My Problem with Hermione Granger and Lisa Simpson.

When I was very young, and first came across these characters on screen and in books, I had no qualms about them. I actually liked them. After having a chance to grow up and experience life however, I started to find them more and more unlikeable.

You might be wondering what it is about these characters that I dislike. Believe it or not I think that these characters are poorly written. Let me explain why.

I find that Lisa and (movie) Hermione don’t seem to have flaws, and instead of feeling like properly fleshed out characters, they are the characters who are “always right”. I think the reason for this is that they are inherently “self-insert characters”, that the readers or viewers are supposed to imagine themselves to be like.

I think that writing self-insert characters is okay, but that it is poor writing. As I aged and grew up as a person, I started to find self-insert characters unappealing, in preference to reading and watching well fleshed out characters with their own goals, motivations and flaws.

There is admittedly a great difference in the way movie Hermione and book Hermione are written. Movie Hermione has even the negligible flaws from the books taken away, stealing the spotlight from other characters in the process. Movie Hermione loses not only the wild hair and buck teeth of book Hermione, but her hesitations, fears and insecurities.

In the book however, Hermione is still portrayed as a character who can do little wrong. She doesn’t have a lot of depth to her personality, which can be mostly summed up by a love for learning, a strong desire to help others, and an intellect that keeps most of her peers at bay. These are the exact same traits that Lisa exhibits.

One episode of The Simpsons that cleverly bucks the trend is the Season 6 episode “Lisa’s Rival”, in which Lisa is faced with a new student who could be more intelligent and talented than she is.

(Spoiler Alert)

Within the episode Lisa displays jealousy, and sabotages her rival’s diorama. By the end of the episode her guilt causes her to confess. Throughout this episode the writers introduce a fatal flaw to the character, before following through with a redemption arc. For me, this made Lisa feel multi-dimensional and far more likeable.

After this episode however, the rival along with all traces of Lisa’s jealous streak fade into insignificance.

Hermione on the other hand doesn’t really get any sort of relevant flaw besides the minor ones I’ve already mentioned.

Extremely clever characters can be written quite well, without all of these problems. Take Dr House from House MD for instance, he is an extremely likeable and charismatic character because he is flawed. Rather than it being assumed that people keep their distance from him simply because he is intelligent, the writing makes it clear that it’s because of his personal flaws rather than everyone else’s. House is not always right, he is abrasive and blunt. And he is one of the best written characters on TV.

Now I’m not saying that Hermione or Lisa need to be antisocial drug addicts or anything of the sort, but simply that a defining flaw can add a lot to a character. Lisa’s short lived jealousy is a good example of that.

Not every character can be a font of all the world’s knowledge, and even the most intelligent person will say something stupid over the course of their lives.

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My Thoughts on the Justice League Movie Trailers

 

First, I’ll tackle the comic-con trailer. It starts off well, it looks rather exciting. However this falls apart when the trailer itself points out the massive gaping holes in the team, the lack of Green Lanterns for example. (Also without any mention of Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl and Hawkman.) It contains a moment mocking the original cheesy batman comics, while attempting to act all serious, dark and pouty. When honestly I’d much prefer the concept of a full on cheesy Justice League movie, a little more in the vein of the old Adam West series. From what I can see, either the script written for the Flash, or the actor who plays him are doing something horribly wrong. They are trying to make Flash the funny-man (It has been done well before). However instead of using witty situational humour to lighten the tone he uses self-deprecating humour, making one of the most powerful and integral superheroes in the DC universe seem like nothing but a useless wimp. Unfortunately I didn’t find him funny at all, instead he’s just kind of pathetic. The introduction of Cyborg was intriguing, but the video didn’t display enough to gain any real sense of what the movie is going to do with his character. Also I’m not sure why DC is so desperate to make Aquaman cool, because I honestly don’t believe that it’s ever going to happen.

Regardless to say, after seeing the Comic-con trailer I was not excited at all. However I then watched the first official trailer, and suffice to say it left a completely different impression.

To begin with the atmosphere in this trailer is completely different than the last, leaving an air of undeniable excitement and mystery. The reveal of the bad guy, shrouded in shadow. I needed to rewind and watch it again to properly see his face, but I did so with gusto! After this it switches to a generally more fun and upbeat tone, a welcome direction for it to go. I much preferred the way this trailer chose to reveal the other superheroes, although I’m still waiting for Cyborg to say “Boo-Yah!”. And the Joke at 1:37 was perhaps my favourite self-referential joke ever. I literally laughed out loud. This enjoyable tone continues all the way to the end, and I have to say that THIS trailer actually got me excited for this movie

So in conclusion, I have mixed feelings about this movie. However if it’s half as good as the last trailer I just watched I may give it a shot. I’d love to know what you thought about it, so let me know in the comments.

