N. Harmonik’s Rant – Albus Potter In The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (WARNING – SPOILERS & ANGRY RANT)
DISCLAIMER: The following is a rant relating to the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. If you’re upset by the opinions expressed here, remember, this was done mainly so that N. Harmonik could blow off some steam about a specific plot point…and because I knew it’d be frickin’ hilarious. Please enjoy.
Hello, chaps and chapesses! N. Harmonik here! I know Jyger’s usually the one who rants on here, but BOY do I have something to say in regards to a certain character in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, so spoilers ahoy!
In this play, Albus Potter, second son of Harry, overhears his dad talking to Amos Diggory about a rumour of a special Time-Turner being discovered, despite them all having been supposedly destroyed years ago. Amos wants to know if it’s true and, if it is, use it prevent his son, Cedric, from being murdered by Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort. Harry states that it’s just a rumour, and that messing with time can have dire consequences. The next day, Albus learns from his friend, Scorpius Malfoy, that the rumour is true, and decides to go get the Time-Turner and use it to save Cedric Diggory, and actually states that his dad doesn’t care…And now I must rant like I’m making a Howler. Ahem…
ALBUS SEVERUS FUCKING POTTER, DON’T YOU DARE USE THAT SPECIAL TIME-TURNER TO SAVE SOMEONE’S LIFE! NOT ONLY ARE YOU GOING TO BE PUTTING YOURSELVES IN GRAVE DANGER, BECAUSE YOU’LL BE IN THE MIDST OF VOLDEMORT HIMSELF (WEAKENED AT THAT TIME OR NOT, HE WAS STILL ABLE TO KILL), BUT THERE IS PRECEDENCE IN IMPROPER USAGE OF TIME-TURNERS CAUSING PEOPLE TO VANISH FROM THE TIMELINE COMPLETELY!! AND EVEN IF YOU SUCCEED, DO YOU THINK CEDRIC WOULD LIKE THAT SEVERAL PEOPLE’S EXISTENCES WERE TRADED FOR HIS LIFE? I DON’T FUCKING THINK SO!!! …OH, AND YOUR FATHER DOES CARE!! IT’S JUST HE KNOWS IT’S FAR TOO RISKY!!!!
…What about when Sally Acorn saved her nanny in Sonic SatAM?
YOU SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH!!!
Oookay, so, lemme know what you all think in the comments below, and…I gotta go show Aibo some kitten videos to calm her down. Ja né!
Why The Pokémon Anime And I Are STILL Divorced (WARNING – ANGRY RANT AND SPOILERS AHEAD WITH NO PROOFREADING)
So, I was gonna say something about a lot of what I’m going to talk about here a while ago. However, because my proofreader, N. Harmonik, doesn’t like spoilers and refuses to watch subtitled episodes of shows that have an official English dub, I opted not to. But now, because of something else that’s come up that’s related to it, which I will also address, I’ve decided to just go ahead and get my thoughts out for everyone to hear, and just not have it be proofread. I suppose I could’ve found someone else to tag in for this one article, but I opted not to on the grounds that it might be kinda funny to just let this go through as is. So, enjoy reading my rant without a grammar and spelling filter, and feel free to point out all the ways I messed up later. ^_^
Anyway, you’ll recall that three years ago, almost to the DAY, I announced that I came to the realization that I hated the Pokémon anime and I was officially divorcing it. Now, here’s the thing: While I don’t actively watch it anymore, I AM aware of some of the stuff that happens on the show, and I DID watch a few of the new episodes, particularly the Kalos League Conference. In fact, I will go so far as to admit that I decided, if Ash had beaten Alain and won the Kalos League, regardless of what happened afterward, I would go back and rewatch everything I missed from when I stopped watching the show. I was very entertained by the Kalos League. And, as an aside, I really like the Japanese theme, XY&Z. I thought it was great… … …and then they fucked up. Which, let’s be honest, isn’t that just the story of this show for the past several years?
