redwoodalchan: (pic#7810517)
 This started as a response to a "Heat Guy J" review I saw on TVTropes, but it isn't limited to "Heat Guy J" fans (or else this rant might not exist...).

redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)
So a short time ago I was reading this article about something completely unrelated, but one of the things the writer commented on in passing was that Twilight comes under fire a lot simply for being a book for girls. One of the people in the comments put in, quite sensibly, that a lot of people who don't like Twilight are offended by its undeniably offensive messages, to which the original poster replied that although there is, in fact, quite a lot to dislike about Twilight, in practice not everyone who's willing to talk about how much they hate it even brings that up, with many instead commenting on how it's a "stupid sparkly vampire series for stupid girls" (probably not in so many words, but you get the point). I even think this line of thought might be the origin of Mervin's "Hate it for the right reasons" video series (though there's no confirmation there).

I will say this makes the almost-obscene amount of time anti-Twilighters in certain sections of the internet spend comparing Twilight unfavorably to "Hellsing" all the more suspicious, because while "Hellsing" is popular with women and in some respects quite feminist, it's still technically written by a man, for an audience consisting primarily of men, and it shows.
redwoodalchan: (pic#6681426)
Introducing *drumroll* the Sad Sultry-voiced Villain! )

And yes, I'm well aware of the limitations of this label. For one thing it is much easier to apply to visual and recorded media than written media (though a book could provide cues as to how we're supposed to interpret a character's voice, of course). I'm also aware that different languages may complicate a character's classification as such--for instance, Mao from "Code Geass" and Furuichi from "Xam'd: Lost Memories" are Sad Sultry-voiced Villains in English but not in Japanese.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 I'm not sure quite how I feel about that. I suppose it was inevitable considering how many of the people on that site use TVTropes.
redwoodalchan: Artwork lifted from Pokemon wiki; character belongs to Pokemon (pic#4865891)
 I've decided never to spork stories featuring classic female Mary Sues--unless they overlap with my preferred targets, like Lifetime!fic and those which feature obnoxious male Mary Sues.

There's a couple reasons for this. One is that the moment a fic like this gets discovered you see dozens if not hundreds of snarkers lining up to bash the hell out of it. I feel like there's often a sexist dimension to it as well, since a lot of the time it seems like people don't comment on the very real problems found in stories like this, such as the fact that they often contain sexism, racism, homophobia, callous disregard for the well-being of anyone who isn't Mary Sue or her slobbering sex slave du jour, or some combination of the four; but rather their commentary often falls along the lines of "LOL STUPID LITTLE GIRLS WITH THEIR STUPID MARY SUES CORRUPTING POOR INNOCENT STUD-SAMA BY FORCING HIM OUT OF CHARACTER!"

So instead I'm sticking with problems which it seems like snarkers rarely talk about--including Lifetime!fics which receive a distressingly low level of criticism for their blatant misogyny, and (perhaps, as is the way of these things, ESPECIALLY) male Mary Sues, who often don't get any attention or criticism whatsoever from the fandom despite being every bit as bad as their sisters.

I've also considered sharpening my Ron the Death Eater snarking skills, and spending less time snarking at DILP in so many words, because again, it seems to me that Draco in Leather Pants is condemned as the worst and most poisonous thing ever!!!! that a fan can do, while RTDE gets a free pass (unless said Death Eater is a character you personally like, that is...).

What I'm really hoping is that I'll eventually tackle bad snark. It seems to me that there's an unspoken belief in fandom that snarkers get a free pass to say whatever they want just because they're tearing apart "bad" works, when really, there's a way to do snark well and a way to do it poorly.
redwoodalchan: (pic#6681426)
 ...if the villain is genuinely the sort of person that the fan in question likes?

It's an honest question. The official definition of DILP that TVTropes uses is:

"When the fandom takes a controversial or downright villainous character and downplays his flaws..."

And there's the thing. If you're a hybristophiliac who genuinely thinks psychopathic bad guys are attractive or desirable or ideal, then you aren't really "downplaying" their flaws because the flaws are part of what makes them your ideal. At the same time, though, you're professing an attraction to a character who was never meant to be seen as attractive, which is sometimes what DILP is taken to mean (particularly if the fan is un-self-aware enough to actually treat the villain as the real hero because he's so evil). So...is that DILP, or is it something else?

Of course, even if it isn't DILP to treat the evil bad guy as your ideal friend/mate/role model/whatever, it's still every bit as creepy and stupid as true DILP, if not worse. 

(I also, for the record, don't think the two are mutually exclusive. I've seen some stories in which fans took morally-dubious characters, downplayed the flaws that they had in canon...only to have them be horrific creeps in some other way, which was treated as perfectly acceptable or even desirable!)
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 This article is something I came up with as a prelude to my next sporking job, which should be going up in due course.

