, i love — with a radio. once again, they could exaggerate the vintage even more, it wouldn’t take away from the idea and visuals. i wish they would’ve expanded even more on the melting butter aesthetic shots as well, although it’s neatly tied into the song so it makes sense. the lyrics really have been blended with the choreograpy theme (the side step as a central move) so i’m thinking the art direction and choreographer had quite an in-depth discussion how to create a bigger picture. as for my weakness: cuteness melts me like butter, extra points for jungkook and yoongi being adorable in their seats.
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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
MILES PROWER, ANTI-TAILS
Moebius' true king.
Art by Arealscrog
Archie's wasted character
Who is Miles?
Miles Prower is the Anti equivalent of Tails, from Mobius Prime. He is afew years older, being 11 instead of 8 and much more mature. He still appears to possess Tails' youthful tenacity and desire for independence, but he has a violent rebellious attitude and shows no interest in holding himself to childish things, even though he's only 11 years old himself, hating the nickname "Tails" being an example.
Miles holds his younger counterpart in utter contempt for traits Miles sees as weaknesses, especially how Tails went down the path of Science and technology instead of his magical Chaos force heritage, implying that Miles went down a more mystical path instead of Science, but from what we see in the comic Miles is more in the political field, by that I mean he manipulates all the political aspects of Moebius.
His actions throughout the comic run make him out to be smart, picky, but also cold, calculating and always 5 steps ahead of his own team and Adversaries, this leading to Alicia making him the Suppression Squads leader behind the scenes, while she is the figurehead "ruler."
That's Anti-Tails, Who throughout this I'll be reffering to as "Miles." Now you may be thinking, "Why make a post on an extremely obscure and hardly used Archie character? Why not someone Like Tails, Shadow or a more popular Archie character?"
Well, it's because I believe that Miles had the potential to be one of Archie's most intresting original characters, I believe he could've easily held his own "Suppression Squad" comic run, but Archie Unfortunately really underused him and wasted his potential, but hey...
That's where us fans come in!
This post is All about Miles Canonical self, every canon fact I can find about him and his full story in his short run during Pre-Reboot Archie Sonic, and my own personal headcanons in the later post.
But...before I get into any the headcanons, I need to teach those who don't know him about him, I need to talk about his Canonical self..so, let's get into it. Headcanons will be in the follow up post.
(Reworded from the wiki)
The first appearance of Anti-Tails was back when the character was just "Evil Tails" and it was of him joining the Anti Freedom fighters in an attempt to take over Mobius Prime, prior to the downfall of Eggman.
He and his evil allies pretended to be the good Mobius Prime versions, and struck knothole with acts of mayhem, vandalism and overall mischief, a common thing on moebius. The real Freedom Fighters soon returned to set things straight, but their initial attempts to defeat the Anti-Freedom Fighters failed as their Anti-Mobius selves knew their moves as well as they did. Sally Acorn came upon the solution: switching combat partners. When he faced Rotor, Evil Tails proved unable to overcome the larger and stronger Mobian. Defeated along with the other Anti-Freedom Fighters, he was sent back to Anti-Mobius, where they continued to cause mayhem despite the efforts of the kindly Dr. Ivo Kintobor (Anti-Robotnik) to stop them.
This was the last we saw Evil Tails for awhile, however we did see a cameo of him along with every other tails when they all came together and formed Titan Tails.
The Suppression Squad
Art by Pota on Pixiv
Some time passed before his next appearance, and in that time "Anti-Mobius" went through changes in its name, now "Moebius." And all the characters changed alongside it.
Miles had assisted Boomer in stealing Dr Kintober's goal posts in order to allow the Suppression Squad to have access to inter-dimensional travel. Scourge obviously took this opportunity and went straight to Mobius Prime, along with a few other members of the SS, Miles being one of them, and they attempted an assult on the Freedom HQ, where we see Miles' and Tails face off, with Miles declaring to not be referrd to as Tails or Anti-Tails, but instead just "Miles".
He also indicated his disgust at Tails for having chosen a path of Science and study, despite having a strong connection to "Chaos force", aka magic. This has led to people believing Miles himself is a magic user.
When Metal Sonic attacked Scourge, believing him to be the real Sonic, Miles stayed back and observed instead of helping his king. Now, you may think that's betrayal, but in reality Miles didn't help because he did not wish to undermine Scourges strength, so instead he observed. Soon after Sonic came onto the scene he showed his willingness to help anyone, even his enimies, and this gave Miles an idea:
Let's team up with the freedom fighters to betray Scourge, that's the new plan.
Miles later met up with Sally, Bunnie, Antonie and Tails to offer an alliance, but didn't let Tails speak and showed his contempt to the original version, telling him, "Please don't talk, little boy, We're trying to have an intelligent conversation." Sally accepted the offer, knowing she needed all the help she could get for taking down Scourge.
Upon returning to Scourge, pretending to be running from the freedom fighters, Scourge asked for a summary on his mission, that being "bomb New Metropolis" but Miles ignored him however, instead reporting to Alicia (Anti-Sally) that his mission was a success. Immediately thereafter, Alicia told the Suppression Squad to, "Show our King just what we think of him", with Boomer and Patch clearly readying for battle
However, Miles was doubling up his betrayal, blasting both Sonic and Scourge back into Moebius for them to Duke it out there, with Boomer sealing the portal behind them. An ethical debate followed this, between Sally, Alicia and Miles, the trio being ordered to get the goal posts ready to be able to return the freedom fighters to Mobius after both groups agreed to make sure Scourge was defeated on Moebius by Sonic
Miles was as shocked as the rest of the group to find Scourge had defeated all of his opponents as Super Scourge. When the rest of the Knothole Freedom Fighters and Suppression Squad were quickly defeated, Scourge turned his sights on Miles, identifying him as the mastermind behind the betrayal.
Miles, cowering in fear, denied his role in betraying Scourge, who was threatening to beat him for his betrayal. However, Miles was saved by Silver the Hedgehog and unlike the rest of his allies, wasn't even hurt. Following Scourge's defeat and Miles' attempt to recruit Buns Rabbot into the Suppression Squad, Miles spoke to Alicia about who would be their new leader. Alicia explained that while she may be the figurehead ruler, they both knew Miles held the real authority at this point, to which Miles grinned.
That was the last we see of Miles in the Archie comics, he unfortunately isn't in the post reboot because he's now owned by Ken Penders, so we'll never see him again. Below is all of his official designs, and after that is my final thoughts on the character.
My overview of Miles as a character.
I'm no Character analysist so I'll make this short and sweet, my review of Miles is that he's a Character with alot of potential, but he went wasted, not on purpose, but thanks to the lawsuit.
I believe that if that lawsuit never happened, and that arc was closed up nicely Anti-Tails would of became a far more realistic and grounded Character, and probably pretty popular too. Miles to me is a kid who was manipulated into a life of crime and now believes that's what is right, and I think that could of been an arc for him, mellowing out and becoming a true king for the people of Moebius. I also like how when Scourge goes Super and goes to Miles to confront him, he dosent stand up to him, he dosent become strong, but instead he cowers in fear, hes terrified and tries to lie, to me, that makes him feel more grounded, and I like that.
Personally I wish Miles was more popular, I wish he got more spotlight than he did and I wish his story got concluded, but with what we got, I think he's pretty good, and pretty interesting too! I've seen alot of ideas float around for this dude, all of them making sense in they're on way, and to be honest? His lack of story kinda helps make him more accessible.
Tl:Dr: I like Miles alot, and I hope this post helps you lot learn more about him and overall, gets more people down to write with him, draw with him and explore him!
Would I change him in any way?
Yeah, there's one key part of Miles (from what we got) that I think was wasted. Now, what is that? What would I change about a Character I've mostly praised? Well...
I wish he was magical. In the Archie comics Tails is actually strongly connected to the "Chaos Force", not as connected as Shadow, but still VERY connected, and guess what? Miles and Tails ARE biologically the same, same DNA, and in that bit of the comic, Miles calls Tails out on something he should have no idea about if he himself isn't connected to the same thing (or Moebius equivalent). To me at least this kind of implies Miles is magical too.
Basically, I'd give Miles' moveset a touch of magical abilities, connecting him to Moebius' "Anarchy force". I think it would help separate him abit more from Tails, while also connecting them, because whenever you have science and magic together...they clash.
But yea that's all I'd change in what we got, just hints of magic, some magic attacks here and there. I think it'd be pretty neat, and it'd have the science Vs magic aspect with him and Tails relationship.
Lets finally wrap this up! At least, for now.
Thank you so much for reading all this If you did, it, this took me alot of hours, and I, I think it's over 2000 words now you madman. Why not spend your time doing something more worthwhile? Why not...have fun? meet someone? Go on a date? Live your life? Why read a post on an obscure Character, mainac.
But in all seriousness thank you for reading my post, I really like this character (clearly) and I want to teach people about him, and I hope this post has done that! Post 2. There's going to be a sequel post going over all of my personal headcanons, and possibly a 3rd going over community ones. Keep ya eyes out~
But yea, big read, now you lot know about an obscure Character, and this was fun to write! But now I'm gonna end this post with a fun fact:
Miles and the Suppression Squad were going to have one more arc, it was teased at the end of issue 196, but unfortunately it never got written. That would of been really neat but unfortunately it never got to happen.
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Some IDW related ramblings.
Perhaps it's just the fanart, but I am starting to warm up a little towards the impostor pair. Specifically Kit, though who knows if this will change when the story actually comes out (please don't be just a rehash of Adventure 2/Mimic's plot where everyone mistakes them for Sonic and Tails despite the most blatant differences), but for now I guess he will join Rough and Tumble in my "I just think they are neat" list.
Surge, meanwhile I'm still mostly negative on, if only due to the general impression that everyone only gives her attenton because she looks like Scourge (and especially after seeing enough arts where she's made to be some relative of his, be it his sister or even his daughter). Granted, Kit also reminds me a little too much of King of Sorrow from Klonoa 2, but that's besides the point.
Also, remember how you once said that Surge didn't need to look hedgehog-like to be Sonic's rival? This kinda brings me back to a point I made a loooong time ago: the only character that is still Sonic's rival in the literal sense of the word is Jet. Like, there's supposed to be a clash of worldviews/ideologies between Sonic and Shadow or even Knuckles, but it usually gets skewed because Sonic's the main character, and as such, can never be wrong. Scourge is just pathetic, Surge is trying to ride his coattails, and Blaze has already kinda mellowed out it seems. The two almost barely even interact now, because no one can decide what Blaze's backstory is.
I'm just waiting in my bunker until IDW day hits so I can wait out the inevitable typhoon of Surge fanart lmao
While Kit is the better-designed of the two imo, I'm just kinda lukewarm on his design overall. The most I could say about it is that it's inoffensive. Not really one way or the other about it.
He seems... a bit generic? There's not much to write home about. Whereas with Surge, I feel like there are aspects of her design that could be promising if she were scrubbed clean of her blatant Scourge/Ashura references.
Her hair, for instance, is really cool. So are her athletic wear and winged shoes. But those details get bogged down by other cluttery details chucked in there to make her seem extra punk and edgy. (Not that an edgy punk aesthetic is inherently bad, but... with Surge it's just not done in a very Sonic-like fashion, which is ironic considering she's supposed to be his impostor.)
That being said, it is rather suspicious that Surge receives the lion's share of fanart. Not sure if that was the intention or the byproduct, but my gut senses a little bit of deliberate string-yanking on the designer's part. It's almost as though they intended to stake her popularity on the strength of her connection to Scourge, not the uniqueness of her character.
And clearly, it's working. I saw a Sonic Channel-esque piece on Google Images the other day and I was like "oh goodie, Scourge will never die :)))))"
And yeah, you're right. Not every rival of Sonic's ought to be a hedgehog. In the games, he's had maybe two hedgehog rivals in decades: Metal and Shadow. Though Metal and Shadow are supposed to be dark foils of the blue boy while standing on their own two feet as characters, so like. Lol
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I'm loving hearing you and other older fans discuss the fandom climate pre season 4 and really wishing I had been around/old enough to enjoy LJ at its peak :( if you don't mind me asking, what made you leave the fandom and also what made you come back?
hi!!! glad you’re enjoying the discussion and also SO GRATEFUL there are older fans who remember whose days because frankly the last ten years I have felt LITERALLY insane observing the supernatural fandom morph aggressively into a community that is completely unrecognizable from what it was when I was in it. Anyway this post is gonna be long because I’m gonna provide a ton of context since I feel like lots of contemporary fans don't realize what it felt like back then and how much it changed! 15 years is a long long time. Also this is specific to my experience!!! I cannot speak for other fans living elsewhere.
Ok so! I left twice actually. I first started watching supernatural in high school, as it premiered. My then best friend introduced me to it and sold me on it with “weird brothers” which was relevant to my interests at the time because I was a fifteen year old goth kid OBSESSED with Poppy Z Brite novels and gothic lit. I got sucked in fast with zero shame. it was the 2000s and SPN was not a very big or popular show yet so there was nothing cringey or embarrassing about liking it. In fact, it felt like it had a cult following of mostly edgy goth/alternative kids because the early seasons very much marketed themselves as horror before the apocalypse storyline got introduced.
