JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Gets a TVTropes Page!

Some kind soul has gone to the trouble of producing a page on TVTropes for Jake and the Dynamo. I really appreciate it, and I’ll be interested to see if the page grows over time as the novel continues.

My first thought, upon looking over the particular tropes that the page’s creator has picked out … actually, my first thought is that the book sounds kind of pervy.

So let me suggest some additional tropes that might balance that a bit. In no particular order: Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Gets a TVTropes Page!”

A JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Public Service Announcement

As our regular readers have likely guessed, the next chapter of Jake and the Dynamo, to appear at midnight tomorrow, will deal with more serious subject matter than the chapters previous.

In keeping with the increasingly serious content of this serious story, the next chapter contains coarse and vulgar language of the sort that is only appropriate for serious works.

Also, it contains dinosaurs.

In fact, the chapter is so serious that it even presents a single instance in which our protagonist, Jake, utters the so-called “c-word.”

However, in order to protect the sensibilities of the more sensitive members of our readership, we have elected to print the word as “cr_d.” This is to avoid giving excessive offense.

Thank you for giving your attention to this delicate matter.

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:

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.

The Jake and the Dynamo Messenger Code

… I don’t even know what that is.  But it kind of looks cool:

I like the circly thingy.
I like the circle thingy.

This is in some mysterious fashion linked with the new Facebook page for Jake and the Dynamo. I think you can scan it with your phone using the Messenger app. You might have to print it first.

Back in my day, things you scan with your phone were square and looked like mazes. You kids these days have it easy, what with your pictures and circle thingies.

As an added note, Chapter 2, of Jake and the Dynamo, “Enter the Dynamo,” will appear this coming Monday, just in time for Mother’s Day … at least if you like to get your mom things like free ebook chapters because you’re some kind of cheapskate tightwad who doesn’t appreciate his parents.

Chocolate and flowers, dammit. That’s what your mother wants, not magical girl ebook chapters! Believe me, I know this.

Because she told me last night.

Zing.

Oh, by the way, like our Facebook page. I promise not to talk about your mom.

Design Your Own Called Attack

You know those stupid birthday games? This is one of those stupid birthday games, courtesy of Utah’s Anime Banzai. I remember Anime Banzai from years back. Good times.

How come mine is boring?
How come mine is boring?

I get “Glistening Mirage Wave,” which is surprisingly intelligible, if rather mundane. What do you get?

I’m rather fond of magical girls’ called attacks. The sheer audacity of creating a move for your character by flipping open an English dictionary and grabbing random nouns and adjectives delights me. Unfortunately, a lot of creators have never bothered to think about exactly what these attacks do or how they work, so we in the audience are often stuck watching the characters throw sparkly lights at each other while wondering what the heck is going on.  Of course, there are other titles that have addressed this issue or simply dodged it.