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An analysis of poor humour. RE: Response to SuperButterBuns – Aigis is best girl

Within a previous post I identified a joke so bad it could barely be classified as a joke, by sidestepping the issue and focusing on the merits of the original text. Perhaps I lacked clarity in my argument. However today I will justify my case for this. I simply think that to publish this piece is an homage to lazy writing. I’m not always perfect by these standards either, but that is no reason to be quiet.
I often enjoy shows with crass humour, or cheap jokes, such as Family Guy or South Park. However the difference between this and the aforementioned case is that Family Guy and South Park throw a multitude of different jokes against a wall in each and every episode to see what sticks. This was a single, rather long video based on a single lazy joke. Often these also shows include some sort of wit or commentary within some of their jokes, along a number of easy one-liners for entertainment value, creating an all-rounded experience. None of this was included within the aforementioned piece.

Here is my original piece on the matter:

Response to SuperButterBuns – Aigis is Best Girl

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Response to SuperButterBuns – Aigis is Best Girl

This video makes fun of Aigis fans. Comparing a Humanoid robot containing and advanced AI that thinks and feels to a toaster.
This proves to me that SuperButterBuns is either making a really bad joke, or never really understood the character of Aigis in the first place. If it is the former ignore everything I’m about to say.
Aigis is a focus of Persona 3, a game about accepting death, as an ironic juxtaposition. She was never really alive but at the same time is attempting to embrace life the way that humans do. She thinks and feels and yearns to simulate that human experience.
And how could a robot possibly understand humanity enough to protect it, if it didn’t possess the qualities of a human as well.
I don’t know if Aigis is best girl, having not played Persona 3 FES yet and not having experienced her full character growth. However I can say for certain that Aigis is not simply a toaster.

 

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Why you shouldn’t expect to see Persona 5 or any main line Persona games on the Switch

Currently the Nintendo Switch is extraordinarily popular, and is getting remakes of plenty of new and popular games. Persona 5, however is unlikely to make it over.

Most people have at least heard of, if not played a Persona game. The series has markedly risen in popularity since the release of Persona 3 in which the social link system was first introduced. However many may not realize that Persona is a spin off from the Shin Megami Tensei series. A much darker series known for an intense difficulty level and post-apocalyptic themes.

Persona 5 was recently released for the Playstation 4 and 3, an unusual move by Atlus but not at all inconceivable. Shin Megami Tensei has had games available on almost every system for a number of generations spanning up until recent times, and has had a chance to test all of them. They have even published the game Jack Bros. for the VirtualBoy, a defunct Nintendo console with almost no games at all.

Every main line Persona game has been published on a Playstation console. Persona 1, Persona 2 Innocent Sin and Persona 2 Eternal Punishment were all released on Playstation 1 and PSP. Persona 3 was on PS2 and PSP, and Persona 4 was on PS2 and PS Vita. The only exceptions would be the predecessor of the Persona games Shin Megami Tensei If, which was available on Playstation and the Super Nintendo. Along with Persona Q, a parody game available on the 3DS.

Of course these games are often on portable platforms, but the pattern seems to dictate it would most likely end up on PS Vita.

In contrast, mainline Shin Megami Tensei games haven’t been on Playstation since Nocturne on the PS2. These games along with many spin-offs such as Devil Survivor have been steadily produced on Nintendo Systems.

It is clear that Atlus doesn’t want the Shin Megami Tensei series to die in obscurity. It makes sense that to try and promote it they would release a new game from that series on the Switch. In an attempt to use the popularity of both the Switch and Persona 5’s recent release to finally help bring the original SMT into the limelight.

Along with a new mainline SMT game, a new Devil Survivor 3 or Persona Q2 could easily be a Switch release. However I personally hope to see a revival of mainline SMT on the Nintendo Switch.

A trailer for an SMT game was shown along with many of the first game trailers released, and although the clip was short and the release date was 2018 I think it can be said without a doubt that it didn’t look like a Persona game.


I’ve heard rumours of a new SMT game was announced for smartphones. I don’t know how to feel about that. I’ll leave that subject for another day.

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Why Season 3 of Rick and Morty could be a hit or miss with the fans.

Rick and Morty has evolved from good hearted nihilism written within an adventurous sci-fi setting to full frontal nihilistic absurdism. Could that shift in tone be a shift too far?

The structure of this hit cartoon show has always been about questioning reality and oneself, but has never really dived to such dark depths as in season 3. It has taken on a new personality, one that many viewers simply may not enjoy. Some may theorise that the recent uptake of new writers could be responsible, however it is also very possible that this was always going to be the natural progression of Rick and Morty. It is a logical next step, but will it be a successful one?

Throughout season 3 we have also seen the camera draw closer and begin to examine the characters of the main cast in greater, perhaps too much detail, while scrapping the greater themes regarding the universe and society. In many ways character progression is a good thing, but is generally built up slowly and naturally throughout a season, rather than being the sole focus. This change creates a far grittier and uglier story than the fans are used to, given the nature of these characters. The show itself in a recent episode reveals that Rick views his own core character as toxic, a revelation that is in no way as surprising or meaningful as it could have been earlier on, instead being simply a grim reminder of Rick’s own deep sadness and self-loathing.

