Friday, 18 April 2014

Everything I Know About Japan I Learned From Sailor Moon

During my blissful month and a half period of unemployment, I really got into naps and Sailor Moon. A glorious time it t'was. Back when it aired in the US in the Nineties, I thought it was incredibly stupid and was baffled when my friends, men and women alike, were going nuts for it. It took me over fifteen stubborn years but I'll finally admit I was wrong.

I'm not a huge Anime fan so I was puzzled by Sailor Moon's depiction of Japan. Admittedly, I've never been so perhaps my presumptions were hasty at best, racist at worst. Until I go and put my assumptions to rest, here's what I've gleamed about Japan based on the teachings of Sailor Moon.

The Japanese women I know tend to hover around five feet on average. Not so in Japan, however, gentle reader. The women (teenaged girls at that) are towering six feet of Amazon might! Sailor Jupiter is likely seven feet tall!

Not only that but 75-80% of their bodies are legs. It's like there are giraffes in high heels roaming the streets. Amazing!

Further to this phenomenon of challenging stereotypes, I had assumed that most to all Japanese folks had black hair. Again, colour me surprised to see so much... well, colour! Everyone is like a blonde hair/blue eyed California girl!

Inexplicably, some people even have blue, pink, or purple hair.  I thought only Gingers had mutant hair colours but, again, it's a veritable rainbow over there in Japan!

From a social and romantic standpoint, dating an underaged girl is totally cool there. Despite their rocky start, Usagi and Mamoru started dating while she was 14 and in junior high while he was in his early twenties and in college.

If you're a jailbait lover, Japan is your paradise! There are no terms like "consent" or "underage" there, it's just called Saturday night. Anything goes there.  Don't believe me?

In Sailor Moon Super S, Usagi and Mamoru's daughter from the future, Chibiusa, befriended a unicorn named Pegasus. Still following me here? Glossing over the fact that Chibiusa was a toddler with great legs and an astonishing rack, she and Pegasus got pretty close over the course of the series.

Like making out with a horse close!

I used to think we here in North America were stuffy but hell, we're all downright Puritan by comparison.

Throwing gas on the fire of sexual liberties in Japan, another thing I noted was how Japanese lesbians, specifically power dykes, could be so easily mistaken for men. That is until you throw them in a tiara and mini skirt. Then it's obvious (see legs comments above).

When Sailor Uranus first arrived, all the other Sailor Scouts had a crush on him... er, her. Even after they learned that Haruka was a girl, they still lusted after her, especially Sailor Jupiter who was always suspected to be in the closet anyway. While most of the gay men in the series were villains (and annoying at that) the lesbian laissez faire attitude is a breath of fresh air compared to North America's identity crisis.

As you probably guessed, I watched the original dubbed Japanese version of the show instead of the watered-down American travesty.

Despite all of the characters speaking Japanese, they still insisted on announcing their attacks in English. Terrible English at that.

While some of their attack names were cute, they were practically all nonsensical. Although one from the Sailor Stars, Starmaker, really had the best one: Gentle Uterus!

This also got me to thinking about how bro dudes and sluts here in North America tend to tattoo Japanese characters on themselves that they think means "strength" or "loyalty" when in fact it means "tuna" or "cabbage." Given Sailor Moon's hilarious grasp of English, I'm going to assume that Japanese folks also have "tuna" or "cabbage" mistakenly tattooed on themselves as well.

The last thing I learned from Sailor Moon is that Japanese people don't take shit laying down. Regardless of the transgression, be it eating the last cookie or looking at other women while with your girl, the response is the same: announcing your error and exclaiming that "I can NEVER forgive you!" This is usually accompanied by morphing into all manners of angry shapes and sizes with perhaps even a giant teardrop appearing over your head.

The Japanese people are magical I tells ya!

For North Americans, passive aggressive jabs and festering rage is usually our go-to's when dealing with wrongdoing so it's both terrifying and exciting to watch the Japanese really lay down the law and dole out nonforgiveness at the drop of a hat.