AND WE WERE IN IT MAN!! My high school notebooks are FULL of SPN art, we wrote fic, read twice as much, cosplayed as Sam and Dean, made a replica of Dad’s journal, baked cakes with devil’s traps on them, went to conventions, etc. The climate regarding shipping was VERY much that you didn’t talk outright about fic, because the only available ships were Sam/Dean or J2, and incest and RPF were sort of controversial at the time (THOUGH NOT NEARLY AS CONTROVERSIAL AS THEY ARE NOW, one day I'll write a long meta post on how spn is at least partially to blame for the vast shift in shipping culture and how its negatively impacted fandom over the years, but now is not the time). If you WERE into that side of the fandom you didn’t announce it unless you were certain someone else might be into it too. YOU CERTAINLY DID NOT BRING FIC UP TO THE CREATORS OR ACTORs, (though there was always a friendly, casual acknowledgment of wincest shippers and a mutual respect between the SPN crew and that subset of fans). The public part of being into SPN felt very different than what it is today. We liked old cars and shit diners and ghost hunting and horror! It had this fun working class vibe, night drives and sawed off shot-guns and the worst, greasy burgers. My best friend and I would go cruising around the inland empire at night, get sonic, listen to classic rock, and talk about ghosts. Shipping and wincest was a big part of what we liked about the show, but it wasn't our primary fandom experience and it was only a fraction of the whole #aesthetic and vibe of being a supernatural fan.
It was also a fairly DIVERSE fandom! The conventions had lots of dudebros from the X files fandom, older women from Star Trek TOS, classic car enthusiasts (tons of people with replica Impalas just like in the convention episode lol), and at least in LA, the Fangoria/Movie Mosters/FX props crowd. It did not feel like a tumblr fandom or a shipping heavy fandom at all (partially because it PREDATES TUMBLR!!!). Shippers were a small small subset of the group of people there and into the show.
When season 4 aired, it changed a lot of this. I dunno if it was a spike in popularity or the inclusion of Judeo/christian lore or just the introduction of another character to ship Dean with who wasn’t his brother, but the sort of fan SPN drew to it shifted. It was less horror focused, less working class, less irreverent. I felt like new fans who came on board post season 4 took the show more seriously in some ways, and less seriously in others, and it was all sort of isolating for me. Most isolating was the way Destiel shippers DID NOT keep the fanfic in the fandom and started asking the actors and writers about things online and in person, which wad deeply uncomfortable and inappropriate. It didn’t even feel friendly or wink-wink-nudge-nudge like the interactions between the crew and fans who shipped wincest, it felt VERY much like they were forcing the actors into a corner where they had to acknowledge the ship lest they get called homophobic. I didn’t want to be associated with these people, I didn’t want to go to conventions witness the tense interactions, I didn’t want to have it come out I wrote fic and have people think I condoned this sort of behavior. The last con I went to was when season 4 was airing, and that shift in culture not to mention it being just WAY bigger numbers than I was used to made me feel like this just wasn’t what it used to be, and I pulled back a lot. I still loved the show and so did my friends, so we continued to participate in fandom just in less community based ways.
Season 5 aired the year I went to college. I made friends with two seniors in my dorm who were MASSIVE wincest and J2 shippers, and we watched it every week and would walk in the snow to Friendly’s diner afterwards to cry over an appetizer platter or sundae and discuss the episode. I remember season 5 being absolutely miserable to watch in a lot of ways, and I think the ritual/social aspect of being a fan was what kept me invested. But when Swan Song aired, I was legitimately so upset and devastated that I was physically ill for like a week after the fact. This was in the days when you had to wait months to have cliff hangers resolved at the end of series (and you didn’t even know if the show would be renewed) and it was just such a brutal terrible cliffhanger to be left on. Plus, my senior friends graduated and I broke up with my best friend AND girlfriend that year so I didn’t have any friends into it anymore. I remember poking around at the online fandom, but this was right when Destiel Vs. Wincest ship wars were just starting to get heated in online spaces and I was just so baffled by destiel even EXISTING that I wanted no part of it. This was the first time I left. I had no desire to even watch season 6 when it aired because I was still so emotionally chewed up from my ended friendships and the season 5 finale.
My wife and I started dating in 2011 and gradually started introducing each other to the media we loved. Even though I wasn’t in the SPN fandom anymore it was still a huge cornerstone of my fandom history, so I introduced her to the series and we rewatched seasons 1-5 together (though I opted out for much of season 4 and 5 because thats when the show started to feel like it lost its cohesion for me. There were wild tonal differences from episode to episode and so many wild storylines that were introduced and never came back, so many violent deaths of beloved characters, fun goofy meta sandwiched between devastating apocalypse politics. In retrospect the way the show changed was just as much to blame for my first departure as the way the fandom changed). My wife liked it so much we decided to give seasons 6 and 7 a try in time to watch season 8 as it aired, and BOY, am I glad I did because those are some of my fave seasons and they really felt like the version of SPN I fell in love with: monster hunting, codependency, vengeful spirits, quirky side characters. I got back into the show—but when I looked in on the fandom, IT WAS SUCH A SHIT SHOW I had no desire to rejoin on that front. In the time I had been gone, the ship wars intensified to the point that destiel shippers ruled the fandom, ostracized, doxxed, and harassed wincest shippers (which was so bizarre to me because there was still no subtextual basis for their ship to even exist, let alone be wildly popular!) They also pretty publicly hated Sam who was my favorite character, and I felt like there was too much hostility and poor reading for me to interact in online spaces so I continued to write fic and watch the show, but I did not participate in fandom.
We watched seasons 8, 9, and half of 10 as they aired. However, Demon Dean/The Mark of Cain was really where the show lost me for good. Sometimes when a piece of media disappoints you or becomes impossible to watch, the fandom is fun enough to keep you invested, but I didn't have that community at all, so basically what happened the second time is that I found the show to be deeply upsetting and unwatchable and just quit halfway through season 10. I kept tabs on the fandom out of curiosity for a few years, but it was just so divided and polarized that I eventually lost interest in even that, and for seven years, hardly ever thought of SPN unless someone was leaving comments on one of my old fics.
Then 2020 happened, and literally everything went out the door. I started delving back into old fandoms and interests of mine. I moved, and my dad brought me boxes of my childhood room from storage, and I dug up a bunch of those old notebooks with ton of art from seasons 1-4. My dear friend @fireofunknownorigin got into SPN and watched the whole thing in a matter of months. I was seeing content again and feeling vaguely curious, but then…THEN!! Destiel was “canonized” (a debatable term) on fucking election night and the internet blew up. It suddenly became impossible to escape discussions of SPN, and I was, against my will, forced to see some of the WORST FUCKING TAKES from the WORST FUCKING SIDE OF FANDOM and I realized all my fucking rage and sadness and investment was still bubbling somewhere inside me, so. I poked my head in. I rewatched some episodes. I reread my old fic. And then I decided to make this blog and to pick up the show where I left off, because I’m the sort of person who wants to be completely informed and as long as Destiel shippers are saying they were queerbaited, I want to know without a shadow of a doubt that I am textually justified and backed in saying that’s not the case and they’re actually just fucking crazy. In order to do that I need to catch up and watch every fucking episode of this stupid fucking show, so here I am.
AND HONESTLY ITS SORT OF A BLAST so yeah yeah yeah thats my fandom story and why I left/came back. SO SORRY for the dual memoir and history lesson.
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Analysis of Sonic the Hedgehog: "Sonic cannot show emotions e.g. crying."
I feel like people literally took the meaning of this. I find that people have misinterpret the meaning behind this mandate. But I will give my understandings on what this really means.
After a year of being a Sonic fan, I've notice that the blue blur is quite reserve in terms of deep emotions. Characters, such as Sonic, who are boys at heart, are usually known as characters that are the most lively and rarely shows deeper emotions beyond it. But it does not mean he is detached from any other emotions other than joy. In games, it is hard to try to tell this in action since in good storytelling, it needs more time (& consistency). So, lets try to see this through the animated series, Sonic X. To make it more clear, I'll based it in the Japanese version due to the fact that Sonic's OG creators at that time played a part in the anime. Let’s start.
Do you remember that one time he cried?
In this scenario, we see his tears but not his reaction. This tells me that for Sonic Team, Sonic's rawest emotions comes every once in a blue moon. He has emotions, he has the capability to cry, but how it is done right is the challenge.
Do you also remember these scenes?
(Note: Pay more focus on Sonic's action, its deceivingly subtle that people often miss it)
The 1st scene is shown of Sonic wearing the now fixed bracelet Amy made for him. Notice how there is a new set of shells along the fact the OG string is not replaced but extended with another one. This tells me of Sonic's dedication and appreciation. It tells me how Sonic expresses himself more in action but here is the catch. No one knows of what he did, the trouble he did to find the new shells for the bracelet. This tells me of how private Sonic expresses himself. He seems to be the type to hide himself when in his most vulnerable. His reason? It is unknown, there are many possible reasons.
The 2nd one is a famous scene, the light lavender rose & his secret words. In this scene, we see Amy asking Sonic to tell her (if) he loves her (in a romantic way). His responds? A rose for her with his voice muted. This implies to me that when telling something very intimate, Sonic shows it not through words but by small (yet huge deal) gestures. The fact that it is muted to the audiences further indicates that any words he says that carry deep meanings, he is very private about it. His most deepest thoughts and feelings are shadowed to the point nobody, not even us, his fans, can know.
Now lets get back to these two pictures.
Notice how many people are with Sonic in these scenes. Only one. When it comes to showing emotions to a specific person, Sonic will only show it to that person. His emotions are not absent rather he chooses the right time to show it or who he'll show it (w/ch is unpredictable).
There are possible reasons for his lack of expressing himself in an emotional aspect. It could be to not have anyone worry about him or possibly going out of control (these feelings include anger & sadness). When in anger, things like this happens.
It could also be due to show the people hope and courage. As a hero that has inspired many by your smile and optimism, it can be very crucial (tho Sonic has a strong support of friends, this can be explored if given the time to tell the story). Another reason could be the unsureness on what to do. As Sonic always find ways to do what he does best, we have never ever see Sonic handle an emotional crisis. This being an example.
As Tails cries for the loss of Cosmo, we see Sonic standing doing nothing. Some might see this cruel for Sonic to not comfort his little brother. But I came to think, that maybe just maybe, he just didn't know what to do. I mean, what could he really say to Tails at this moment who just loss someone dear to him? (tho anything can be helpful but it would still be painful for anyone who goes through what Tails did).
Another possibility (w/ch many will disagree) is the infamous rumor of Sonic the Hedgehog being shy. Yes, shy. The word has many synonyms and one of them is the word reserved. Its no secret that Sonic is not a master in the emotional department so his shyness is an option. As an intellectual property (IP) that is owned by a very reserved country, Japan, its no coincidence that the friendly and open blue blur might have been given this trait.
What can I conclude?
Well, I have just begun my journey in the franchise but I think I've grasp the basics yet I've many to learn about Sonic the Hedgehog and its future. To what I can conclude, Sonic is a reserved person when it comes to emotions, a trait that is hard to be seen when not paid close attention. A trait that, Sonic Team, envision as part of Sonic.
Now the real question is, why won't SEGA let Sonic show more emotions other than being happy go lucky?
There are possible reasons. But I'm going to give (imo) the reasons why. One, it could be due to how challenging it is to portray this because, lets be real, Sonic story writing, when not monitored, can be very bloody when not executed well. Another could be the fact to avoid any unwanted out-of-character (OOC) occurrence, remember, Sonic is definitely a reserved person in emotions thus any extreme gestures or declaration is already OOC for the hedgehog.
So, how can Sonic show emotions e.g. crying without being too OOC?
That is a challenge that a writer must figure out, from what we see in Sonic X, with the guide of Sonic Team, Sonic crying, can be done when there are no prying eyes or not showing the audience the obvious. An example of this scenario would be a person standing in the rain, his tears, not clear due to the pouring rain. His back turned and his face not clear. This does not limit only to crying, it can also apply to any emotions or actions. The challenge is to do it without altering the character’s existing core traits.
Sonic does have emotions, its how it must be displayed with the knowledge that he, Sonic, is a private person when it comes to his emotions. Thanks.
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Current Projects & Emoji Voting Key
Quick disclaimer: I’m a romance writer in all aspects of the term, so most of my works will contain mature content. Engage at your own risk, you know the rules, you’re responsible for curating your own experience of the internet, blah blah blah.
This post serves as a current mock up of fic ideas I’m either actively working on or considering working on next. You can drop me an ask about any of them, or just vote via the emoji combo I’ve assigned them.
Voting lets me know you’re excited about an idea and makes it more likely I’ll actually work on it. You can vote anytime, there’re no deadlines or winner announcements, just me gauging your interest by what I see in my ask box most often.
You can also ask me about the original stuff I’m working on currently. The current WIPs are Medusa centric and the emoji for them is: 🐍
Support my original work on Ko-fi and Patreon.
- Lupin: 🤑🤠💍
These are all oneshot ideas, between 5-15K each. If you want to vote for a specific idea, send me the emojis and the number of the idea.
Born from the idea that Goemon and Zenigata probably couldn’t be an item, my brain decided to come up with how I could write for them. Goemon’s teaching an ikebana class as part of his training, and Zenigata shows up as a student on forced recreational leave for his health from the ICPO. Zenigata wins the samurai’s heart through flowers. But what happens when Lupin and Jigen find out? (Only good sexy things, I promise. These beans are in a healthy polycule--be gay, do crimes) (WIP)
Jigen/Lupin, but it's Jigen deciding to seduce Lupin while wearing his own Lupin disguise. The thief is waaaaay too into it, and some artistry is taken with the sex so that they don't mess up the disguise too much during their encoutner.
