Art: ‘Princess Tutu’ and the Art of Awesomesauce

Featured image: “Magical Girl Noveau: Princess Tutu Bookmarks” by Vivifx.

Today’s art post features the greatest magical girl of all time, Princess Tutu, an unlikely fusion of “The Ugly Duckling,” Swan Lake, and Revolutionary Girl Utena, with easily the most highbrow soundtrack in anime history. I ship Duck with Mr. Cat.

And yes, I said greatest. Of all time.

Because if it weren’t for Princess Tutu, there would be no guitar ninjas. You can’t argue with that.

Many fans of Her Tutuness consider the AMV for “Hold Me” to be a successful encapsulation of the awesomesauce, even though this song is not actually on the soundtrack:

Jake and the Dynamo Coming Soon

Featured image: “Snowwhite and Hardgore Alice” by KaishaScire

I’m busy at the moment with an assignment I have to have completed tonight, but if I can get this wrapped up, I’ll make the final pass on chapter 24 of Jake and the Dynamo. Check back here tomorrow, as I hope to have it up.

Art?

Featured image: “Winx Club – Bloom” by Nesallienna.

Ah, Winx Club. Haven’t talked much about that one. Funny story: I decided to try that show out a couple of years back because I knew it had a big fandom, and I knew it was a magical girl show from outside Japan. Here in the States, Nickelodeon has slapped its name on this show, and I didn’t do my research before purchasing half a season of it, so I mistakenly believed I was getting a magical girl series from the same people who gave us stuff like Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer and Avatar: The Last Airbender. In other words, I assumed I was in good hands.

No. It’s actually an Italian cartoon and has the honor of being the first Italian cartoon to get syndicated in the U.S., which is more than I’ve accomplished today. It’s also proven quite popular in a wide array of other countries. I would have watched it in any case, but I wasn’t prepared for just how freaking awful it is. After I finally looked up some information, I was unsurprised to discover that the CIA uses Winx Club in lieu of waterboarding for “enhanced interrogation.”

Okay, I made that up. But still. I had to prop my eyeballs open like that guy in Clockwork Orange just to get myself through thirteen episodes. And it’s gone for seven seasons, totalling 182 episodes the last time someone counted and I paid attention. A hundred or more episodes of something like Sailor Moon or Saint Seiya doesn’t make me swallow, but Winx Club? I think watching the entire run of Winx Club is what they make you do in Purgatory.

It sounds like an okay idea, at least if you’re out to make money off kids: the premise is a cross between Harry PotterTinkerbell, and Sailor Moon. It’s about five teenage bimbos with magical fairy powers who fly with gossamer wings, fight evil witches, wear skanky outfits, go to magic school, zip around on dungeon-punkish spaceships and hovercraft, and have some peculiar obsession with ending words with the letter X. You could certainly do worse for a cartoon concept. The animation isn’t great, but it isn’t awful, and the bad CGI is excessive, but that was a fad at the time (2003) that it started its run. The production values are acceptable.

But, seriously, worst. writing. ever. I think Winx Club has the dubious honor of containing the most awkwardly constructed romantic subplots I’ve ever seen in anything professionally produced. At one point, the narrator announces that a couple of characters’ relationship is deepening and growing closer, and that was the first time I knew those characters even had a relationship at all.

And get this: the first time the heroine (Bloom) arrives from Earth on the magic planet, she immediately comments on how mundane it is. She’s not wrong: it basically looks like downtown in any generic Western city, except where the cars and motorbikes float. That’s a major lost opportunity in the environmental designs, but they actually have the main character point out that it’s boring. Brilliant idea, guys. I hope that’s the English translators getting a dig in and not something that’s really in the original Italian.

Anyway, my schedule is getting slightly less insane, so I intend to get back to regular posting around here. We’ve got more stuff to review and discuss, and of course, we’ve got more Jake and the Dynamo, which doesn’t contain the worst writing ever. I hope.

Art (and update)

Featured image: “Magical Ichu” by toi-chan.

My schedule might become slightly less insane in the future, so I hope to return to posting more regularly. I am slowly working on the next chapter of Jake and the Dynamo, but I don’t have spare time for much of anything else, so I haven’t had a chance to watch or read anything more for review.

I’d really like to get through the first half of Sailor Moon S or some of the mahou shoujo anime that came out this last season, but I just haven’t had the chance.

Steadily Working …

In addition to some other important things I had to do today, I’m spending my time on Jake and the Dynamo, so you’ll have to put up with more Cardcaptor Sakura fan art until I can get you a proper post.

This one, featuring Sakura along with her familiar and her scary psycho stalker, is Christmas-themed. We’re still not too far out from Christmas, are we?