I'm a firm believer not to trust what people tell you until you can see or touch or hear it for yourself. I also believe that media is a window into another country's culture. It's how I learned that Americans use the word "sofa" instead of "couch" and wear their shoes indoors all the damn time.

So, until I travel to Japan and see for myself, I'm going to run all of the above assumptions and chastise the Japanese people I know here for holding out on these enchanting and baffling traits.





Monday, 10 March 2014

That Ol' Southern Charm



Netflix has been adamantly recommending My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to me and I finally checked it out.

Cute, but I'll certainly not be a Brony any time soon.  That said, in cartoons such as this I usually gravitate towards the vain bitch (I love you, Rarity) but I can't help but love the hard-working Southern lass.

While geeking out to Applejack's gumption and oh-so-cute accent, I couldn't help but reflect on some of my other favourite Southern belles.

For me, the grandmammy of all Southern gals would have to be Rogue from the 90s X-Men animated series. Busty, bodacious, more eager to crash through a wall like the Kool-Aid man over talking things out, she was my hero.  No-nonsense, awesome hair, a penchant for biker jackets, what's not to love?

And don't forget her down-home quotes such as "You look nervous as a long-tailed cat in room full of rocking chairs."

Adorbs.

Hanna-Barbera's Whacky Races was given a touch of Southern class with the "Glamour Gal of the Gas Pedal". Penelope Pitstop may sound like a truckstop whore but don't be fooled by the name.

Driving her Compact Pussycat, Penelope wore white gogo boots, a pink racing uniform, and came equipped with all manner of stereotypical beauty supplies to wield as weapons in her races.

Although supposedly a hastily-created afterthought in the development of Whacky Races, Penelope went on to spread her Southern ladylike wiles in her own show, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.

The, ahem, larger-than-life love interest from Eek! The Cat was Annabelle and she was one horny pussy.

The Blanche Devereaux of cartoon cats, Annabelle proved that Southern graces more than make up for any obesity issues.

Even Eek! himself was constantly surprised when others commenting on Annabelle's weight, once commenting "The more of you there is, the more there is to love."

Gawww, sho shweet.

In keeping with the Southern brawlers, Bunnie Rabbot first appeared in 1993's Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series. Despite not being in the games, her popularity in Archie Comics' Sonic spinoffs is the stuff of legends, likely due to her punch to your gut. And ears.

A Mobian rabbit who was only partially "Roboticized" by Dr. Ivo Robotnik, Bunnie escaped and joined the Knotholl Freedom Fighters. Sporting a violet leotard, her roboticized limbs gave this gal-with-gumption all the boosted strength her Southern heart wanted to smash out.

Similar to Rogue, Bunnie was clearly the "muscle" character of the bunch but rather than being a dumb brute, we were treated to a lass who didn't let the "lil' thangs" quash her optimism.

Whereas southern gentlemen in cartoons are generally racist colonels or redneck yokels, the ladies of the Deep South are gentle, graceful, charming... that is, until you piss them off, then WHOA NELLY, you're in for the beating of your life, sugah!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Introducing... Super Douche

Introducing a new fragrance for the super douche in all of us.




Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Shifty Shades of Grey

With the success of Man of Steel, fanboys and girls all over have been clamoring for news on the future state of the DC cinematic universe. San Diego Comic-Con 2013 answered some of those questions with the reveal that the sequel would introduce the new Dark Knight in Superman vs. Batman. Naturally, these two titans would bleed into the Justice League with rumors of The Flash and Aquaman movies in tow.


One character, however, who's been in development hell for years is Wonder Woman and her film career is still in limbo. Creators from both the comic book and film world alike claim she's impossible to bring to the screen while others claim that it's the studio heads who have just worked themselves up into a corner that she's unfilmable.
 
Even within the comic book world, famous and talented writers have struggled to find her voice and, as a result, she's never had a definitive story that could translate into a feature film, save her ever-changing origin tale.
 
What people need to understand is that she's really not so complicated. Or, rather, she really is.
 