Jigen/Zenigata/Lupin where Jigen has some fantasices about Zenigata, but is pretty sure they'll never happen. Tells Lupin about them. Suddenly the fantasies are coming true, in the middle of a heist, and Jigen doesn't what to do except get swept up in the moment and enjoy. Plot twist, it's Lupin dressed up as Zenigata granting all his gunman's dreams. Plot twist again, Zenigata catches them at it.
Zenigata/Lupin, where Lupin keeps doing good things in illegal ways and Pops has to find a way to punish him for it. Good thing for Pops Lupin's a masochist?
Trans!Lupin and Trans!Jigen premise: Jigen cares for Lupin after the master thief has top surgery, since Jigen has Been There and Done That. Caring, sweet, and a little sexy. Lupin is a much better patient than Jigen.
The one time Zenigata caught Lupin in an alley and kissed him and it was Jigen in disguise. Things get sexy anyway, and Zenigata has crushes on two thieves now. Lupin and Jigen "kidnap" him later for an evening of taking care of their inspector.
The background plot of Jigen's Gravestone where we see Jigen think he's done for and try to leave Lupin. Our thief has none of it, and we get to relish in the inherent eroticism of Lupin sitting in sniper fire, knowing Jigen's got his back. This is the moment I think Jigen finally believes he can be with Lupin forever.
I love the idea of something longer and more plot driven like a Lupin special where Lupin ends up in hot water and Jigen and Fujiko have to work together to save him. Jigen and Fujiko have such an interesting relationship. They're both partners of Lupin, they don't really like each other, they constantly screw the other over, but when it really matters they take care of each other. I'd like to see that highlighted a little more and also give them space to call each other out and bicker. Nothing sexy between them, but maybe a really interesting threesome with Lupin and Fujiko in a strap on once they save their boy.
- Sonic Vampire Novelist Coffee Shop AU: 📚☕💐
Shadow is an immortal vampire who has seen the world change for the worse too many times. These days it feels like he only lives for his coffee dates with Rouge, another immortal who loves each new era they encounter, warts and all. He has to admit that the book series she got him into speaks to him, at least. If someone in this era can understand him without meeting him, it can’t all be bad. But he hardly expected the goofy blue barista at the new coffee place to understand him the way those books do.
This is a novel length romcom romp with some big feelings about what it means to watch as things change, grow, and die. Expect lots of Big gothic feelings from this one, emotionally charged kissing, and overly-adoring sex. But also expect shenanigans from everyone in the coffee shop, which include Rouge, Amy, Tails, Knuckles, Cream, and more.
- Sonic Blazamy, "Like the Sun": 💖🌸💎
Amy Rose has been in love with Sonic for a while.
Or has she?
When the Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, and Silver are trapped as the fuel sources for Doctor Eggman’s newest evil scheme, Amy teams up with Blaze, Rouge, and Cream to save them. With Sonic out of the picture and Amy fulfilling his role, was she ever really in love with him? Or did she just want to be like him?
This is a novel length epic romance with lots of competent women and lots of romantic Blazamy content. Expect flowery hopes and dreams, badass self-actualization, and glancing hand touches that give way to cuddly and sweet sex.
- Persona 5: 🗡🍛☕
After bringing down the Metaverse twice, Ryuji didn’t think graduating high school and figuring out what to do with his life would be so hard. Akira’s back in town, and the gang’s more-or-less all in Tokyo, but everyone else seems to have a plan while Ryuji just floats. How’s he supposed to change the world when he’s not a phantom thief anymore?
This is a novel length fic that addresses how powerless one can feel being just one person in the face of all the corrupted systems and bigotry the world has to offer. It’s about holding on to what you believe in, working through the doubt, and fighting your way to a better tomorrow with the power you do have. The whole gang is queer, featured relationships being Mako x Ann, Ryuji x Akira, Futaba & Yusuke as platonic life partners. Akira is polyamorous and omnisexual, Futaba’s asexual and aromantic while Yusuke is demisexual and very romantic, Makoto’s a lesbian, Ann and Ryuji are bi, and Haru’s pansexual, demisexual, and aromantic. They’re one giant band of queer Phantom Thieves, and even if they’re not really doing the Metaverse thing anymore, they’re still gonna save the world!
Also, I’m gonna make Makoto not a cop. That super didn’t age well. Zenkichi and his boss can work on making them better/abolishing them for other better organizations.
- Hades Game: ❤️🔥💀
Oneshot. I just really need to elaborate on the threesome you can have with them in-game, okay? Healthy and canon poly relationships are so few and far between, so often I have to do a ton of groundwork to explain why it’s working in the fic, but NOT WITH THESE KIDS!
Get ready for Meg helping Zag and Than be better at expressing their feelings, lots of kissing, and probably pegging.
- Castlevania Animation Trevor/Sypha/Alucard: 🧛🏰🛌
Castlevania gave Alucard a threesome last season, and I just really need S4 to give me him being taken care of by his partners. They’re probably not going to give it to me, so I’ll need to do it myself. This is just an everybody loves Alucard oneshot, with the gang’s signature banter (to an extent), Sypha being sexy, and Trever being remarkably sincere. This fic is gonna feel like that Ann Hathaway picture with Trevor kissing Alucard and Sypha holding the end of Trevor’s whip while she leans her head on Alucard’s shoulder adoringly.
- Devil May Cry Nico/Lady/Trish: 💋✨😈
Nico’s gay, okay? Like really, really gay. And Lady’s bi and not into men who make her pay bills, but very into women who make amazing guns for her and demonesses with hearts who fight by her side. Trish is ace, but loves people and is pretty attached to Lady at this point. Plus it’s cute when Lady blushes and says nice things like they’re insults. I don’t have super solid ideas for them yet, and I envision these more like a polycule where Lady’s with Nico and with Trish but they’re not with each other more than seeing it as a threesome, but who knows what might happen. This is probably 1-2 oneshots depending on ideas, but might turn into a series of oneshots if people are interested (or I can’t control myself and inspiration strikes).
- Post FMA:B Blind Roy & No Alchemy Ed: 👀👑🙏
This is actually an old novel-length fic I wrote ages ago and didn’t post that didn’t turn out well because I was new to writing sex when I first wrote it. The plot is good, and is all about Roy learning to work with his blindness to reclaim his ambition of being Fuhrer and changing the system to something that actually cares for its people. He and Ed reconnect, fall into bed, and both set about working through their respective traumas about being “useless” having lost their sight/alchemy. They go to Xing as an ambassadorial party to offer Amestris’s collaboration on Al and May’s Alkahestry experiments--and uncover a plot that might threaten both kingdoms.
- Age of Calamity continuity Mipha x Revali: 🦚🐟💘
The first time Revali noticed Mipha, it was in the heat of battle. She stole his mark, taking them down with a flurry of quick blows from her spear. Violence rained from her like water--and then she healed him on her way to her next battle. No questions, no conditions, just pure kindness. The usual need to measure himself against those around him was quiet in her wake. And Revali couldn’t understand it. But how to get to know more about her? A fish and bird may fall in love, but where would they live?
This fic could be a oneshot or novel length depending on how far down the hole I fall. I need it to cover time, but it could be done in linked vignettes or with actually covering events in detail. I may elect to do a oneshot just to get it done and out of my system faster. So much fic to write, so little time.
Expect trans!Revali, polyamorous Zoras, scary competent Mipha, songbird Revali, love confessions that are made up entirely of berating Link for not loving Mipha the way she wants him to, and breaking these characters a little outside of their assigned roles in BotW and Age of Calamity. Background Link x Zelda, and Urbosa x Zelda’s Mom.
- Epic desert romance about Urbosa and Zelda’s mom: 🏜🏝⚡
I just think Urbosa should kiss women and Zelda’s mom should get more development and maybe a name or something. Also, lightning imagery/metaphors/play.
It also went way over my head that Riju wasn’t Urbosa’s daughter the first time I played BotW, so now I want to write about the Gerudo queen who refused to produce an heir. The Gerudo are fascinating and have a very interesting cutlure, but I think it could be examined from a nonbinary perspective that rejected pregnancy and wanting to find a husband. Not in like a hateful way, but in a way that examines if that’s really right for everyone. There’s that shop in town that sells Voe armor, after all. Maybe finding a husband and having children isn’t something you have to do if you don’t want to. And Urbosa really doesn’t want to.
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The unsolicited AlexReggie ship manifesto
DISCLAIMER: This is obviously meant as a rant post about a ship I can enjoy in fandom spaces and not an actual request from me to make AlexReggie canon in the show or any of the sorts. I am quite happy and excited about the actual canon LGBT+ ship of this show, which is Willie x Alex. Do not get that twisted.
That being said, let me talk to you about the amazing, entertaining dynamic Alex and Reggie have that makes them super easy and fun to ship them:
I wanna start off by saying that I’m mostly writing this because I feel like they are either unfairly underlooked or just grossly misread; and I’m more upset about the latter. (Someone on this hellsite actually had the nerve to say Alex doesn’t take Reggie seriously so. I just had to get this off my chest)
So what’s this amazing, entertaining dynamic you speak of?
Alex and Reggie are best friends. That much is clear from the very first minutes of the show. It’s not Alex is Luke’s friend who’s friends with Reggie or the other way around. They’re all best friends.
In fact, Alex and Reggie’s very first interaction is just about the sweatest we get to see them. Their first interaction:
Reggie goes over to Alex to compliment him specifically on how he played at the rehearsal which leads us to a lot of grey areas of headcanoning (was Alex the last to join and so he was shy or nervous around the others? Maybe Reggie just likes to compliment him for some reason, or my personal favorite: Reggie knew Alex was anxious about playing the Orpheum so he thought Alex needed reassurance of his awesomeness? ), but the matter is: Reggie thinks Alex is awesome.
However, them being sweet best friends is not their entire dynamic (and thank God), no. Alex and Reggie are the quippy best friends, they’re the Vitriolic Best Buds (type one– with Reggie being more on the ‘unaware of the vitriol’ side):
“A very good measure of how good your friends are is how much you can insult them without them taking offense.”— Heliomance
When two people who are the very best of friends behave like the very worst of enemies.
Alex pokes fun at Reggie saying “he can see you” when Carlos asks if the ghost is “hiddeous”. Reggie makes fun of Alex for crying and being “a very emotional person” (even when Alex isn’t even there).
But at the end of the day, and this is where I wanna emphasize: they’re the ones to show care first and immidiately for each other.
It’s stated that their friendship runs deep between all three of them (Luke, Alex and Reggie), but I’m not gonna write the manifesto for the OT3 yet so bear with me:
In episode 1x02: when Alex complains about them not giving him a hug when he was crying in the “void”, Reggie goes to hug him without hesitation – for Alex to turn him down because, again, that’s their primary dynamic.
Same episode, a few minutes later: Reggie gets overwhelmed about Ray crying and asks to see his parents and Alex turns to him and sotfly goes “Yeah”
In episode 1x07: when Alex is upset about Willie and Reggie gives him a reassuring comment about how there’ll be others which Alex takes greatfully and openly.
Episode 1x09: after Alex has said goodbye to Willie and Reggie goes over his shoulder to ask him if he’s alright
Same episode, a few minutes later: when Reggie voices his concerns about what will happen to them if they cross over and Alex turns to him, again, his voice softer than it usually is when he speaks to Reggie, and tells him that “It’s not like we have a choice”, to ease him up a bit.
What I mean to say with this is: Luke is, as I can read in the context of what we’ve seen in the first season, the least emotionally intelligent out of the three of them and so since Luke lacks in that department–> it means Alex and Reggie have each other.
Again, they’re like – really best friends when you truly look. Mostly because Luke suffers from his trope of the front-man and main male protagonist, so he’s capable of going on his own or with Julie to explore other bonds while Alex and Reggie have less and lesser and a lot of that is spent with each other.
Alex tells Reggie about Willie, Reggie pays attention and actually cares about the stuff he’s learning both from Alex as an extension of Willie and then about what he can get from the rest of the world. Alex and Reggie – most of the time during the season – are on the same page about stuff and together, while Luke is off doing his own things, mostly with Julie as she is the protagonist.
Granted, Alex main focused relationship is with Willie (and I’m super greatful for that), but after Willie, and this is where I take no criticsm, it’s Reggie who comes on the list. Not Luke, not Julie or Carrie– Alex immidiate secondary focused-dynamic as of Season 1 is Reggie (if only slightly tied with the boys as a trio itself, obviously).
Then there’s the aspect of them individually and how they contrast each other. Alex is obviously the smarter of the three and Reggie falls further on the scale, all the way to the side. That makes them a little the Smart Jerk, Nice Moron trope except Alex isn’t that much of a jerk all the time. However, it works, because not only it makes up for great comedic bits (literally all of their scenes together omg) but also because you can’t have one without the other or it’d be awfully unbalanced.
The “rhythm section” duo
Yes, I even wanna talk about the symbolism of their instruments too and how they’re linked through that. Drums and bass are not only essential to any band but they’re also very important and rely on each other. I’m no music expert at all, but even I know one usually follows after the other to keep the pace of the rhythm.
This article has some many interesting takes on the relationship between the drummer and the bassist:
“A drummer’s comprehension of the role of bass guitar is often far greater than most guitarists.”
