Magical Mondays: Why Isn’t There More Multicultural Magic?

As a consumer of a lot of geeky media, I love it when a book or TV show has excellent worldbuilding that involves different cultures with different magics of their own. However, a lot of times I find that those magics and cultures are pretty rigid. One does this. The other does that. It makes for an easy understanding of how magical battles in that world might work, but it’s an unrealistic and rather simplistic view of how cultures and cultural immigration works.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Challenging Inappropriate Affection

I have very little tolerance for relationship drama in TV shows. Ninety percent of characters’ problems stem from a lack of communication, and my humble opinion about love triangles is that the answer is always polyamory. One of the things that makes me most uncomfortable, though, when it comes to fictional relationship drama, is inappropriate displays of affection.

S2e2_into the bunker dipper wendyWhat do I mean by inappropriate affection? I’m referring to a situation between two friends or colleagues where one has an unrequited crush on the other, and said crush-er constantly attempts to win the affections of the crush-ee, despite the latter being uninterested/much older/unavailable. It’s not quite a friendzone situation, but it’s based in similar ideas—essentially, the person with the crush believes that they are such a good catch that any of the aforementioned objections should be moot. In constantly forcing their affections on the other person, they’re actually being selfish and disregarding any feelings or opinions the object of said affections might have about the situation. It’s important that shows that engage in this sort of characterization portray it as it is—inappropriate—but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Continue reading

The Legend of Korra: Book 3 Premiere Review

Seemingly out of nowhere—the trailer for Book 3 only premiered a few weeks ago—Avatar: The Legend of Korra came back to Nickelodeon on Friday night. And although in the past I’ve been more of a fan of the idea of LoK than I was a fan of the actual series, I couldn’t be happier with the season so far.

book 3 changeSpoilers for the first three episodes below the jump.

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Ace plays Final Fantasy VII: The Religion

FFVII_Sephiroth_Temple_of_AncientsI’ve already discussed religion before in Final Fantasy VII. To be sure, there are a lot of religious themes in VII, especially when it comes to Aerith’s character, who I think is a female Christ figure. Even the background of her people—who are referred to as the Planet’s chosen people—plays off a lot of Judeo-Christian themes, such as the search for the Promised Land. Not everything involving her people, the Cetra, are Judeo-Christian in nature, though. The Temple of the Ancients, for instance, is shaped much like a ziggurat, and the one room inside it has what looks like hieroglyphics.

I’m not about to launch into another post about Aerith, however, even if I left out a lot of things in my other post. What I plan to talk about is how religion in VII affects the culture of the world, by which I mean, not very much, if at all.

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Ace plays Final Fantasy VII: The Evil Corporation

Shinra logoMany stories struggle with showing over telling. While I can think of a few notable exceptions, I’ve noticed that it’s not very easy to make the supposed heroes of a story actually heroic when they’re terrorists. There’s nothing that grinds my gears more when characters are presented to me as self-righteous heroes before doing some pretty unheroic things. Final Fantasy VII struggles with this a bit.

Our playable party consists of people belonging to the terrorist organization AVALANCHE—which is apparently not an acronym, so I don’t know why it’s written like that—and their goal is to save the Planet from the evil corporation Shinra. As mentioned in a previous post, Shinra is an electric company, and it gathers power from something called Mako, which comes from the Lifestream. The Lifestream is essentially the Planet’s blood, so by sucking it out of the ground, Shinra is subjecting the Planet to a slow and painful death.

Once again, I feel the need to state that, yes, the world is actually called the Planet.

Once again, I feel the need to repeat that, yes, the world is actually called the Planet.

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Avatar: The Review of Korra

Hooo boy you guys am I excited. I finally had a chance to sit down and watch the first four episodes of Korra, and I am in such a happy place right now. (A big shout out to my bff Nakura for patiently fielding all my live-tweetesque response texts, which have conveniently allowed me to remember ALL my feels for your perusal.)


(Also, this comes at the perfect time, because since MLP ended last week I am fresh out of Saturday cartoons.)

Things I love about this show:

  • It’s not trying to be its predecessor. In fact, so far the only remaining living character from the previous series is Katara (WHO IS BECOME GRANGRAN).
  • I love Korra. She’s fiery and three-dimensional and impulsive and has got a hell of a temper and an authority problem. She reminds me a lot of Books 2-and-3 Katniss in that she has a lot of noble feelings about how to make the city better and an amazing ability to say just the right thing in press conferences. And best of all, people are talking about Korra in terms of her personality, her abilities, and her choices—NOT her looks.
  • The steampunkness of Republic City is awesome and not forced at all. It seems like a very natural progression from the original series’ technology.
  • Mako and Bolin are fun—they really strongly remind me of Zuko and Sokka (why mess with a character formula that works?) but not so much that they’re carbon copies. (How are they brothers, by the way, if one’s an Earthbender and one’s a Firebender? How do bender genetics work? Why is no one in Tenzin’s family a Waterbender?)
  • I like that the intro now has Kyoshi, Roku, Aang, and Korra in it now—a cool nod to Avatars past and present.
  • So many nods to fan things and geek things. I mean, Tenzin’s oldest daughter (ALSO MY FAVORITE—she reminds me of Kaede Kaburagi from Tiger & Bunny) straight up asks Katara what happened to Zuko’s mom (and is unfortunately cut off—curse you, writers)! And in the third episode when Korra is harrassing that Equalist, I got serious Monty Python vibes.

Other things I felt:

  • Amon needs to suck it up—Zuko was brutally burned all over his face by his own dad, and still sucked it up and became a better person.
  • I love the announcer with his super-corny announcer voice.
  • The Fire-ferrets’ eye colors all match their bending. So cheesy.
  • There’s gotta be a way to fix the taking away of bending. I saw a really well-thought-out explanation of how Amon’s anti-bending is different from Aang’s energybending and therefore reversible on tumblr, which I can link interested parties to.
  • I want to know if Toph actually married someone or if Lin Beifong was born out of Earthbending and sheer awesomeness.
  • I’m not sure how far I trust Asami. (I’m certainly pleased to have a second main female character even though it seems to foreshadows romantic pairoffs in a way I dislike.) She just seems very snakelike to me.
  • Mako’s eyebrows. Can we talk about them? They’re ridiculous.
  • I really hope in a ridiculous way that Amon is Son of Cabbages Guy, and he’s trying to get back against benders for generations of lost profit.

There is no connecting thread in this post. I just wanted to get out my thoughts. Have any of our dear readers been following Korra? What do you think?