Audiences understand Batman and Superman. One lives in the dark, the other in the light. They are stark contracts to each other but are easily relatable.  Wonder Woman, however, is a bit more grey than the gents in DC's holy Trinity. But where else have we seen blurred lines in a strong female character?

 
Oh yeah! DC's other most famous leading lady, Catwoman!  A gal who will say one thing, do another, change her mind, and then make her own self-serving plans!  A feline femme fatale who walks the line of light and dark, stealing from the rich but doling out justice as she sees fit. A definite grey area that slots her in neither hero nor villain territory.
 
But lo, there's Wonder Woman.  Sure, a champion of the good guys... but not so wholesome as Superman. She's on a mission of peace, but she'll beat you over the head with a truck if you cross her. Stunningly beautiful but also terrifyingly intimidating. Granted great wisdom but also great naiveté to the customs of Man's World. Gentle as a warm spring wind... but could also slash open your throat with nary a tear shed.
 
 
Y'see kids, yes, she's not Superman. She's not Batman. She's neither dark nor light. She's a very dangerous, wild card grey. Not to be all sexist but some women just are!  And that's okay! It's worked wonders for Catwoman, why can't we celebrate everything that makes Wonder Woman a walking contradiction and throw it up on film?
 
The moral of the story here is that Wonder Woman is to Superman as Catwoman is to Batman: light and dark. Only less obvious, more nuanced. Truly more well-rounded, versatile, and layered than their male counterparts. Catwoman's dubious shades of grey have led her to great success in all mediums, now it's time to put good ol' Diana front and centre for the world to see what she can do!
 
Lastly, in a jumble of other "this is what I'd like to see!" of Wonder Woman-ness-on-film, if studios are scared of the one-piece bathing suit?  Give her a Greek soldier look, similar to what we've seen with Erica Durance's version in Smallville.  And as for casting?  Has anyone seen Lynda Carter's daughter, Jessica Altman, lately?! 
 
 
And that's my two cents for what it's worth!
 
 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

He-Man and Why I Heart Him

This morning a co-worker asked why, at 34 years old, I still love He-Man. Aside from smack-talking green tigers and unicorns, there are two real main reasons that stuck with me.

The first was one of (if not my very) first memory. I was three, bouncing on my parents’ bed while Ma was getting ready for a night out. Having the balance of a bowling ball even before being introduced to alcohol, I naturally fell off the bed flat on my face. Unflinched and never taking her attention off putting in her earrings, Ma asked “Y’aight?” I knew even then that crying wasn’t going to get me shit and there was nothing nearby I wanted. But then I saw it: a blonde barbarian and a green armored tiger in a clear window box under her bed.

 
I had but a split moment to react so I grabbed that enchanting box and started. Fucking. BAWLING.
Ma finally turned around and knew instantly I had forced her hand. She hastily tried to explain it was a present for my asshole cousin but the damage was done; I was “injured” and discovered a new toy. The victory was mine and thus started a lifetime love for all plastic He-things.
The second reason is perhaps a bit more personal. Ma decided to tell me I was adopted at an early age so that I could grow into the understanding. It was a smart move but what was even more clever was how she snuck in a Masters of the Universe allegory to help me grasp it. Y’see, He-Man’s main squeeze Teela was adopted by Man-At-Arms at birth… just like me!
 
Teela’s real mother, the Sorceress of Grayskull, was unable to care for her daughter. Even though she loved Teela, she couldn’t raise her properly so she was forced to send the young infant off to be raised in a more loving environment. It was genius that Ma was paying attention and managed to explain something so difficult for us both in a way that I was already familiar with.
Also, there are smack-talking green tigers and unicorns in He-Man. Duuuuuuhhh!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Paula Deen and the T Word

Paula Deen's apology tour took her to Ashdown Forest.
 
Unfortunately, a misunderstanding resulted in Ms. Deen being escorted off the premises by Christopher Robin.
 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Monday, 25 February 2013

DEEEAAAAAAAD!

So Damien "Robin" Wayne is all set to bite the bullet in Batman Inc. #8 and to that I say...