“Everyone in the band is of course on the team, but the bond between the bassist and drummer is something so deep that it usually takes a long time to develop.”
“Bassists and drummers are the rhythm section together, meaning one instrument consisting of two parts.”
“Simply put, the bassist and drummer really are the rhythm section. It’s not the guitarist and certainly not the damn keyboard player. That can be an unclear distinction at times, but I feel strongly about it. Bass and drums should be an inseparable pair, sonically speaking,” he continues. “That’s not to say that all kick patterns should be followed to the tee, but there should be an obvious and palpable awareness of what each other is doing. There are too many nuances to list that can go with or against that grain. In short, bass and drums should always be intertwined like hot, sweaty lovers having the rawest, musical sex.” — Miles McPherson
I find the whole ✨semiotic✨ of this very poetic on its own, but it’s also an OT3 thing I’ll get on later, I think.
Ultimately, Owen and Jeremy make it work, too. Duh. Their chemestry on screen really gives you the vibe that despite all the times Alex looks at Reggie like he’s fed up and wants to die all over again ("I wish I couldn’t see you”), Alex still finds him endearing and just…he loves the guy. And obviously Reggie – the heart of the boys trio– just loves him right back:
I just think they’re cute and funny and even when I’m not shipping them, I’m still appreciating them from a mlm solidarity pov (bc Reggie is definitely bi) and whoever said that Alex doesn’t take Reggie seriously or ever tries to even imply Alex wouldn’t set the whole world on fire to keep Reggie warm is just not watching the same goddamn show.
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SEGA and its most recent Sonamy side – more canon than ever
[Translator’s note: this article was originally written in Spanish by @latin-dr-robotnik]
Hello again! Today we’d like to discuss about something that’s been happening recently, and probably taking Sonic fans by surprise: what is going on with SEGA and its stance about Sonamy?
At the beginning of this year, to celebrate the 200 articles on Seaside Hill Paradise, I finished what I call “the Sonamy trilogy” of articles that I started in 2018 and which cover different themes, such as:
SEGA and the eternal issue of the Sonic-Amy dynamic
“I love you” – Forbidden words in Sonic
SEGA and the eternal issue of “Sonic’s girlfriend”
The idea was to offer a more-or-less complete analysis about the many facets of their dynamic in the last 27 years; a dynamic that, you may have noticed, is not that easy to pin down, and that we’ve been updating almost regularly (although I also intended to investigate on other dynamics, like Knuckles and Rouge’s for example, and write about them). Generally speaking, in these articles I don’t draw objective conclusions about the status of the ship in canon (despite the fact that the available information tends to confirm it in various occasions). I also like to repeat myself and say that shipping is supposed to be for fun, not for tearing each other’s hair in that black hole of misery that is Twitter, but recent events left us slightly perplexed, and this is why we’re here once again.
We left the status of the Sonamy canonicity with these two peculiar instances back in August: Sonic mentioning his “girlfriend” in the Japanese version of Sonic Battle, and the Twitter account of SEGA of Europe saying Sonamy is their “favorite videogame romance”. Now, let’s recap a bit…
Sonamy in Sonic IDW... Round 3
[SPOILERS ALERT FOR IDW SONIC #14-#35]
In 2018, when IDW just started, I decided to study a little how the Sonamy dynamic worked in this new universe. To our surprise, the comic didn’t waste time in dropping its biggest bomb, in one of the cutest scenes we had seen in ages. Since the very beginning, IDW proved that it didn’t intend to deceive those fans that looked for a bit of development of both characters.
I wrote an article about it in June 2019, and it coincided with the beginning of one of the most infamous arc I’ve seen in a Sonic comic for a long time: the Metal Virus Saga. The question is, what has happened since then?
Well, in 2019, with the same accuracy of an aimbot, I said “We’ll probably see some new interactions between Sonic and Amy sometime around IDW #20”. And wouldn’t you know, as misery and tragedy settled in that arc, it was exactly around IDW #20 that we saw some Sonamy interactions: both exhausted, to their limit, with a Sonic that couldn’t even touch Amy to soothe her pain, due to him being infected with the virus.
The arc developed like this in what felt like an eternity, to finally conclude in one the most absurd ways in Sonic history. But it wasn’t a complete disappointment, as, after months and months of asking and discussing on the internet about how much Sonic and Amy deserved a hug at the end of the arc… it actually happened.
Since that moment in IDW #32, we shippers thought that it was what both of them deserved after so much time spent separated and pushed to their limit to survive, but also that after the end of the arc everything would go back to normal. However, what we didn’t know was that the Sonamy train had no intention of stopping, not in IDW, nor anywhere else.
A recurring detail in IDW Sonic is that Amy’s tail starts wagging every time she sees Sonic, as if she was a happy dog. I swear, it happens every time.
Come IDW #35, once again we have some hugs and bits of dialogue between our hedgehogs. For sure, the question here isn’t their relationship itself, as it was for IDW #2, but rather the issues this arc is slowly dealing with. But it’s really nice to see them again, sharing that closeness that they’ve had in the comic since the beginning– be it with some gestures of affection, a wink, a gesture, a private joke.
My favorite image is the first one, Belle’s reaction to seeing Amy hugging Sonic. It’s like she’s thinking “oh, is she his girlfriend?”, and she wouldn’t even be wrong in thinking that.
It can’t be denied that IDW Sonic provided us the conversations and the emotions that the games seldom do. Certainly, the comic has its share of issues and it’s not really a story that I personally follow for its own merits (it’s more because it’s still Sonic, for my interest for things like this, and Belle’s existence… whom I already ship with Tails, sorry not sorry), but what it does well it does really well.
For now, we have to see how IDW Sonic will follow the development of the characters, especially in view of the closure of the current story and beyond. And we may be done with this part of the article, but there is still a lot left.
Sonamy in merchandise
Taking us completely by surprise, recently SEGA launched, in collaboration with Hot Topic, a series of Sonamy-themed t-shirts. No, seriously.
So many people told me this as soon as the voice spread (you know who you are, thank you guys for thinking about me <3), and I can’t help being still surprised that this is actually a thing. T-shirts with lines like “You’re my favorite”, “Love in the fast lane”, and my personal favorite, “S&A Forever”, with drawings of Classic Sonic and Amy… in SEGA-approved products. I don’t know if you realize how much of a big deal this is, even more than “Celebrate the 25 years of Sonic’s girlfriend” from 2018.
One of the things that surprised me the most (aside from how explicit they are in officializing the relationship, and the fact that there are still 2 months left before Valentine’s Day 2021), was the decision to use Classic Sonic and Classic Amy. I tried to understand this decision by analyzing the simplicity and easiness with which the Classic designs convey a message (let’s not forget that Classic Sonic was so iconic because it was specifically designed to convey his expressions without words), besides the fact that they’re inherently cuter than their modern designs. There’s also the controversial aspect of post-Adventure Sonamy, with all the dubbing and weird interpretations that the fandom made over the years… By comparison, the Classic design are a much simpler choice.
What is actually going on?
Well, let’s take a step back and think about what we just saw. The way SEGA has been recently trying to push Sonic and Amy in front view (and for the entirety of 2020, based on the articles I mentioned in the beginning) tells us the harsh truth we all have to accept sooner or later: Sonamy sells, and it sells a lot.
From a strictly business point of view, the ship is so iconic and popular, with fans and detractors alike, that it would be absurd for SEGA to ignore the chance to print these two characters and get a load of money. As I said in my 2018 article, despite the fact that in Japan Sonic isn’t as big of an icon as it is elsewhere, they know pretty well that Sonic + Amy = love, and they have huge amounts of merchandise to back it up. It’s in the West that because of different cultural values, of which we’ve already talked about, along with some internal resistance, left this aspect of the franchise a little on the side. But they’ve been trying to fix it… and how…
Let’s not forget that a decade and a half ago Sonic Team seriously favored Sonamy. They officially said it, Sonic X was their purest view of Sonic they had at the time.
Outside of the business perspective, I believe we’re facing the moment that we’ve been waiting for: it’s time they’ll establish once and for all the dynamic of these two characters, following more closely the original Japanese vision of Sonic. I said many times that, in trying to change canon, the West, especially SEGA of America, did nothing but confuse fans and generate more discussions than needed, by introducing different data and portrayals that contradict the canon established by Sonic Team.
We’ve talked about Unleashed and emotional support, about Sonic X, about the major moments that opened the door to interpreting this dynamic as something more. We don’t threaten at gunpoint those who would rather stay away, but we respond to those declarations that still try to violently discredit the simple fact that Sonic and Amy, who are most of all close friends, form in some measure a couple that, even with its imposed limitations, manages to captivate fans and not fans everywhere in the world. Even the Simpsons used it as a joke, and that says a lot.
What the future has in store for us.
Unless something else happens in this last month of 2020, this is the most complete compilation I can offer at the moment about the status of Sonamy in the fandom and in the official canon. Yes, canon.
It’s impossible to ignore the signals. As you may have noticed, I’ve been considering Sonic and Amy as an official couple, with its clarifications (for example, that at the end it’s more of a friendship, that it’s not a romantic relationship in the most explicit way, that it’s more of a personal perspective to justify a more mature vision of the relationship in the future, not right now), but nowadays I think that SEGA has spoken loud and clear. I think canon is ready to negotiate the idea that Sonic and Amy, apart from being excellent friends who would risk their lives for each other in a heartbeat, have something else on their hands (probably the other’s hand). This won’t automatically translate into a kiss, or a complete love declaration (although Sonic X came close…), or a commitment to a formal relationship like we know them in real life. SEGA canon affirms that Amy is “Sonic’s girlfriend” and nothing more. Outside of that detail, they still pretty much function as friends interacting with a little flirting here, and a little Sonic running away there. It’s the basis of their dynamic, now enhanced by the fact that SEGA is giving us a clearer message.
I think that this all may culminate in a game or an animated series, but I wouldn’t completely count on that. It is good to recognize how far the official position goes on this issue, but at the same time I want to reaffirm that there are things that are better left in the hands of the fandom, and in the meantime that IDW or any other continuity gives us hugs, winks, gestures and words of encouragement, we as the fandom will take care of exploring other avenues and hypothetical scenarios.
This is all I have to say on the matter for now, and I hope you’re happy with this wonderful Sonamy experience we’re going through – I certainly am. See you next time!
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Honestly, it’s been so long that I kind of forgot how I was writing these... But I fired up the original Etrian Odyssey for kicks. I don’t know that I’ll actually finish the whole thing, but I figured I might as well chronicle as I go. And if this blog drops dead withiut warning again, so be it...
If you’re not familiar, Etrian Odyssey was a kind of retro dungeoncrawler released in 2007 for the nds. It’s core gimmick was using the ds touchscreen for manual mapmaking, having the player put down walls, floors, and various icons and memos to help navigate the first person dungeon crawling experience. It was a throwback to the old early PC days and some of the earliest RPGs, like Ultima and Wizardry; graphics were minimal and there was no minimap function, so enterprising dungeon divers would whip out the old graphpaper and pencil and map the dungeons themselves.
But beyond this simple attempt to mimic an old analog aspect of the videogaming experience, there’s a more pervasive gamefeel that the whole experience tries to capture. The use of a grid based map and the charmingly primitive “wallpaper” scenery mixed with the modern design and (relatively speaking...) high quality textures make the cardboard rat maze genuinely pretty and engrossing to get lost in.
I think there is a unique balance it strikes where the formulaic, rather than naturalistic design of the dungeon itself actually lends to the immersion. You don’t feel pressed to examine every tree or clump of dirt; the structure of the copypaste hall blocks makes it very clear which details aren’t important, and so you can build up a certain momentum, both as you literally navigate the dungeon step by step, but also mentally as you start to develop a kind of tunnel vision sucking you deeper into the maze. While the map makes sure you never feel “lost” the game has a wonderful way of drawing you into its unknown spaces, the holes in your map, so that by the time you realize that maybe you need to turn around and head back to town... you’ve already been drawn just a few steps too deep, and now, where the exploring had been a leisurely, if cautious, endeavor, the trek back becomes this tense and fraught race for your life.
Anyway... The dungeon is one giant hole in the ground. It has 5 strata in the core game, plus a bonus 6th stratus outside the plot; each stratum has several floors, and each floor has its own semi-unique little dungeon ecosystem, with enemies, hazards, and mechanics that all kind of build on one another as you make your way through. The first one is Emerald Grove, which sounds like a Sonic the Hedgehog stage. It’s a lovely little temperate forest and almost aggressively mundane. The enemies in the first level, consist primarily of perfectly normal rats, butterflies, and terrifying knife handed moles.
There’s also the Clawbug, which also strikes me as implicitly bigger, given the beating it can take. They’re meant to teach you the benefits of different damage types, like piercing and magic as differentiated from slashing, and bludgeoning. But I was an idiot and didn’t bring an Alchemist, so I mostly just ran away from them until I could make a dedicated dive to killing one. They’re almost more crablike than buglike, and I imagine they’re maybe the size of a large tortoise.
I do want to point out that while later games shift from 2d sprites to 3d models, these early games dont have a very clear sense of scale. So as far as I can tell the treerats are perfectly normal sized rats, maybe a little on the ling side, about a foot in length. And the butterflies less than half that. I do wonder about the moles though... Their humanoid posture makes me want to scale them up. Fighting tiny 6in high men with claws feels somehow too bizarre. Where was fuzzy 3ft high children with knives for hands feels like it makes more sense to be smashing with swords and axes.