Cut for mentions of rape/sexual abuse, as well as spoilers for  )Plus, this kind of behavior gives people who just want to enjoy the bad guys and the bits of them that make them more sympathetic and fleshed-out a bad name.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 So, as I look, one of the interesting things about "Trigun's" voice-acting cast, at least in English, is that it seems to have recruited a lot of voice actors who were relatively unknown at the time and/or didn't go on to have much of a career.

Take the four main "Trigun" men: Vash, Wolfwood, Legato, and Knives. Of those four, only two (Vash and Legato) had voice actors who managed to have real voice-acting careers. And only Vash's voice actor, Johnny Yong Bosch, has had a career that fans bother to keep track of or talk about (Vash was also Johnny Yong Bosch's debut role, meaning that he may well have had a career thanks to "Trigun"). Legato's VA, Richard Cansino, has been in plenty of other roles, but only a small handful of other roles (most especially Kenshin Himura, the hero of "Rurouni Kenshin," a show I loved as a teenager) seems to have achieved real widespread popularity. And I have no idea who the guys who played Wolfwood or Knives are at all (Knives's VA, Bo Williams, is only credited with three roles, in total, on Behind the Voice Actors, which can't even provide a picture of him).

This may or may not be true across the board. I know Meryl and Milly, the two leading ladies, are voiced respectively by Dorothy Elias-Fahn and Lia Sargent, both of which seem to have had careers (Dorothy Elias-Fahn was actually in "Code Geass," which was dubbed many years after "Trigun," but her role was minor and I don't know how many of her other roles people really remember). And I know that both Bryce Papenbrook, and Joshua Seth, who play Vash and Knives as children (respectively), have been in some pretty high-powered roles since (Bryce Papenbrook also debuted in "Trigun," and has since gone on to play major characters in shows like "Vampire Knight," "Durarara!!" and more recently "Sword Art Online").

Yeah.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 So to help me with my Sue-sporking I've revisited a couple of the videos in Shmeiliarockie's "You Are Bella" series.

This got long... )
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 So, Railrunner. What exactly does he do throughout the course of the story?

-Remorselessly and sadistically murders people in the most gruesome way he can think of
-Enjoys every bit of it
-Thinks of humans (by and large) as useless insects (not that he admits it, but still)
-Can manipulate people's limbs to get them to do things against their will/kill themselves
-Eats (near as we can tell) nothing but meat and sweets
-Will kill any enemies he doesn't consider his worthy opponents in the blink of an eye
-Is single-mindedly determined to torture and kill said worthy opponents

You know who else does all these things? Legato Bluesummers from "Trigun!"

Tip from the experts: if your oh-so-noble, chosen one Jesus analog hero has anything remotely in common with one of the most notoriously-evil bad guys in the popular anime fandom consciousness, YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING VERY WRONG!
redwoodalchan: (pic#4920144)
 Don't get me wrong--I still think they're the scourge of the Pokemon fandom. But they have a point when they note that the mechanics that worked perfectly well in the Kanto and Johto games do not necessarily work as well in the games that came after.

The basic mechanic of the Pokemon games in the main series is and always has been fairly straightforward: you catch pokemon, and then you use them to fight other pokemon, be they wild pokemon or pokemon with trainers attached to them. And in the first- and second-generation games that worked just fine because those games had no real storyline--the entire objective of them was to simply defeat all the increasingly powerful trainers in the game and prove you were the best. But starting with the Hoenn games, they started to introduce something resembling a coherent storyline, and while in a lot of ways that was pretty cool, it created problems. Because the mechanics of the games didn't change, they now had all these complex plots, every one of which had to be resolved by having a pokemon battle, regardless of what the most appropriate course of action would realistically be in that situation (to cite a favorite example, if N thinks it's so wrong to make pokemon fight, why does he keep challenging you to battles?).

So while I'm never going to think that the first- and second-generation games are superior to the ones that came after, I will say that it does seem as though the games have "outgrown" their original mechanics, as it were, at least by the time Generation V rolled around. Of course, Generation V also introduced some significant changes to the gameplay (such as ending the game after the big bad has been defeated, thus ending the main storyline, rather than after you become champion), so it may be that they're aware of this and working on it for the next gen.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
You know one really annoying trend I've seen among sporkers lately? Too many counts!