And no, seriously, Tomoyo is one scary chick. Somebody out there, please tell me I’m not the only one she freaks out. I mean, just look at her eyes.

Anyway, I’m not sure where this image originates, as it’s on most every free wallpaper/rootkit site on the internet, without attribution, of course.

Art

Featured image: “Magical Librarian” by Sangrde.

I have an essay I really want to get to for the blog, but tonight, I have to work on important non-blog things, so enjoy some magical girl reading time with your magical girl librarian instead.

Speaking of which, don’t forget we have a new chapter of Jake and the Dynamo available for your reading pleasure.

Jake and the Dynamo Fan Art #2

Featured image: “Sukeban Tsubasa vs. the Demoniac” by Roffles Lowell.

CODENAME: Magical Girl Sukeban Tsubasa
ALTER EGO: Unknown
FAMILIAR: Kobe the tanuki.
CURRENT AGE: 15
THREAT LEVEL COMPETENCY: 2.4
MAGITECH: Gadgetry

When a spacefaring alien decided to upgrade to the latest model of mecha power suit, he gave his old model to a teenage human girl because he knew he could write it off as a tax-deductible donation. Thus, Magical Girl Sukeban Tsubasa was born.

Tsubasa’s identity is unknown. She has been seen primarily in New Beijing, though her name suggests Japanese origin. Her bizarre accent, however, is unidentified. As a brand new magical girl, Tsubasa recently made waves when she single-handedly and in a single evening cleared New Beijing of both zombies and robot dinosaurs from space. Although her threat level competency is modest, a formidable arsenal suggests that it is likely to rise rapidly.

Tsubasa’s power suit may not look like much, but it uses truncated superstrings to store a vast array of weaponry inside a pocket dimension, which Tsubasa can access through her bracelets. To assist her, the suit comes with a self-aware instruction manual that by sheer coincidence resembles a Japanese raccoon dog.

The full range of her weapons is unknown. However, it has been confirmed that the suit has a built-in antigrav unit that allows her to fly and hover. Astonishingly, she recently used a nanoprobe cannon to perform an exorcism, an ability not typically observed in magical girls who receive their powers from extraterrestrial rather than spiritual sources.

According to her own statement, she has, quote, “more guns dan a Navarrone rummage sale.” Experts are still debating what this means.

Although she has only been a magical girl for a few days, Tsubasa already has an avid fan following, primarily because of the way she boasts of scandalous behavior. Dubbed the “bad girl of magical girls,” Tsubasa claims to engage regularly in what she calls “bad stuff,” including such un-magical-girl-like behavior as smoking, drinking, vandalism, and hanging out with boys. She has not yet been observed in male company, but insists that she has several boyfriends.

Her most shocking act to date is challenging Magical Girl Pretty Dynamo to single combat. Pretty Dynamo is currently the highest-rated magical girl in Urbanopolis, with a threat competency rating of 9.0. However, critics and magical girl experts point out that Dynamo’s arsenal of electrical weapons is highly specialized. This makes her ideal for taking down large kaiju (and thus achieving a high rating), but can hinder her when facing other threats. Tsubasa has already demonstrated that she is considerably more versatile.

Tsubasa’s fans have petitioned the Threat Assessment Board to raise Tsubasa’s rating to 9.1 if she successfully overcomes Dynamo in a match. However, some experts warn that adjusting a girl’s rating when she fights other magical girls could set a dangerous precedent, as it might encourage more intra-sororal battles in the magical girl community and thereby focus the girls’ attention on competing for ratings rather than their true task, which is defeating the monsters bent on mankind’s destruction.

Art … and a Test

Featured image: “Magical Girl Melodie” by Rice-Lily.

According to the artist’s description under the image, Melodie uses stuffed toys as weapons. That’s an interesting idea, though she’d probably have to do it without that copyrighted image of Hello Kitty.

Also, the artist links to one of those silly online quiz things. This one tells you what kind of magical girl you are, so of course I had to take it.

Accordingly, I learned that my magical girl hair color is cream, my outfit is salaryman-themed, and my weapon is sarcasm.

I guess I wouldn’t make a very good magical girl.

Happy New Year from deus ex magical girl

Featured image: “new year magic” by mauroz.

I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come—the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorrow and disappointment.

Dwell not on the past—only on the present. Only use the past as the trees use My Sunlight to absorb it, to make from it in after days the warming fire-rays. So store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.

Bury every fear of the future, of poverty for those dear to you, of suffering, of loss. Bury all thought of unkindness and bitterness, all your dislikes, your resentments, your sense of failure, your disappointment in others and in yourselves, your gloom, your despondency, and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.

Remember that you must not see as the world sees. I hold the year in My Hands—in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.

Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.

And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength.

—A. J. Russell, God Calling