And speaking of things I ran away from like a coward: Venomflies. They aren’t actually native to the first floor, and only appear in an event, if triggered.(which i remembered and avoided) They introduce you to poison, and even without it can likely wipe your whole party the first time you bump into them.
I’m typically a stickler about the use of recolors, but I do like the way these are utilized. They’re deceptively similar to the Woodflies already around the dungeon, they thus appear fairly weak at a glance, but the recolor actually comes across less like a simple reskin and more like actual warning colors. But of course that only becomes apparent when the first round of poison damage cuts your party in half. Also small detail, but I love that the wing patterns are different. I also love that there’s some explanation that they were attracted by the flowers in the specific area you’re attacked in.
The whole floor being small fuzzies and bugs is just such an unassuming start to this adventure... And the fact that this harmless looking critters will take a massive bite out of you whne given the chance really sets the pace for how brutal the difficulty curve of these games can be.
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Moebius' precious gemstone
Anarchy Beryl is the Moebius equivalent of Chaos Emeralds, both gems giving the user an immense surge of power, and both opposites. Chaos Emeralds only come in 7, however, Anarchy Beryl is the opposite, there's tons of it, 100s, thousands, maybe millions of pieces of the gem around Moebius.
But yet, Anarchy Beryl is only seen once, and in that one Apprearnce, the design is just bad. Officially in Archie, Anarchy Beryl just looks like the green Chaos Emerald, nothing special about it design wise, and I'm here to change that.
The official design of Anarchy Beryl is the green Chaos Emeralds, but just alot of them, and to me? That's pretty uncreative! So, what did I do to it?
I flipped it. I've made the colour purple instead of green, and created 2 forms of Anarchy Beryl, Refined and Unrefined. So, let's get into the Unrefined Anarchy Beryl first.
Unrefined Anarchy Beryl
This is Anarchy Beryl in its unrefined form, less powerful then the Refined version but far more common, this is his you would find the gem just out in the world. In this state Anarchy Beryl is pretty dangerous, sure it looks nice and would make for a neat decoration, but actually using it would be very, insanely dangerous. The gem like this is pretty unstable, and actually absorbing and using its power could give the user tons of side effects, tons of possible issues to face later in life.
Scourge actually used it, when he went Super, this is what he had stashed in his throne, completely unrefined Anarchy Beryl. The only reason it hasn't ruined his life is thanks to his previous exposure to the Master Emeralds power, it helped null the affects of the Anarchy Beryls issue's. However, if you do survive using the gem, and by the end of your Super transformation, you will lose all your energy, strength and overall just become really weak for a little while.
Refined Anarchy Beryl
This is Anarchy Beryl after it has been refined. In this state Anarchy Beryl is useful, not just for world takeover, but for every day use. Anarchy Beryl like this is what you want to use, because now it works like Chaos Emeralds, Strong and Powerful, while not hurting the user, however it is stronger than the Chaos Emeralds, significantly so. You can teleport farther, Super forms last longer, etc, but because of its increased strength it still causes you to feel weaker per use, and once you come out of your Super form you will be completely worn out, unlike the Chaos Emeralds.
The shape of the Gem matters, it can come in many different shapes, and depending on that changes how strong the gem is in that field. The Anarchy Beryl is great at everything no matter the shape, but the shape makes one area amazing. For example, sharp Anarchy Beryl increases the gem's power, how strong you get from the gem, sharp Anarchy Beryl allows the user to tap into its Super Strength easier. Then there are the Oval ones, these allow easier and stronger access into Anarchy Beryl's Anarchy Force, E.G the equivalent of Shadow's abilities, like teleportation, time manipulation, magical attacks. The next form is the Marquise Anarchy Beryl leans towards the Speed aspect of the Gem, allowing you to react and move significantly faster than before, and for Speedsters (Such as Scourge) it can make them go far beyond their limit. Then the last one I'll talk about here is the Radient Anarchy Beryl, this version of the Gem is best if you're looking for one that focuses on all areas of Anarchy, it's Great in everything, but not amazing in anything, basically it's what you want to start learning how to use Anarchy Beryl with.
Now, there are more types, each different Shape you make Anarchy Beryl into can change the outcome. There's Round, Emerald, Asscher, Princess, Pear and heart left, and I'll leave that up to your guys.
The Monarchy Beryl, Moebius' Master Emerald. This artifact, this powerful gem, the ruler of Anarchy, hasn't been seen in 100's of years. Why? It was destroyed, in a war, centuries ago.
Back in the old days of Moebius, long before any of the Suppression Squad were born, there was a tribe of Echidna, isolated on Angel Island, the floating Island above the ocean. The tribe were peaceful, looking out for eachother, sworn to pacifism and always willing to help a stranger, they were the guardians, the protectors of the Monarchy Beryl, and it was their God.
Then, the "Land Dwellers" as the Echidna's called them, they were selfish, in it for themselves and wanted power, and there was a race guarding the most powerful thing on the planet, so what did they do? They attacked, they raided Angel Island, they went to war with the Tribes. This war went of the weeks, ending with alot of lives lost, but the Echidna's victory. But...the Land Dweller's were not having this loss. If they can't have the Monarchy Beryl, no-one can.
One last time the Land Dweller's went to Angel Island, but not for a fight, but a terrorist attack. Using new technology they sent a handful of bombers, and sent them straight to the Gem, and, they blew it up, into tiny pieces to broken to ever put the Gem back together. And...we all know what happens when Angel Island's Gem is destroyed...the Island fell, straight into the ocean, the force of the fall, the force of the landing, the tidal waves and all the rubble and destruction caused by this wiped out the majority of the Echidna race. This was a mass extinction event, and, a couple 100 years later, only one Echidna Remains. O'Knux, Sunken Island's protector. And all he wants is to uncover his extinct race's history before he dies, taking the Echidna's with him.
The Monarchy Beryl no longer exists by the time of the Suppression Squad, it's lost to time, only in what little remaining artwork and writing survived the Echidna Extinction. No Chaos, no Tikal, Just Moebians fighting over power.
The history of Anarchy Beryl
Anarchy was Discovered early in Moebius' documented history, thanks to it being naturally stronger in some Moebians, and this lead early philosophicers to believe there was more to it, eventually finding the the rock underground, in mountains, cliffs, even boulders, it was everywhere. They learnt the 2 were connected because the Beryl glowed when In contact with a Moebian strong with the Anarchy Force, and this led to test after test, all culminating with Anarchy Beryl becoming one of Moebius' most expensive gemstones, if not one of the most expensive things, even though it's high in quantity. Anarchy Beryl was tested on lots, and only a couple hundred years after its discovery was it learnt that the gem acts differently when in different shapes, this being used to the advantage of the people. Anarchy Beryl was quickly integrated into every day life, and it still is to this very day.
Before the days of the Suppression Squad, Anarchy Beryl was used as tool for any everyday folk, it being useful for any task, and anyone could use it because it was so easy to get. However, once the Suppression Squad came into the picture, Anarchy Beryl was one of their favourite tools. So, they took it. They took almost all of the world's Anarchy Beryl for themselves and if someone didn't give theirs to them? They'd hurt, maim and make a message out of them, showing they won't have people say no. The Suppression Squad took it for themselves because it allows them to have easy access to Power. However, Once Scourge started going too far, making himself ruler instead of Alicia, taking Actual lives, attacking peaceful people and overall being awful, the Suppression Squad hid the Anarchy Beryl across the globe, and made sure Scourge had no idea where it was, unfortunately for them, he had a stash in his throne.
What actually is "Anarchy" on Moebius?
Anarchy on Moebius is just like Chaos on Mobius, but to the 2 universes, they're looked at differently. Anarchy and Chaos is the mystical energy that allows both universes to exist, it's the all-encompasing energy of the universe. Everyone has it. Scourge has it, Miles has it, even Boomer has it, you could have that power too. These forces are in everyone, stronger in others, it's more or less every magical ability we see in Sonic, for Example, Shadows abilities are Chaos, he has them from his strong connection to the Chaos Force. Same all goes for Moebius, Anarchy and Chaos are the same, just named differently.
Whelp. That's my take on Anarchy Beryl, what did you think? Is it an improvement? Is it a downgrade? What about design wise, do you prefer the official or my designs?
Honestly, I kinda wish we saw it more (wow shocker), but in all seriousness I think it did deserve more time to shine. I'd of loved to see how it was different to Chaos Emeralds, I'd of loved to see how a Mobian reacts to it, stuff like that! The idea of an Anti/opposite Chaos Emerald is neat in my opinion, but like most of Moebius, it was underused and then the lawsuit happened, causing it to be forgotten.
But anyway, thanks for reading! This took me abit, soooo I hope you liked it! Ima leave you with some extra notes now, bye!
-Anarchy Beryl is found in clusters.
-Mobians can use it, but it is far weaker on them then it is on Moebians.
-Before the Suppression Squad, Anarchy Beryl was Moebius' most precious Gem.
-The Monarchy Beryl's existence is more of a legend than a fact.
-Sonic Universe's 25 years later "Light Mobius" References an "Anarchy Beryl bomb" located under Castle Mobius.
-It was Referenced in the Sonic Forces tie-in comic, but that actually turned out to just be a coincidence.
-All Anarchy Beryl art was drawn by me
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The Sims 4 Paranormal Stuff: Developer Blog (Part 1)
SimGuruConnor has released part 1 of the Sims 4 Paranormal Developer Blog series.
Hello Simmers! Welcome to a small 2-part Dev Blog about our newest Stuff Pack, Paranormal Stuff! This pack has been an absolute blast to work on, and I’m excited to share what this pack is all about!
I’ll try not to reveal too many spoilers for the pack either, so I’ll keep things somewhat brief. Our topics for today are the new Scared Mood and the Haunted House Lot Type, plus an interview with our Audio Artist too!
Sims can now relish in the mortal dread of the Scared Mood! The Scared Mood affects Sims in a variety of ways, with my personal favorite, the new Scream Incoherently interaction, where a Scared Sim runs up to another Sim to scream their lungs out. This can result in the other Sim calming down the Scared Sim, or resulting in both Sims becoming Scared. This can create a Scared Mood wildfire if you’re not careful!
Whoa, whoa, whoa, it's okay!
Sims afflicted with the Scared Mood also have trouble communicating with others, the urge to panic-run everywhere, and are slightly more prone to accidents. If no other Sims are around to help calm down a Scared Sim, they might just have to Hide Under The Covers for a while.
But if being Scared just isn’t your Sims style, consider purchasing the new Brave Trait. This Satisfaction Reward Store Trait will rapidly reduce the incoming fear a Sim feels and help Sims regain their composure faster. While no Sim is totally fearless, this trait should help mitigate some of those creepy feelings.
The Scared Mood and the Brave Reward Trait are all base game features coming with the Paranormal Stuff patch on January 21st. Tons of previous Uncomfortable Buffs are now becoming Scared Buffs, such as the “Startled By Ghost” Buff or the “Thalassophobia” Buff from Island Living.
While being Scared might not be a common occurrence in your everyday Sims life, living in a Haunted House is a whole different story…
Introducing the Haunted House Lot Type!
The Duplantier Dwelling, created by Doctor Ashley! This “canon” Haunted House will be available in the gallery!
They’re like regular houses, only haunted! Although unassuming during the day, at night, these places get super weird. Your Sims may notice things like flickering lights, pipes rattling, or even creepy dolls staring at them in the corner. All are totally normal occurrences in a Haunted House, but it may take some time for your Sims to adjust to their new surroundings.
Sims living in a Haunted House will also be introduced to floating apparitions known as Specters. They’re cute little critters, but their motives aren’t entirely clear. You can try talking to them, or even offer them presents in hopes of establishing a good rapport. If they like you, they’ll drop special loot for you and your family. If they don’t like you, well, you’ve been warned.
o o o (> ‘ u ‘ )>
Learning to get along with your new ghostly inhabitants is crucial in a Haunted House. Things like botching seances, neglecting Specters, or letting accursed objects invade your house will have a negative impact on its spiritual serenity. There is a delicate art to co-existing with the entities of the house, and thankfully you’ll have an expert on the matter to assist you!
Claude René Duplantier Guidry was a seasoned Paranormal Investigator in his previous life, but now he exists to help anyone brave enough to live in a Haunted House! You’ll probably run into him eventually living in a Haunted House, but don’t worry, he’s a nice ghost!
Guidry will gladly offer his wisdom to those who seek it. If you’re confused, alarmed, or slightly uncomfortable by your new haunted surroundings, give Guidry a holler and he might be able to help. He can also offer valuable objects to help your Sims, too; all you need is to reach out!
Still got it.
All Guidry wants in return is to crash at your place for the time being. Sounds like a fair deal, right? But if you’d prefer to fly it solo, you can always disable his nightly visits—he won’t be too upset, maybe.
As mentioned before, Guidry was a Paranormal Investigator before his untimely demise. If he sees potential in you, he can certify you with a Paranormal Investigation License, granting access to the Paranormal Investigation Freelancer Gigs. Only those who are qualified enough can join the ranks of Paranormal Investigators, but more on that next time!
Living in a Haunted House adds a layer of risk and reward for your Sims, and each successful night yields Reward Store Satisfaction Points for everyone in the Household. Specters can also drop treasure that can also be collected, consumed, or sold to an Oddity Collector. So although your Sims might go through a bit of peril, they’ll thankfully be compensated.