Like, if you want one or two counts, or even a small handful, in your sporking job to call attention to the most pernicious and annoying things about the work, that's one thing. But why on earth would you have upwards of ten or twenty different counts, pointing out every single thing you think is wrong with a work (including things so obvious or so revoltingly common they're not worth calling attention to, like sociopathy in a work by Stephenie Meyer or one of her hangers-on)? For me, at least, it starts to make it look like you're using them as a crutch, to avoid spending time actually talking about the work (which is what we came for anyway). And if you need to clarify why you assigned a count to a particular occasion, you're inevitably explaining what your issue is with the work anyway, and could just as easily have left the count out of it entirely. The counts will have mostly become useful in illustrating just how useless they really are!
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 So this summer I've now watched three fantasy anime: "Magic Knight Rayearth," "Slayers," and "Dragon Half." All these anime are older (from the '90's or early 2000's), and, most interestingly of all, they were all dubbed in different locales: "Magic Knight Rayearth" was dubbed in California, "Slayers" in New York, and "Dragon Half" in Texas.

See the rest of my thoughts... )
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 First of all...anyone who implies that Draco in Leather Pants is something that only women do, or that only applies to male characters, needs a good kick in the face. In fact, one of the fics I plan to spork down the road is an absolutely obnoxious DILP work--with a male Mary Sue and a female DILP (and the fic was written by a man too). So yeah, they exist and they're every bit as obnoxious as the more common (or at least more commonly-cited) version with a female Mary Sue and male DILP.

Oh, and here's another thing: I strongly suspect (though have no evidence to prove, admittedly) that if you were to take the sum total of all instances of Draco in Leather Pants and Ron the Death Eater across all fandoms, you'd end up with fairly comparable numbers of each (based on my own experience, RTDE is WAY more common in the Pokemon fandom than DILP, to cite one example--granted, Cori Falls and her ilk notwithstanding). Yet DILP receives almost all the attention and condemnation from wankier fans. What's even more annoying is that a lot of these wankier fans think ANY interpretation of the character that doesn't make him out to be pure evil is DILP, no matter how well-thought out. Apparently you can make N, or Grimsley, or Dawn (yes, THAT Dawn--I once saw a fic of her as a psycho murderer) a mustache-twirlingly evil bastard and everyone's okay with it, but the moment you try to argue that Voldemort might have been a victim in his childhood at one point rather than being an innately evil monster, well, you're just a stupid brainless fangirl who is obviously too besotted with Voldiecakes to understand how evil he is.

And before anyone says, "But DILP is so HARMFUL because it glorifies the villains' antisocial behavior," well, RTDE has the potential to be every bit as harmful, because its logical extreme is character bashing. Which part of Cori Falls's work was more obnoxious, her declaration that Jessie and James were the real heroes or her insistence that Ash was pure evil and deserved to be abused both verbally and physically just for not liking Jessie and James? Both DILP and RTDE have the potential to glorify antisocial behavior if they go too far--it's all to do with context.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 This article should be required reading for anyone who reads, writes, illustrates or has anything whatsoever to do with fantasy.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 ...that male Mary Sues are twice as annoying as female Mary Sues?

I mean, they're less common, but it seems like they make up for it by being more insufferable, more assholish, more selfish, and more sexist/racist/homophobic than all but the worst female Mary Sues. If you think about it, who's more obnoxious: Anabella or Christian Grey? Or, while we're at it, Bella Swan and Christian Grey (or Edward Cullen, as the case may be)?

This just occurred to me because as I plan out my sporkings one thing I notice is that while I certainly get annoyed by female Mary Sues, it's the male Mary Sues (or, in some cases, the male associates of female Mary Sues) that really get most of my ire. Case in point: I'm currently writing up a sporking of a Lifetime!fic based around Pokemon DPPt, and while Dawn is indeed irritating (and the bits about Cyrus raping Dawn are indeed vile) it's Lucas who's getting most of my hate.
redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)
I finally got around to reading their last two entries...and they've sunk to the level of outright telling you how to interpret the characters! Seriously, they openly admitted that they are actively trying to make you hate Alice and Renesmee!

Like, okay, fine, if you don't like Alice or Renesmee, that's your prerogative. It's not like it's news to me that they're terrible characters. But don't insult your readers by telling them that they have to hate them too, or worse, hate them for the EXACT SAME REASONS YOU DO! Because when it comes to discussions of media or...anything really, there are few things I hate more than feeling like someone's telling me what to think.

And yes, I get that internet commentary kind-of is telling you what to think most of the time, but not in so many words--much of it at least tries to back up the points it makes with solid examples and ultimately lets you make the call as to whether you agree with it or not. At any rate, there's a pretty pronounced difference between "This thing here sucks and here's why" and "You should feel the exact same way about this that I do because I am Always Right." It's an attitude that I don't take from Suethors and hack writers, and I don't take it from the people who snark at Suethors and hack writers either.

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