So, obviously, the big way they fucked up was that Ash lost in the finals. Now, my thinking of why Ash should’ve won was because, as far as I can tell, there are no more Gyms in Sun & Moon, so this was pretty much his last chance to win a League Conference. Also, this would be a great year to do it. It’s the 20th Anniversary of the original games, and the 19th Anniversary of the anime, meaning we could see a big change going into the 20th Anniversary of the show to shake things up. In addition, looking at what happened in hindsight, from a narrative perspective, it would make far more sense for Ash to win and then find himself facing off against Team Flare. But, to be frank, that’s not the reason a lot of people wanted to see him win. They wanted to see him win because they were tired of 19 years of Ash LOSING. And what happened? He lost again.
Now, with all of that said, when everyone else was reacting in sheer rage and anger, I have to admit to feeling a degree of desire to troll these people. Why? Because they were saying stuff like “The anime is officially dead” and “Gary was right all along, Ash really IS a loser”, and so on. And I began to laugh my fat ass off, because these people are only JUST NOW reaching the same conclusions I did three years ago. The anime has been dead for a LONG time now, people. It only continues to exist as a means to advertise the games, and even then, it does a piss-poor job of it a lot of the time. And frankly, people are pissed about this loss, but I gotta level with you all: This is NOT the worst thing the anime has ever done. It FEELS like it because of the timing and just how long this has gone on, but it’s not. Alain beating Ash? I don’t agree with it, but they were close enough matched that I could see it happening, and I do actually care a smidgen about Alain as a character. Now, compare to Tobias, who had no real story or personality to speak of and existed specifically for the sole purpose of making sure Ash lost. In fact, not only did Tobias beat Ash, he then went on to defeat his last opponent in the finals with even less difficulty, meaning Ash surely would’ve won the Sinnoh League Conference had Tobias never shown up. So no, comparatively, Ash losing to Alain in a REALLY close, hard-fought match that pushed both to give their best is not even close to being as bad as what happened with Tobias. Also, as a side note, when it comes to the whole Gary thing, if Ash really IS a loser, Ash actually surpassed Gary YEARS ago, so what does that make him?
So, I guess what I’m saying is that the Kalos League Conference didn’t piss me off so much as it left me disappointed, because it was good and it could’ve been great. And I will admit that everything that happened with Team Flare afterward was pretty dire and gripping, even if you knew going in that Team Flare was going to lose. That said, it comes off as kind of dumb that Lysandre can take on both of the Kalos League finalists 2-on-1. It’s like, why didn’t HE enter the tournament in that case? But no, I wasn’t pissed off by that… … …No, I was pissed off by what happened today in the anime.
Before I get into that, though, I wanna explain my idea of what they could’ve done for Sun & Moon. My idea was, to shake up the status quo a bit, to have Pikachu get sick before Ash is about to go to Alola. It’s not life threatening or anything like that, and he will recover, but Ash will need to postpone his trip if he wants to stay with his buddy while he recovers. However, Pikachu insists that Ash go and that he’ll catch up to him as soon as he can, and until then, Greninja is volunteering to go with Ash to Alola. So Ash goes, and then, after a few Trials, he manages to obtain a Z-Ring with the Electrium Z inserted. Then Pikachu recovers, rejoins the team, and has his brand new Z-Move to boot.
Now, spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen today’s episode, that is most definitely not going to happen. Why? Because Greninja, who I consider to be the best Water-type Pokémon that Ash has ever had on his team, who possesses one of the best win-loss records of any Pokémon Ash has ever had, who has a special transformation technique exclusive to itself that makes the bond between it and Ash into a whole new kind of power, and who will likely go down in history as one of the all-time best main character Pokémon of the entire anime, was RELEASED. And what’s astounding to me is that this is a move where the writers should’ve known going in that this was going to piss people off, because they’ve done it before and it’s almost ALWAYS resulted in a negative reaction from the fans, but they did it anyway because they’re FOOLS.
