Trailer Tuesdays: Thor: Ragnarok

We’re lucky enough to be getting three MCU movies this year, even if I was a bit underwhelmed by the first one. The casting news about Thor: Ragnarok had me pretty hyped for this movie, but now that I’ve seen the trailer, I’m only about 40% hype. The remaining 60% is confusion.

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In Brightest Day: Interrogating Disability and Privilege in Always Human

Back at the start of 2016, I spotlighted a little webcomic called Always Human as my web crush of the week because it featured a lovely queer romance and some fantastic art and music. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite web crushes (next to The Adventure Zone and They Call Us Bruce) not only because of the relationship between Austen and Sunati, but also because of the way that diversity of all sorts is seamlessly blended into the story. Always Human is set in a future version of our Australia, and while future Australia of course has various technological advances, it’s also filled with racial diversity, different sexual orientations and gender identities, and both polyamorous and monogamous relationships. I’m always excited to read more of Austen and Sunati’s slice-of-life adventures, but perhaps my favorite thing about the series is author Ari’s depiction of disability in a fantastical world.

Spoilers for Always Human below, as well as a trigger warning for discussions of ableism and fatphobia.

(via Webtoons)

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Magical Mondays: Flying Witch and Magical Realism

2017-04-25 (3)

(screencapped from Crunchyroll)

Flying Witch did for witches what Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid did for dragons: just had them be kinda there, going about their daily business instead of getting wrapped up in some sort of epic fantasy plot. Makoto, the protagonist of Flying Witch, is a young witch completing her training, but is she rollicking along on some sort of Harry Potter-ish adventure attending a haunted magic school and defeating evil incarnate? No, she’s just doing the gardening. Occasionally she unearths a howling mandrake and disturbs her friends and neighbors, but otherwise she lives a relatively conflict-free existence, sitting where she does in the place where the “supernatural” and “slice-of-life” genres meet. Which is, it turns out, pretty near the dreamy land of magical realism.

Spoilers for Flying Witch episode 11 beyond!

Flying Witch is not a show you watch for conflict and action—it’s quite literally just the day-to-day goings on of a girl’s life in a rural town, including high school cooking classes, vegetable planting, and long conversations about the history of the pancake… oh, with the occasional bit of magic woven in. There’s no overarching plot, no tension, no mysteries or intrigue as we glimpse the magical world. The witches in this universe don’t have a statute of wizarding secrecy so much as just keep to themselves because they like it better that way, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the series’ casual tone and casual acceptance of magic. Apart from some initial shock when Mako floats on her broom for the first time (and some comedic reactions to the yelling plant), the existence of magic is basically accepted by the cast and by the story without anyone batting an eyelid.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Fionna and The Ice King – Toxic Masculinity in Adventure Time

It seems in recent years as though a dam has broken and the notion of what is “acceptable content” for a kids or YA show thankfully now has an ever-increasing flow of support. While themes of inclusivity and equality have been a staple of the genre since the early days of Children’s Television Workshop, recent examples like Steven Universe have dealt with gender identity and sexuality in ways that would likely have been vetoed by the networks even a decade ago. One show that, in many ways at least, was at the forefront of that charge is Adventure Time. While by no means perfect, it gives us numerous examples of gender equality and represents a fairly wide range of gender, sexual, and romantic identities that fall outside the heteronormative narratives that many of the genre’s examples, even the best ones, have traditionally retold ad nauseum.

Fiona and Cake Fist Bump

Grab your friends, we’re going to very distant lands. (Screengrab from (Adventure Time)

While Adventure Time does this in numerous ways and through numerous characters, there is one example that is among the most direct and the most enduringly popular: Fionna and Cake. In looking not only at these characters specifically, but also more broadly at what they show us about the Ice King and toxic masculinity, we can see one of the best examples of these themes being presented in subtle and complex ways that are accessible to the target age group and, ultimately, further that tradition of inclusiveness.