One of my favorite pieces of haunted treasure is the new Sacred Candle. Not only do they look cool, but they also help protect Sims from paranormal influences. Place them around your house to make sure Sims are properly shielded!
A properly protected Sim.
Things like Sacred Candles and performing ceremonies at the Séance Table are integral to keeping your Sims happy in a Haunted House. Without using these paranormal tools, the entities of the house might get a little bossy.
And while it might be in your Sims’ best interest to keep the spirits of the house in check, watching things go horribly wrong in a Haunted House can be just as fun too. So whatever works for you!
Like Tiny Homes, this Lot Type can be toggled on or off at any time. So whether you’re a casual thrillseeker who wants to spend a couple of nights in a Haunted House, or a seasoned Paranormal Expert who wants to take on a new challenge, this Lot Type should offer something for you!
Pets get to share the fun too! They especially love the accursed objects that show up!
I think they’re gonna get along great.
As mentioned before, a ton of old Buffs from multiple packs are now being converted to the Scared Mood. I think 70 something Moodlets were converted? Honestly, I lost count. Anything that seemed more appropriate for the Scared Mood was transferred over.
Oh, and you might remember an old Lot Trait from City Living called Haunted. For clarity’s sake, it needed a name change, so now it’s the Spooky Lot Trait. It also benefits from being combined with the new Haunted House Lot Type and will have an increased chance of spawning Ghosts at night. So use both for maximum haunted-ness!
Last but not least, I’d love to turn it over to our Audio Artist for this pack, Briana Billups! She did a killer job bringing Haunted Houses to life! Trust me!
Conor: Can you tell us what an Audio Artist does on The Sims 4?
Briana: Big, broad picture: an audio artist decides what everything in The Sims 4 sounds like. We record, create, and edit sounds to the art and animation of the game. Little, very detailed picture: creating the actual sounds is usually one of the smaller aspects of our job. We are meeting with other departments, like design, animation, and VFX, to understand the overall vision of new game features and how we can fit in sonically. We are meeting with each other to make sure all our new content still keeps the very fun and quirky vibe of the Sims. We come up with new tools and implementation where necessary.
Conor: What sort of things go into the creative process for creating audio?
Briana: Every audio artist/sound designer has their own creative process, but I like to make a “sonic mood board” of sorts. I typically like to have a good idea of what I want something to sound like in my head before I record or edit it, so it’s nice to have sound effects or music to refer to that represents my original inspiration or ideas. When I was in college, I would make Spotify playlists for whatever I was working on. I would listen to them once a day, adding and editing as necessary, so when I actually got to work, I was in the right headspace. Now I’m usually less formal about this sort of stuff, but for this pack, I would refer back to things like Vincent Price’s demonic laugh from Thriller or Casper the Friendly Ghost Cartoons and the looping soundtrack from the queue of a horror ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (Ghost Blasters)
Conor: What were you most excited to work on for this pack?
Briana: Definitely all the haunted house sounds! Good sound design is the crux of so many horror movies and video games, so even if we were keeping things more “Casper” and less “Poltergeist,” I still wanted to give a good scare here and there. I actually scared myself one day while playtesting another feature in the game!
Conor: If you had to choose, what is your favorite audio clip you’ve ever added to The Sims 4?
Briana: I would say my favorite SFX were the sports arena loops in EP08: Discover University. When you visit the arena for the soccer/esports match or graduation, you can actually listen to the whole game or ceremony. It was great to craft a whole story from start to finish using just sound. I also snuck in a lot of developer names when writing the scripts for our voice actors.
More To Come!
That about covers this first foray into the Paranormal Stuff Pack! This pack has been a ton of fun to work on, and watching my Sims flee in terror has been more enjoyable than I’d like to admit.
Next blog, we’ll focus on the Séance Table and developing your Medium skill, as well as the new active freelance career Paranormal Investigator.
Big thanks to the Stuff Pack team for helping this pack come to life, and thank you, Doctor Ashley, for building our featured Haunted House!
Until next time,
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You mentioned western localizations messing with Amy. Can you elaborate if you don't mind?
I think the first thing to keep in mind throughout all of this is that I was referring to the old notion of “Amy is a psycho girl chasing after someone who isn’t remotely interested in her”. This is the big impression Sonic games (and I guess to some extent Archie Sonic, but I don’t want to get in there) left on fans during the 2000′s, and it comes mostly due to two main reasons:
The differences in western culture versus japanese culture (how we see relationships in general, the actual tropes surrounding Amy, etc.)
How the actual localization process was handled for each game, like the way Amy acts toward Sonic and other characters, how the games play said acts (cute vs annoying) and the way Sonic reacts to her presence.
It’s no secret that localization works during that era were spotty at best (that’s why you hear Ryan’s Sonic yelling “teriaaaa!” in SA2, or the general weirdness surrounding SA1), and while I personally don’t blame the people that worked on localizing the games (after all, the overall quality of videogame storytelling was pretty shaky back in the early 2000′s), I can’t ignore just how damaging those works ended up being for the canon. For example, cutegirlmayra talked about the differences between japanese and western Sonic for years now, take this quote from her post, a quote that I believe nails this whole thing on the head:
America treats Sonamy much like they do their franchise, a meme or joke to be poked fun of. Whereas, with a much more refined atmosphere, Japan treats Sonamy as an endearing and lovely couple. Though both resign to say they can’t really see Sonic ever ‘settling down’ or really being focused on romance. And,… that makes since to me. Knowing who Sonic is. But even that doesn’t mean he can’t have a crush XD (The heart wants what the heart wants, lol!)
More recently, stuff like “Unfortunately, I’m not inconvenient for my girlfriend” came to light, and that’s one of many examples where japanese Sonic was way ahead of its western self. This particular quote is from Sonic Battle and in the english version you don’t get anything remotely similar to that, instead Amy is left to look like she’s a crazy stalker, or that Sonic doesn’t accept her advances to a degree (that’s one major problem, how western Sonic tends to feel like he’s actually rejecting Amy while she keeps on trying.) It’s not coincidence that Sonic Battle is regarded as one of the worst portrayals of Amy in a Sonic game.
If you start digging on what the creators actually intended for Amy, you'll find lots of good intentions toward her and the framing of her dynamic with Sonic (which isn’t the only aspect of Amy, mind you, but my claims about western localization originally came from a SonAmy post so I naturally focused on that, sorry haha.)
For example, last year I looked into how Sonic Unleashed handled SonAmy, and while my initial research was pretty sweet (the english version of Unleashed!Amy is really good if you spend time talking to her), the real kicker came as soon as we (me and cutegirlmayra) started looking into interviews with ex-Sonic Team writer Shiro Maekawa and cross-referencing information regarding the actual writers that were involved during that 2000′s era. The result? There was an entire council at SEGA of Japan dedicated to approve the way Sonic characters were presented in all official media, and they approved all of the key SonAmy moments back then, even more that western audiences didn’t get to see (more on that below.) Most if not all the japanese Sonic writers involved in that era (Maekawa was both a writer and part of said council) left around the end of the decade, after Sonic Unleashed (2008) and Sonic and the Black Knight (2009), and ever since that most of the problems shifted from “this is how SEGA of America is localizing Sonic games” to “this is the very poor state of Sonic writing in general”, so, dead end for now.
Then you have situations like with Sonic X, a show handled by Sonic Team and the official Sonic writers of that era working in some of the most iconic episodes... just to see their work censored by 4kids in America and the subsequent dubs that used that version as a basis (from what I’ve heard not all dubs are censored, though.) That’s why you’ll see fans imploring you to watch Sonic X in japanese instead of the english dub, since the series was a lot more involved with the pairing and the general simbolism of some of its touching moments (they used actual love songs for them, for crying out loud), which led to some funny facts, like how the Latin American Spanish and the French dub both ignored the mandate about muting Sonic’s words to Amy in Episode 52, leading to moments like Sonic promising Amy he won’t leave her again (LatAm) or just straight up telling he loves her (the french were on fire with that one.) Sonic X was the one true vision of Sonic Team, and the way it was butchered for western audiences is still baffling to this day.
So, what’s the deal with Amy then? In theory she’s a cheerful, happy-go-lucky girl with a very strong sense of justice, super-determined to help anyone in need (even enemies like Metal Sonic) and, depending on the situation, pretty impulsive. She’s particularly loyal to her friends, and she acts like the emotional support of the group. You’ll see her filling that role regardless of how good or bad the localization is (SA2 Amy helped Shadow realize his true purpose, Heroes Amy is the beating heart of her whole team, Unleashed Amy is the only one who doesn’t lose hope on Sonic when Perfect Dark Gaia rises); yet the ways by which these traits were shown in the games varied a lot, and that’s how we reached a point where a good chunk of the fandom thinks Amy is a stalker. Japan portrayed her acts as cute, as very respectable traits of a great female character; the west portrayed her mostly as a nuisance the gang had to carry around, even to the point of misinterpreting some of her quotes that aren’t actually bad (for example: “If I had to choose between the world and Sonic, I would choose Sonic!“ in Sonic ‘06.) And while this is no longer the case, nowadays there’s a whole different discussion surrounding making Amy better by making her “more mature” (which is also another topic raised here in the west, like, this whole discussion never ends! haha)
I feel like I got lost and came back several times while writing this reply. At the end of the day, it’s a long topic to tackle and I think the best I can do right now is forward you some more information. My friend beev did some great work translating my own Spanish articles tackling the Japan vs Western differences (it’s pretty much most of this reply.) And then there’s @skull001, he’s very vocal about the ways Amy’s character was messed with (including stuff like Amy being missing from the back of Advance 1′s box, the Sonic X english dub or the fact SEGA is still reluctant to count her as part of Team Sonic), and if there’s someone I’d listen when it comes to knowing pretty much everything about Amy, it’s gotta be him... and cutegirlmayra, of course. I hope this helped, though!
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Hoo boy. Here we go. As has been heavily foreshadowed, Tails’ dad isn’t a fan of the Acorn family monarchy, and he’s looking for a change. A lot of fans hate the Prowers for this, but that’s not what I take issue with in this scene. Yeah, it might seem like a random time to take a stand against the government, but when wouldn’t be a bad time? And can you blame the people for not wanting to be subjected to the whims of the royal family? Sally and Elias might be okay, but nearly every bad thing that’s happened in this series is the direct result of Max trusting villains like Robotnik, Naugus, and Kodos, and their forces are still struggling to clean up that mess over a decade later
No, what really bugs me here is Sonic saying that he thinks protesting is stupid and that you don’t get political change with an angry mob
I hate this. I hate this so much. I know Archie’s Sonic is all buddy buddy with the Acorn family, so I’m not exactly surprised to see him defending them, but it still really stings to see a rebellious character like Sonic be a total bootlicker like this. As much as I like the Archieverse, and especially Ian’s take on it, Sonic acting like this will never sit right with me. Hell, Archie/SatAM Sonic started out as a rebel himself! But that aspect of his character slowly fell by the wayside as the Acorn family regained their power. Instead of fighting back against a tyrannical ruler, it became more about Sonic defending the status quo of the existing monarchy from outside threats. He’s not a freedom fighter, he’s their royal guard. He’s a cop. Some stories make that fact easier to ignore, but his authoritarian sympathizing is really front and center here
Needless to say, it especially sucks to see Sonic act like this in 2020, given everything that’s happened here in America this year (and, you know, every year before that)
All that being said, I’m not going to hold the execution of all this against Ian. We all know his political leanings, and I’m confident that he would write this story very differently today. It’s also possible that he had to crank up Sonic’s dickishness to fast forward to Tails fighting him--which, again, was not originally going to be the point of this arc. Sonic may have also been boiled down to a mouthpiece for the pro-monarchy side when the story was condensed into two issues and the other Freedom Fighters were written out. Or maybe he was always going to be this big of a dickhead here. Either way, this hurts to read
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Watching ThunderCats 2011 while baked live post
(Typed this all out on tumblr mobile)
• lion-o is so fun when he’s happy why must they fill the boy with more trauma
• huuuUU asshole cat, mean kitty Tygra
• Cheetara kinda reminds me of Cleo from Clone high idk why
• mmmmm Claudius’ a+ parenting
• bruh lionos vision sequence is fucking nuts, not the vision it’s self but the animation before that
• Claudius stop trashing on LionO for trying to do the bro thing he’s trying to blend in with Tygra and yous cis asses
• snarf wasn’t necessary here
• Claudius is like my fucking friend that I sent out into da wilderness and forgot about is back :D
• Grune has no right being voice by Clancy brown, mr krabs sounding ass
• panthros dead jim
• why is that plaza so damn big
• I love seeing the city social aspects in this show, wish that there was more of that :))))
• WILY TWINS they be mungojerrying and rumpletezering it up love them good for them
• hehehe slithe voiceinf another lizard who gives exposition
• the fact thundera is supposed to have all the cats minus tigers is wack
• I wonder how long it was before Leo’s decedents started becoming grade A dicks
• Tygra must ye be the same ass through out the entire series?? Give this man some growth
• every time I look at LionO I think about how some ppl headcanon that his parents are either cousins or siblings
• hehehe they literally hit cat off tree, violent fireman vibes
• Grune looking finneeeee, he really took over the queens seat at the table huh
• the only one who is actively supportive of lion-o is jaga :( damn..... and later on Panthro even didn’t favor him at first
• look what u did u fucked up a perfectly good lion cub he’s got trauma now
• the Cats are equivalent to sterotypes of small ass country town are like, not smart and knows but fuck about tech besides tractor
• Grune stop filling in the other parental role your making the kid be a combo of u and Claudius and that’s not a good look
• this writing is kinda reminding me of if Bella from twilight had a sister who was a jock
• it’s the line that began the lygra shipping :/
• what does the blue water taste like I wanna know
• the fact that lion-os room doesn’t even looked lived in bc he has to hide so much of his interests :(
• Grandpa :) god I wish jaga was like this for the rest of the series
• FUCK I’m already sad about what’s about to happen to jaga
• WILY TWINS I want them to reach their goals :)
• the tone shift gotdamn
• the fact Tygra and LionO are on good terms 20 mins after they had a big fight is such “your my only sibling” behavior
• mat mercers voice is so flat as Tygra
• I hate thisssss, this scene would have been better in a book or somethin
•thundeians ready as fuck to commit treason and kill royalty
• Cheetara oh how I wish you were like this for the rest of the show. She’s not love interest ™️ all the time yet
• Claudius is just so tired he just wanted to have “it’s been a hot min” sex with his bf not get his kids out of trouble
• the valley that thundera inhabits is either made by a glacier or a gouge from when the Pyramid fell
• this snarf scene is acceptable, shows us that something is rotten in the state of Denmark
• wish it had anime credits I wanna hear a pop song and sad as fuck visuals
• omens p2 babue
• Tygra be big sibling
• LionO just I have so many thoughts about you and your special interest I love u
• and then Tygra boxed his ears
• an entire day has passed an no other character interactions can take place bc plot must happen
• LYNXO WAR CRIMES
• bruh that line reminds me of one kid I knew in school that was like “you can tell someone is ethnic by their smell”
• idk if I like lynxos voice it reminds me of skimbleshanks but he isn’t overtly British
• FUCK you fuck you fuck you
• I was gonna say that lionos mom is probably rolling in her grave bc how his dads treating him but she’d probably do the same thing of her actions toward Tygra are anything to talk about.