So, let’s get some arguments for this decision out of the way, because I know some people are gonna debate this. First off, Ash is not getting Greninja back, and if he is, it’ll only be a short-term thing. Name a single time he’s ever released (not put in training, not sent to Professor Oak’s, but RELEASED) a Pokémon that he then got back full-time. The answer is ZERO. Speaking of, I probably SHOULD be pissed that Goodra went back to the wetlands, but I knew going into the Kalos League Conference that Goodra was only back short-term, so it doesn’t really bother me as much. It’s still dumb, but whatever. Secondly, I know the reason he left was to protect Kalos. It’s still stupid. How come? Because its best technique in combat was its ability to become Ash-Greninja, and it CANNOT DO THAT ALONE. And third, with Ash going to Alola with just Pikachu, simply leaving Greninja at Professor Oak’s would make zero sense, so they had to come up with a reason why Greninja physically could not come. I reply to such argument as follows: Not only is it still a stupid reason because of stuff I just said, but it’s also inserted for the SPECIFIC INTENTION OF MAKING ASH WEAKER, when all we’ve wanted for 19 years was for Ash to finally WIN!
And now I gotta address where we’re going with the anime: Sun & Moon. A DRASTIC change to the anime style. Not a BAD one, I wanna make that clear, but a pretty drastic one. No more Gyms as far as I can tell, meaning no League to challenge, meaning this will make for a very different season. Ash going to SCHOOL, of all things. And, one positive I can give, Ash getting a Z-Ring. Honestly, I like that, since it was odd to me that Ash missed out on gaining a Mega Ring, especially he had a few different Pokémon who could Mega Evolve, one of which had JUST RETURNED TO HIS TEAM PREVIOUSLY.
Now, there are people bashing on the premise and the art style and just how different the Sun & Moon arc looks. I wanna make something clear: None of those things bothers me all that much. A new art style? Hey, it helps give this season its own identity and furthers to distinguish it from the past few seasons. Same thing with the new premise. Hell, I don’t even mind the school setting all that much. Sure, it seems like an odd thing to go with for the long-term when we’ve already seen the main characters going to schools as part of short-term story arcs, but it could world. Think of the potential world-building this could do by focusing on that. None of that bothers me. What bothers me, and what ultimately breaks this deal with me, is that the main protagonist is STILL ASH FUCKING KETCHUM! And what’s worse, not only is he now going back to school after 19 years of losing, but now, with the new art style, he actually looks YOUNGER. So now, all these factors I just praised as being a help to this series now instead hinder it, all because of Ash’s presence as the main character. For fuck’s sake, writers, you didn’t even have to outright get rid of him, either! You could’ve instead have him brought on as a teacher (or teacher’s aide), and have him bestow some wisdom on young Trainers getting started with their new lives. You could’ve had him reflect on his life and his decisions throughout the anime while teaching these kids. You could’ve even justified his continued losses by having him explain that, even after losing the League Conferences over and over, it still helped to hone him as a person and a Trainer, and have him even realize that he’s now exactly the type of person these kids can relate to. Give us some Goddamn character development! You realize that Ash is still basically the exact same little twit he’s been for YEARS now?!
It’s at this point I have to address the simple truth of the matter: This show only exists because it has the Pokémon name attached to it. If this was any other property, I guarantee this show would not last 19 years. It’s just not possible. And to everyone just now getting pissed off, I say this to you all: You are several years late to the party, but you are welcome nonetheless, because something has got to be done about this show. At this point, there is only one way to salvage Ash as a character, and that is to reboot him back to square one. Everything we’ve seen of him up until this point? Never happened. He’s a brand new character and doesn’t have any of the baggage of his previous journeys. This way, you can build him back up to where he can eventually achieve what he originally set out to do: To be the best like no one ever was. But unless enough people actually start voicing this opinions and explaining how and why the show needs to improve, nothing is ever going to change. Ash will continue to be the main protagonist, and will continue to be a Goddamn loser.