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Londinium Calling? Let It Go To Voicemail: A Legend of the Sword Review

Legend of the Sword Poster

From nothing comes a plot… j/k there’s still “nothing”. (via Art of VFX)

As soon as I read the title for Alyssa Rosenberg’s movie review in The Washington Post, I knew I had to watch King Arthur: Legend of the Sword as soon as I could. Rosenberg’s title is “It took awhile, but I found a movie worse than ‘Batman v. Superman: like, come on, how could I not be pulled in by that? Now, I may not have seen Batman v. Superman unlike some unfortunate souls on this blog, but I still know a bad movie when I see it, and hoo boy, is Legend of the Sword some shit. Unlike Rosenberg, I’m not willing to write the entire movie off as being not worth anyone’s time–though I do agree with her on many of her points. Parts of Legend of the Sword are exactly the schlocky “thinks of itself too highly” moments that make a lot of popular movies great and fun to watch. Still, the rest of it is a convoluted mess that “thinks of itself too highly” in the worst possible pompous British way imaginable; both sides are constantly duking it out in a street brawl that never quite gets a definitive victor.

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Fanfiction Fridays: The Chilling Crimes of Chinchilla Chick by Traincat

Squirrel Girl! @unbeatablesg
WHO EATS NUTS KICKS BUTTS AND JUST KISSED THE RADDEST ROOMMATE EVER idk but i bet she’s super cool and finished all her homework

Squirrel Girl! @unbeatablesg
LIKE A CHAMP #eatsnutskicksbutts #andassignments

Nancy W @sewwiththeflo
So glad Mew approves of my new relationship. That would’ve been awkward. #neithersinglenorreadytomingle

Squirrel Girl! @unbeatablesg
@sewwiththeflo Hahaha but it would’ve worked out anyway right Nancy

Squirrel Girl! @unbeatablesg
@sewwiththeflo Nancy?

Squirrel Girl! @unbeatablesg
@sewwiththeflo NANCY

Squirrel Girl! @unbeatablesg
@starkmantony aw you ol’ softie you! thanks for the edible arrangement!

Tony Stark @starkmantony
@unbeatablesg Don’t mention it. Really.

Squirrel Girl! @unbeatablesg
@starkmantony could’ve used more nuts, though

Tony Stark @starkmantony
@unbeatablesg What did I just say?

The first time Nancy kissed Doreen she tasted like acorn buttercream and New York City grit. Nancy had never thought of that as a winning combination, but somehow Doreen made it work. She also dipped Nancy, because Doreen kissed like she did everything else: with 300% enthusiasm and like she’d learned it off a pack of trading cards written by a maniac in a full-face mask.

The Chilling Crimes of Chinchilla Chick may not be an actual canonical Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comic, but it’s pretty much the next best thing. Actually, it’s got femslash, so it’s inherently better. Let’s do this.

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Knocking On Pixar’s Door: Light Chaser Animation’s Big Dreams for Little Door Gods

There’s been a spate of whitewashed and appropriated Asian roles in American-made movies recently, but there have been very few geeky movies which actually star Asian actors (to my knowledge, at least). Since this is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, though, I wanted to watch some geeky Asian films. To do so, I had to go through our archives before finally landing on Little Door Gods, a film I found out about in late 2015. Though it never got an American release, I did find it on the internet (just, you know, around).

Little Door Gods (小門神) is the first feature-length film from Light Chaser Animation, a Chinese animation studio which launched because of what founder Gary Wang saw as the lack of movies featuring Chinese mythology. (Probably a good call; it doesn’t look like Hollywood is going to get to Asian inclusivity anytime soon.) Wang has said that he wants to create “the Pixar of China,” and he’s even hired some animators who used to work for Pixar and DreamWorks in pursuit of his goal. His first movie is… definitely good, but not Pixar-worthy yet.

Spoilers for Little Door Gods below!

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