Will these changes be popular in the community or will they prove too much?  Let me know what you think about Rick and Morty Season 3 down in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Season 3 promotional image taken from the Rick and Morty Wiki page.
http://rickandmorty.wikia.com/wiki/Season_3

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My Thoughts on Spiderman Homecoming

I recently went to see Spiderman Homecoming and walked out of the cinema with one thing on my mind, they stopped production of the third Amazing Spiderman movie, and Sinister Six movie, and yet greenlit this project, which is in my own opinion a far less interesting and a poorly developed version of Spiderman. One of the many problems to be found in superhero movie reboots is that with every reboot the character is dragged back to the point before any previous development, and creates a natural frustration within the viewer. At a certain point it becomes more desirable to see character growth than stagnation.

Stagnation is without a doubt the right word to refer to Spiderman homecoming. This was a Peter Parker without any responsibility and without any real grit or self-determination. He was simply handed a fortune in technology by Tony Stark and allowed to focus solely on the matter of his own popularity rather than having to worry about the troubles of his Aunt May who has become young and hip in this new reboot. The greatest concerns of this Peter Parker do not reflect any real struggle beyond your average teen drama.

Image Courtesy of ComicBookMovie.com

 

I’m aware that this movie draws heavily from certain runs of the comics, but this reflects the current problem with marvel’s outlook, in that they are attempting to connect emotionally with a demographic who they themselves don’t believe go through any real struggles. By attempting to be “cool and hip” and concerning themselves with the inane problems that almost every teen might face, they are creating a character that will never display any proper emotional depth and a world in which there are no true heroes.

After seeing Peter Parker’s brief appearance in Captain America Civil War, I had one expectation of a certain level of humour, however it seems he made more jokes during his minute appearance in Civil War than throughout the entire movie in Spiderman Homecoming.

This movie was not without its moments. The villains were the highlight of every scene that they appeared in. The transformation of a second rate villain (The Shocker) into an office joke was, in my eyes, a brilliant take on cheesy old fashioned villainy. The black market weaponry business felt perfectly gritty and interesting, and the true nature of The Vulture made for some masterfully suspenseful scenes despite the detachment from his usual Spiderman backstory.

I felt that the acting from most of the young cast was lacking and bland, including Tom Holland in his role as Peter Parker. With the exception being Jacob Batalon playing Peter’s best friend, Ned, who always stole the scene whether analysing tired superhero tropes or simply sticking with his best mate.

Personally I felt that the flaws in Spiderman Homecoming outweighed the enjoyment I got from watching it, but that is just my opinion. Feel free to comment to let me know what you thought of Spiderman Homecoming.

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Minor Annoyances in Manga Collecting

Humph

Arrrgh!

I just finished the entire Darker than Black manga, which I assumed was what the anime was an adaptation of, only to find out that this was written after the anime’s completion and did not follow the same story. I haven’t seen the anime, so that was kind of annoying and probably explains why the story got a bit hard to follow towards the end. Grrr! I should’ve checked before reading.

I’m one of those people who love collecting, reading and watching things in sequential order. When I started collecting manga, it was easy to imagine lining up an entire manga series neatly on a shelf. But currently I don’t own a single manga series that isn’t incomplete or out of order.

I used to think nothing was more irritating then then owning a series out of order, but now I’ve come to accept that I will always own stray volumes that I can’t read yet due to other missing volumes. This always happens when I try to buy it cheaply.

I guess it’s just my curse as an otaku and collector. (With a limited budget.)

 

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My Little Monster is not a Romance Anime

Lets chat 1

As much as we all love the anime My Little Monster, there are no doubts that it has some painfully obvious flaws for an anime of the romance genre.

I would say that it fits into the slice of life/comedy/friendship genres, and that it is a story about two people who don’t understand love.

For starters, Shizuku is a girl with no desire to interact socially with anyone else for any reasons. She is obsessed with study and doesn’t seem to have any hobbies or friends. Her family background, however, seems extraordinarily laid back and also seems the sort to place very little emphasis on grades. Self-motivation is one thing, but hers borders on a syndrome. To not have even a remote interest in anything else, seems to me like a tremendous character flaw.

And Haru is a boy who is starved for attention and found himself easily taken advantage of by anyone who pretended to be his friends. It’s clear his family situation isn’t all too good, and it took him mere moments to “fall in love” with Shizuku, before retracting that statement.

The fact is that anyone who would still call this show a romance should remember the scene early on when the two main characters barely know each other and Haru threatens Shizuku with rape, perhaps not with serious intentions, however a remark like that wouldn’t ordinarily signal the start of a true work of the romance genre. Though, it does fit the image of a somewhat gritty slice of life show that struggles with complex issues. From the first few episodes alone, one could even go as far as to class the show in the psychological genre.

As this anime continues, the main characters develop friendships and become closer to one another, slowly expanding and enriching their social lives as Shizuku learns the importance in that while Haru learns what it means to truly care about someone.

I greatly enjoyed the anime My Little Monster, however it is not in any way a romance anime.

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