• bro the shelter being bombed.....
• I wanna know why they only have the horse things
• Slithe almost hates Claudius as much as I do 🥰
• the silence when the fucking missiles drop holy shit
• that’s right fuckers GUNDUMS
• LIONOS JUST GOING WHAT THE HELL WAHT
• bruh LionO learning that he bought literal bombs and housed a couple of them in his ROOM
• buddy they are already in da walls
• GRUNE STRIP TEASE GRUNE STRIP TEASE
• Ooof Tygra looses two parental figures in one night whooowhwjwowjdjs
• Grune’s just entrepreneurial your just jealous 💅￼
• Fake Panthro spotted 👁
• he’s just hangin there Claudius no need to worry :)))
• I think I’ve been spelling Claudius name wrong
• FAST AS FUCK BOYS
• Cheetara being cool as shit
• nooo brooo don’t do it he’s not worth iit /hs
• JAGA MAGIC jaga is the wizard thats painted on those vans
• blue cat ppl tree
• bruh they got surrounded quickly
• LionO coming in for da clutch
• mf those lizards where just 🧍
• Claudius revealing that he did indeed have a favorite bf and guess what it isn’t Grune
• Claudius proceeds to get murked and dies thinking his two bfs betrayed him 😔
• I FORGOT THAT LIONO JUST SCREAMS FATHER JEKFJEKCKEKCJEKCJDKCJEKFJ
• THE NOOOOOOO FKEKFKEKFJEKCKEJWKDJFJEJDJRJEKFJR
• this is supposed to be sad wh
• THE MUSIC HAS THE SAME HORN THING AS THE DESTOYING THE HOME TREE TRACK DOES IN AVATAR
• jdjdjd my fucking subtitles went * splash * KDKDJDJFJE
• “sorry for the years of emotional trauma I gave u, you did great” *dies*
• WAIT why did the claw thing go gray is this mf a transformer????
• WHAY ARE THEY SO CALM. THERES A LITTERAL BEING OF LEGAND THAT YALL WERE JOSHING SAYING HE AINT REAL
• let the princes feel more emotions 2021
• jaga I love uuuuu but your AHAHAHAHAH HOMIE JUST FLASHED THEM AND THEY DIED
• Broooooo :( the parallels with Cheetara by jaga and the princes by Claudius :(
• also I know nothing about where the hell claudius was stabbed but he fucking died so fast
• I miss tired dog dad mummers
• LET THE BOYS CRY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY ARE THEY SO CALLM
• the lizard who helped LionO bc LionO helped him would have hit different if they were in some form of binding and expressing emotion
• once again why is the courtyard so big here, when we first saw it it appeared to be smaller
• holy shit my AirPods or Hulu did the fading of sound when characters move across the screen this is fucking epic how did in not know this before
• Noooooooo :( jaga I don’t want you to die I’m going to cryyyhh
• idk how I feel about mumm-ra sitting I’ve never seen him sit before I’m so uncomfortable
• bro sword sentience was fucking wasted it would have been so cool in this series
• AAAAHHHHH someone in the writers room has a bondage kink
• this is so stupid, wish the magic was scarier
• OOOH this is when Tygra magicly knows how to use a pistol
• Tygra secretly played COD on one of LionOs busted tech THATS why
• IDKSJDJS his little “hHUOH”
• mumm ra be so fucking slloowwww
• “ you killed my father now prepare to DIE”
• SCEEN THAT WILL BE REUSED SO FUCKING MUCH
• jdjdjdkckekckd mumm ra becomes sonic
• BRUH WHY HAVE A COMMERCIAL CUT THEN????
• it seems like all the rooms get bigger when ppl leave and renter them
• Grune just standing by watching all this until it’s time to take mummers back to the pyramid it’s just
• NOOOOO GRANDPAAAA
• bro Cheetara voices that she wants jaga to stay but doesn’t hang around to hear his reasoning don’t the vibe of that the words put out into da world
• WHaow the lipsyncing there wtf
• lord of the rings quote here
• this shot is very pretty, gets to showcase the city we barely got to know
• ughhugh why that for the ending pose
WAIT HOW IS SNARF THERE WHERE WAS HE????
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nobody asked but here is every unraveled episode (as of may 2020) as how they’d be as a lover | a 2.5k word long post written in the style of an unraveled about unraveled and also love
Ah. Unraveled. Polygon’s golden boy of a video series where Brian David Gilbert is beckoned into a suit, lured into a blackbox studio, and is only granted escape after he has explained to three cameras whatever batshit video game adjacent thesis he has been cursed with this time. Unraveled is a wonderful video series, and we all love it.
But what if it could love us?
If you’ve ever asked this question to yourself, boy, do I have some content for you, because for the past 2 days, I’ve been working on this post where, for entirely too long, I explain to you how each Unraveled episode would be as a lover. And more importantly, which ones would be the best lovers.
Before I fall deep into this unhinged hole and take you down with me, I need to explain some things.
First: I want to make it clear that I am not categorizing BDG as he portrays himself in each Unraveled. I am instead taking each Unraveled episode as a fully formed being, the story, performance, etc, and letting that shape a character of its own. This character is where I extrapolate details from to create an Unraveled episode’s qualities as a lover. What I’m basically doing is anthropomorphizing Polygon dot com video content. And then making you date them. If this doesn’t make sense, don’t worry, it will as you read along. And if it helps you to visualize the Unraveled Episode As A Lover, I invite you to just imagine whomever it is you are most attracted to---or for those who don’t experience attraction, whomever it is you find most aesthetically pleasing---and then just add in the wild personality traits I describe through the course of this post.
Second: I know what you’re thinking. “Avian, the characteristics of what makes a good lover is subjective!” And I wholeheartedly agree. I’ve been through college, and I’ve witnessed my friends whom I love so dearly enter relationships with some of the most wack ass motherfuckers I’ve ever met. I know that people are into different things. But do I judge them for it? Well, kinda, yeah! Yes, what we want in a lover is subjective, but I’ve consumed a metric fuckton of romance media over the course of my life and am also in a wonderful relationship with my own girlfriend, and thus have my own personal idealized ranking for what makes a good lover. Feel free to disagree with my rankings of Unraveled Lovers, but also, I’m writing this post. I say this with as much love as I possibly can, but if you disagree with me, make your own post. If you don’t wanna make your own post, you’re just going to have to trust me for 2.1k more words.
With that out of the way, let me take you on a journey through the 23 Unraveled Lovers, from worst to best.
BAD TIER: I would probably advise you to break up with these Unraveled Lovers as soon as you are emotionally capable of doing so.
Hoo boy, we’re starting at the bottom. The perfectionists, the nitpickers, the emotionally unavailables. These Unraveled Lovers would have good intentions, but just have aspects within their personality that will wear you and your relationship together down until both of you can no longer take it.
“Ranking all 200+ Megaman robots” is a lover obsessed with the concept of “is this worth it?” They would unknowingly but inevitably rank parts of your own personality on a scale of ‘worth the trouble in this relationship’ and ‘not worth the trouble’. Any lover who deals with you with this kind of dichotomy is somebody you should not be with. You should be accepted and loved for all your parts, the beautiful and the ugly.
“How to make the perfect E3 press conference” is a lover who spent years consuming romance media and has a list of what makes the perfect relationship. So not only do they have unrealistic expectations for what a relationship is, but they will be obsessed with reaching that unreachable perfection. That will definitely put a strain on your relationship until the veneer of desired perfection crumbles away, leaving you both tired and sad.
On a less deep note, “How to tell apart all 596 Fire Emblem characters” just won’t remember any of the names of your friends or family. Sure, they’ll try, but they’ll give up in like 15 minutes and you’ll never be able to take this Unraveled Lover to a family reunion or a party with your friends. Probably not a dealbreaker, but as the Spice Girls said “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.” This Unraveled Lover will not. Next.
“No one asked but I found Mortal Kombat’s best cuddler” and “I wasted 3 weeks of my life finding Castlevania’s hottest monster” are two Unraveled Lovers with a similar problem: they both won’t shut the fuck up about their exes. Mortal Kuddler constantly brings up all the other cuddles they’ve experienced and Castlevanias Hottest Monster will tell you you’re beautiful, but also bring up like 69 other monsters they think are also beautiful. This might not be a red flag, but personally, this would tire me out, always being thought of in comparison or contrast to others.
That ends the BAD TIER and brings us to the OKAY TIER where a large chunk of the Unraveled Lovers fall into, so much so that I had to create more specific sub tiers under the OKAY TIER.
So let’s get into the OKAY TIER: These Unraveleds Lovers are alright, you’ll just have a sublimely weird relationship.
These Unraveled Lovers will treat you right but they’re also just very peculiar. Nothing wrong with that at all, but I’m here to explain to you just in what ways these okayest lovers are bizarre. Let’s start with the first sub tier.
OKAY SUB TIER: College Students who are way too into their major
There are a lot of Unraveled Lovers under this subtier, and this shouldn’t surprise you, because Unraveleds are inherently nerdy. These are lovers that will be good to you but also just never fucking shut up about what it is they’re studying.
“I read all 337 books of Skyrim so that you don’t have to” and "Understanding Kingdom Hearts (and every other story" are Creative Writing majors obsessed with analyzing every single thing they read. As a Creative Writing major myself, I would advise you to never date a Creative Writing major unless you are a Creative Writing major yourself. I think that’s the only way the relationship can be ethical. Being sent essays from the New Yorker every day would be torture if you didn’t actively enjoy it.
“We made all 78 Breath of Wild recipes in one day” is a Culinary Arts major and, score, they’re gonna wanna cook for you! A lot! Beware though, because it’ll be a hit or miss on whether or not the food will be good, but you must admit, that there is nothing quite as attractive as your lover making you food (let’s just hope the food doesn’t harm you).
“Smash Bros. owes millions of dollars in OSHA violations” is going to law school and that should be a dealbreaker in itself, but I’ll be a bit lenient because they’re always working towards the safety of everybody. This Unraveled Lover will always remind you to put your seatbelt on and also tell you exactly what laws you are violating.
“Bowser’s military hierarchy” is a Political Science major, and Political Science majors scare me. So I’ll just say they’re okay, and leave it at that.
“Which Dark Souls Boss is the best manager?” is a rare non-evil Management major because they actually truly care for the welfare of employees. They just will always talk about it, even when you guys are on a date. I know worker’s rights are important, but it’s not exactly what I want to talk about in between kisses, yknow?
“I fixed Fallout’s music by creating a totally new genre” is a Music major who keeps accidentally making Ska love songs to you. You didn’t know Ska love songs could be a thing. This Unraveled Lover makes it a thing.
“Scientifically Calculating the Game of the Year” is a Math major so you will never have to worry about calculating bills because they can do it for you.
“Calculate your pet’s HP with my 100% legitimate formula” is a Veterinary Medicine major so if you’re an animal lover, this Unraveled is the one for you! Just beware, because this Unraveled Lover will also spend a lot of time observing you from afar to quantify your health points, but both of you will inexplicably find this activity strengthens your relationship.
And last but not least for this sub tier, “When can Mario retire?” is a disillusioned Accounting and Finance major who chose this line of study to get a job and, through the years, realized what a hellscape capitalism is. You may have to deal with a lot of zoning out and staring off into the distance, with this Unraveled Lover, but a lover who hates capitalism sure is a good egg.
