JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 3

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO

CHAPTER 3: THE SECOND TEST

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Magical Girl Pretty Dynamo ran to the mouth of the alley as Jake hunkered behind the rubbish bins. Around her waist, above her poufy skirt, she wore a utility belt. From it, she pulled a blue rectangle with rounded corners, a gadget Jake at first assumed was a cell phone. Throwing it, she shouted, “Circuit Board!”

The rectangle hovered an inch above the ground and split in half. The two halves shot apart, leaving between them a sheet of what looked like blue-tinted glass full of shimmering gold circuitry. The two ends curled up to form a sort of narrow, futuristic snowboard.

Dynamo leapt onto the board, kicked against the ground, and shot into the air, leaving a trail of blue glitter behind her. Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 3”

The Fantasy Epic Reinterpreted as Eighties Rock

Somebody drew my attention to this the other day, and … well, it’s just too good not to post. For a certain definition of good.

There is a plot buried somewhere under all the rapid takes. I can’t for the life of me tell you what it is, but I saw a chainmail bikini, and that’s good enough for me. Who doesn’t love chainmail bikinis?

I mean besides the SFWA, which fires people for chainmail bikinis.

I’ve never before heard of this Chris Dane Owens, but with his huge eyes and his bleached blond hair, he looks like a hero out of a shoujo manga. Apparently, there may be a film based on his music video at some point. Let us hope it’s coherent.

For some reason, I’m reminded of this:

In a Dream

Featured image: Something in Japanese.

The premise of Jake and the Dynamo came to me in a dream.

I think I had been watching Shugo Chara!, the anime based on Peach-Pit’s classic magical girl manga, before I went to bed, so that was probably the impetus, but I had a dream about a high-schooler who got sent back to fifth grade because of an error on his transcript. There, a little girl picked on him, and he couldn’t do anything about it because she was just a kid.

When I woke up, I thought that was a really funny idea, but I couldn’t think of anything to do with it. I mulled it over for a few days and finally said, “Well, what if she’s a magical girl?”

Pretty Dynamo, complete with name, look, and a basic idea of her powers, popped immediately into my head.

So there you go.

I Pity da Fool Who Don’t Celebrate Mother’s Day

Featured Image: “Magical Girl Meet Up” by anime-gal.

I think I can name every title referenced in that picture. From left to right, Shugo Chara!, Magic Knight Rayearth, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kill la Kill, Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Princess Tutu. How’d I do?

Happy Mother’s Day. I should have a review up tomorrow, and then of course we’ll have another chapter of Jake and the Dynamo on Monday.

Now let’s hear from the wisdom of Mr. T:

Continuing both Jake and the Dynamo and R&M

Featured image: “Study Time” by lujus.

I’m spending the day working on fourteenth chapter of Jake and the Dynamo, which for some reason I decided needed to contain a lot of statistics puns. I don’t know why I did this to myself.

Chapter 3, of course, will post on Monday. Are you ready to see Pretty Dynamo fight Godzilla? I know I am.

Also going to see if I can finish up a Rag & Muffin novella while I’m at it.

Sugawa Akiko’s ‘Children of Sailor Moon’: It’s Because Men

Featured image: “Evolution of the Magical Girl” by Shattered-Earth.

I direct your attention to the essay, “Children of Sailor Moon: The Evolution of Magical Girls in Japanese Anime” by Sugawa Akiko, published on nippon.com.

The essay promises to be interpretive, though in the end it is mostly an overview of the history of the genre from its origins in Sally the Witch to darker and more violent recent entries such as Day Break Illusion. Although not a bad overview per se, it misses some major milestones and does not appear to have a particularly in-depth knowledge.

Sugawa Akiko’s attempt to fit her discussion into a certain sort of feminist framework compels her to talk nonsense, as evident in these two paragraphs:

Female superheroes, meanwhile, were almost invariably adults. The heroines of such comic-based TV shows as Wonder Woman and Xena: Warrior Princess and the video game–based movie Lara Croft, Tomb Raider were endowed with male strength but also a mature sex appeal targeted primarily at heterosexual men.

An attribute virtually nonexistent in Western witches or female superheroes is the maternal or nurturing behavior that has become such a common feature of mahō shōjo anime since the advent of Sailor Moon. While powerful, Japan’s magical girl warriors also preserve attributes associated with traditional gender roles—including cuteness and maternal affection—that make them less threatening to men.

Got that? So when the characters are vampy and busty, it’s because men. And when they’re cute or maternal, it’s because men. Dammit, those men got us every way we turn.

Why not just say, “It turns out that dudes like chicks”? That would cover all the bases, except then it would be obvious that she’s stating the obvious.

In any case, she’s correct that magical girls are typically more overtly feminine, even hyper-feminine, than Western superheroines.

The essay also contains some flat-out BS: she suggests that the “yuri” (read: lesbian) hints in 2011’s Puella Magi Madoka Magicawhich are not unambiguous or inarguable—are something new to the genre, when in fact they’ve been around since Sailor Moon at least and have been present in anime more broadly speaking for longer than that.

The essay ends abruptly after the overview with very little of the promised interpretation, but not before this:

Some of them seem to be turning back toward the fairy princesses of an earlier era. The heroines of Happiness Charge Pretty Cure, for example, combine the “girl power” and appeal of Sailor soldiers with the traits of the nostalgic princess archetype.

My response: I hope so. The dark and depressing magical girls of the Madoka mold are beginning to wear out their welcome.