That brings us to our next sub tier!
OKAY SUB TIER: Cultists or Conspiracy Theorists (AKA...College Students who are way too into their extracurriculars)
These Unraveled Lovers are alright! They’re just a little bit off the shits.
“Every Sonic game is blasphemous” will get really really worked up about things and probably try to start a cult. For most, that’s a definite dealbreaker, but what makes Sonic Bible an okay lover is that they eventually calm down from the cult outburst and apologize. So this Unraveled Lover will treat you well, you just have to be ready to ground them when they get a little bit bonkers.
“Solving the Zelda Timeline in 15 minutes” is very similar to Sonic Bible, except instead of starting a cult, every once in a while they’ll just sit you down on a chair and explain to you their latest obsession while slowly and intensely stripping. Which, hey, that could make for a fun night, if you’re into that kinda stuff! Definitely okay in my book.
That brings us to our last okay sub tier.
OKAY SUB TIER: Your Unraveled Lover might need to schedule some sessions with a therapist, and that’s Okay
Listen, we all have baggage. We all have problems. These are Unraveled Lovers who want to be the best for you, but at the same time have issues of their own, and you’re going to have to support them when they pop into their local psych clinic to make themselves better people.
“Waluigi” is an Unraveled Lover who is going through some identity issues. They want to be good for you, but they don’t even know who exactly they are. They may feel as if they are tricking you into being in this relationship, that they aren’t who you think they are, and while these fears are irrational, they wholeheartedly believe it and will never feel fully secure in this relationship until they have made peace with themselves. If you love this Unraveled Lover, you’re going to have to stick with them as they learn more about who they are.
“Kirby” is an Unraveled Lover who, for some reason, is obsessed with the constant quest to make things make sense. This need of theirs bleeds into every aspect of their life and can definitely affect your relationship. This Unraveled Lover may sometimes perhaps cite that they don’t deserve you because they can’t seem to figure out a logical and objective answer for why you are with them. This issue of treating everything like a puzzle to solve is an issue they will have to work out and recover from, and they will be receptive to this process of recovery because they cherish the relationship they have with you and understand that not everything has to be solved; some things can just be felt. If you choose to stay with this Unraveled Lover, you must be prepared to support them when they take a mysterious but needed soul searching journey in the woods. You must be prepared to sit with them along the shores of the beach and reassure them that life is about living, not about answers.
And that, dear readers, ends the OKAY TIERs. Now it’s time for the tier you have all been waiting for.
GOOD TIER: Pop open the champagne, bring out the strawberries dipped in chocolate, and let Spotify play Careless Whisper, baby, because we’re in the Ideal Lover zone.
Welcome to the Ideal Lover Zone. Here, we have three Unraveled Lovers who are just extremely good fellas.
“I used the Sims to perfect my apartment” is an Unraveled Lover who will work their hardest to be the best for you, but unlike the BAD TIER perfectionists, it will naturally dawn to them that perfection is unattainable. After this realization, they will find comfort and happiness in your romantic relationship and the other healthy relationships they have with other people. This Unraveled Lover will be sincere with you when the time calls for it, but will also not be afraid to be goofy for it. Above all, this Unraveled Lover will ask for help when they need it. They may often be shy, at first, but they understand their limits and will openly communicate to you when situations call for it. Communication is the bedrock of any good relationship, and this Unraveled Lover will never keep you guessing.
“The Perfect Pokerap” is similar to the Sims, in the sense that they will at first strive for perfection in the honeymoon phase of your relationship but then understand that that isn’t possible and then set more reasonable and realistic goals. What sets this Unraveled Lover out from the crowd though is just how much they cherish you. How devoted they are to you. The love you will feel in this relationship will be transcendental, and, even if you do break up, this Unraveled Lover will never forget you.
And finally. Who---according to me, a mildly delirious 21 year old rando on the internet---is the most ideal Unraveled Lover?
It’s “Find your Kojima name with my simple 11 page form.” Why? Because this Unraveled Lover wants to know you. They want to know everything about you, the parts you like and the parts you don’t like. This is a lover who will not shy away from any aspect of yourself, but instead, embrace you for who you are as a full fledged person.
They’ll also give you a whack ass pet name, and boy, isn’t that romantic?
Well, there you have it. All (as of May, 2020) of the Unraveled Episodes as 23 Unraveled Lovers. What did I learn from this endeavor? That romantic love is complicated, but if you’re into it, it is definitely worth the trials and tribulations.
...As long as I’m not dating the Castlevania Unraveled. Seriously, when we’re making out, I don’t wanna hear about how sexy the Hyena With Gun is. Learn how to read the room, dude.
(Thanks for reading.)
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Sonic Heroes: Sweet or Shite? - Part 2: CREAM
There are some heroes I like. And there are some heroes I don’t like. But why do I feel about them the way I do? That’s where this comes in.
This is a series in which I go into slightly more detail about my thoughts on the heroes in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, and why I think they either work well, or fall flat (or somewhere in-between). I’ll be giving my stance on their designs, their personalities, and what they had to show for themselves over the course of time. Two things to keep in mind:
1. These reviews will be focusing mainly on game portrayals. Though alternate media will occasionally be mentioned, it’ll be for the sake of adding onto a point if a portrayal is similar enough, or to compare and contrast if a portrayal is different enough.
2. These are just my own personal thoughts. Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions! I don’t bite. :>
Anyhow, for today’s installment, it's a vast departure from the mayhem of Silver’s world. A much more down-to-earth character, it's the Chao-approved little girl who only the most Eggman of Eggmen could possibly hold in contempt... Cream the Rabbit.
The Gist: One day, Sonic was off on another advance adventure. Eggman was starting shit again, so Sonic was obligated to cause shit for him. This time though, upon confronting the doctor early on, he noticed there was an unfamiliar hostage on the doctor’s metal-fisted person, in the form of an adorable bunny girl.
This was how she was evicted from Team Sonic Racing.
Sonic may not have recognised her, but that's okay, because he's Sonic, and no Sonic that isn't the Fleetway one discriminates. With his good heart - and more importantly, his skill in breaking apart Eggman's machines like they’re made of tissue paper - he saved the day, and the bunny was eternally grateful. But all was not sorted out, as it seemed that Vanilla, her adoring mother, was still under threat...
No matter. With the help of her little Chao partner named Cheese, she would handle the problem herself.
“How the fuck did this happen?” - Eggman, Sonic Advance 2 (2003)
And... that's about it? I told you this was a far cry from Silver, didn't I? Compared to Sonic's other friends, Cream just kind of showed up without much fanfare. No elaborate backstory, no dramatic plot twists, just a girl wanting to help out.
Well, if it makes this part of the job easier...
The Design: Just like her story (or lack thereof), there isn’t too much to say here. Her design is fairly simple, but it gets the job done.
“We’re going to have so much fun when we turn our enemies into dust and make them feel inadequate, won’t we Cheese? ^__^”
The best Sonic character designs are perfect at blending the right colours together, and Cream is no exception to that rule. The mix of cream (of course) and brown makes for a suitably warm and cozy package, and the further addition of orange and yellow provide a nice contrast to the reds and whites of her older sister figure, Amy. And speaking of Amy, although it might not be completely intentional, I like that Cream’s style of clothing isn’t too far off from that of the pink hedgehog, given their close dynamic.
I know some may take issue with the fact that her ears are technically backwards, but I personally don’t care. It’s cute, it’s fiction, don’t worry about it.
The Personality: Simply put, Cream is a kind, polite, innocent soul who would feel immensely guilty in the event of accidentally hurting a fly.
“I was not programmed to d’aww...”
This is in large part because she’s a devoted pacifist by nature, meaning she would only be willing to annihilate the absolute shit out of you if she had no other choice in the matter. Not that you should push her if it came to that, since I’m not exaggerating when I say that she’d wreck your shit. No mortal should have the awe-inducing power that Cream wields. (Seriously, is there any game she’s playable in where she’s NOT broken?)
Did I mention she’s cute as a button? Cause I’m gonna mention it again.
Come on, how could you hate this bunny? Is there no place for cuteness in this franchise starring plush-sized cartoon animals and giant red springs?
The Execution: If you haven’t noticed by how shorter this is than the average Sweet or Shite review, Cream is an extremely straightforward character to describe and discuss. But is that a bad thing? No, not necessarily. It doesn’t hurt for a character to have more to them of course, but compared to being as ridiculous and as complicated as, again, the whole mess involving Silver, it’s easy to appreciate when things are kept nice and simple.
If you also haven’t noticed, I would protect this girl with my life.
“Thank you for bowing down to your superior, mister!” “Chao!”
Okay, so maybe her voice can get a little ear-piercing at times, even though I’d argue that hasn’t been the case with her most recent voice actress. Maybe her dedication to her pacifism rubs some the wrong way, since it can cause some unnecessary complications from time to time, most notably during Sonic Battle, when her (initial) refusal to fight in an intense situation led to Emerl getting beat up by Original Gammas, Do Not Steal. Or maybe she’s simply not ~radical~ enough, if you’re that sort of fan.
But me? I like her. I think she has a place, and I think she deserves to keep that place. As such, I also think it’s a tragedy that it appears as though she’s been getting phased out from a lot of Sonic products, possibly due to all these accusations directed at her. IDW has been the biggest exception to this trend thus far... but we all know what happened there, don’t we?
MFW I’m told to sign up on Bumbleking to understand a comic’s piss-poor writing.
Still, even if this unofficial phasing out continues, I’ll continue to defend Cream with the same passion I’d reserve for plenty of Sonic’s other chums. For one thing, she’s not wearing a ganja leaf.
Regardless of the game, Cream’s interactions with the rest of the cast are genuinely sweet, whether it’s Amy, Sonic, a weapon of destruction like Emerl, or a complete stranger like Blaze. She even managed to be nice and understanding to Chris Thorndyke, which is an amazing achievement considering it’s Chris Thorndyke. (Of course, even she lost her temper with Chris Thorndyke at one point, because it’s Chris Thorndyke.) Cream is not the only character who adds heart to the Sonic universe - other examples include Amy, Tails, even Sonic himself at times - but she has her place in doing so all the same... unlike Chris Thorndyke.
I’m always going on about how it’s important to acknowledge Sonic’s world for all it has to offer, rather than take one aspect of it and take it up to eleven at the expense of everything else. That belief of mine also applies here, because as much as it may be a balls to the wall playground filled with cartoon edge and badass attitude, the main star is still a blue hedgehog who rolls into a fuzzy ball, the Ultimate Lifeform with a tragic past is still a black hedgehog who wears hover skates, and the main villain, horrible and brutal as he is, is still shaped like an egg. Appealing charm is inherent to this franchise, no less so than bodaciousness. So Cream isn’t any less appropriate than someone like Shadow.
Although how she hasn’t yet been traumatized by all that she’s been through will be a riddle for the ages. Abductions, abductions of her mother, dead robot friends...
“Shit happens, kid.”
Crusher Gives Cream a: Thumbs Up!
Well, that was a refreshingly easy one. Now if you’ll excuse me, I better get out of here before Trudy takes issue with me for swearing so much in a Cream-related context... oh god, here she comes-!
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These sort of " behind the scene " posts like with Lure and Ennard are so interesting! I would love to hear more about it, like, was there some other time where the plot of the games differed of what you started and you had to find a new solution to connect CGHA and AFLH to the new FNAF games?
I assume you might be thinking of the "Oh God, I am screwed" reveal in FFPS that very nearly threw the whole story into limbo. XD
So, after banking an entire story on heavy hinting in FNAF 4, FFPS comes out and reveals that the Puppet is not the Crying Child in the striped shirt with a significant backstory, but the daughter of a character we've barely seen anything about and was just introduced in a book series that makes me grind my teeth.
Indeed, I was screwed. Up until that point I was playing around with the storyline, but I had been mostly following the lore (mostly). Sort of like an adaptation of the game akin to, for example, Sonic X and the Sonic Adventure games. Technically the same events happen, but there's a few more characters and extra content involved. It was working for me.
Yeah, that kind of blew that out of the water... But that actually saved the story if I think about it. What I was doing, trying to stick close to the lore, would have eventually doomed me once I tried to implement in FNAF VR and eventually Security Breach.
The whole finale of AFLH hinged on the fact that I was able to bring in some but not all of the stuff from FNAF VR, making it work in a context that would fit and benefit the story instead of trying to work in the whole haunted game aspect.
It also pretty much gave me the hook for AFLH, which until that point didn't have a real main storyline planned, just that it was a sequel. At that point we hadn't seen anyone go through the experience of becoming an animatronic and working through their death, and Mike and Mari needed something more to do since we had already established and went through the process of them living together.
This has also helped GHIAB massively, as I'm planning plotlines before release and many of them are not going to be changed by Security Breach's story. This means that I have more room to focus on the story's flow and the character interactions above adhering to the lore.
One of these things that I'm sure I've mentioned before is that Vanessa and Vanny are not going to be the same person. How this is going to be explained is really simple, but I don't want to spoil it. Especially since it's a reveal made pretty early in the story.
Since the Charlie reveal, writing for the Home series changed significantly, because it became less about adapting whole storyline sections of games to work and instead seeing what I could use on a smaller scale. This led to moments such as the furnace room scene, the final hunt, and Jeremy's "I want to carve off your face" moment in AFLH- I think it was worth it!
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