And you wanna know what the saddest part of all of this is? When Ash lost the Kalos League, I asked myself “Why do I still care? Why am I STILL ranting about this fucking show? Why am I not just 100% apathetic towards it?” Well, the answer is simple: Because I want to watch a GOOD Pokémon show. I see what this show has done in the past, is doing in the present, and could do in the future, and I see how much potential it has. This show could be so much better and still work as an ad for the games with even the SLIGHTEST bit of effort. But that’s not what we get. For years, it is consistently not what we get. When this show started, it had something the games at the time were lacking: Real story. Characters we care a lot about. Back then, the games didn’t really have the best stories. Now, however, we’ve clearly hit the switch. The games now have better story and writing, whereas the anime, for all intents and purposes, is still in the same position it’s been in for years. And no matter what you have to say about that position, my opinion remains that it could be better, and it honestly feels somedays like the writers of this show have gone out of their way to ensure it doesn’t.
Anyway, that’s my thoughts on the product as of now. What do you all think of this, though? Lemme know in the comments below, and hey, remember that the main anime is not the only Pokémon related story out there. You don’t HAVE to watch it. In fact, I think if everyone stopped watching it, watched the specials like Origins and Generations, played the games more, read the manga more, etc., it might even help move things along. Ja né!
Oh, George, George, George…I really haven’t given you any attention on this blog, have I? In the years I’ve been doing this blog (and yes, that scares me too that I’m coming up on FIVE YEARS of writing this blog in April), I have yet to dedicate an article to a man who created one of the greatest science fiction sagas of all time, the newest entry of which is breaking box office records worldwide right now, which is very impressive considering how much he’s done to make it suck. So, I figured I’d ring in the new year by doing just that. So, congrats, George Lucas, your moment on this blog has finally arrived.
Now, most of us are probably well aware of most of the things George has done to ruin the Star Wars franchise. If you don’t know, here’s a little ditty that I think best covers some of the bigger ones…
Oh yeah, and he was also the guy who made the Howard The Duck movie. Not related to anything else on here, but I just thought I’d bring it up. Then, in October 2012, he decided to sell the rights to the franchise to Disney…’cuz they really needed another multi-billion dollar franchise under their control. lol All kidding aside, though, when people were concerned about what would end up happening to Star Wars now that Disney was in control, I more or less had the following sentiment: “Star Wars is already dead. George killed it. So really, the worst that Disney can do in raising it from its grave is to kill it again, in which case, we’re just back to square one. They LITERALLY cannot do any worse than has already been done to this franchise.” And, considering that now, just a little over three years later, Episode VII is currently raking in…hang on… … …ah, over 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS at the box office, even managing to beat out Frozen, I think it’s safe to assume that Star Wars is gonna be okay.
However, one common critique I’ve heard about the movie is how it repeats a lot of plot points that we’ve seen in a lot of the older movies. I’ll avoid talking about them in detail, because I don’t wanna spoil anyone, but…yeah, they are numerous. And having gone to see the movie, I can say that, while I liked it A LOT (and was VERY proud of my mother for managing to sit through the whole thing even though she hates movie theaters), that IS a legitimate critique that someone can make about this movie, and I would say that I don’t mind hearing people bring that up… … …I repeat, I WOULD say that, except there is ONE person I do NOT want to hear that from: George Lucas.
Apparently, George decided to talk about how Disney made The Force Awakens a bit too retro, stated that he preferred to make each movie feel different, and referred to Disney as “white slavers”. Some have suggested that last part was meant to be a joke, but my personal opinion is that, even if it was, it was a kinda BAD one. However, here’s the sticking point for me: “Every movie, I worked very hard to make them different.” Um…what? First off, George, do you even remember what you yourself said about the prequel movies, and how they and the characters within them mirror the original trilogy and characters? And now you’re gonna judge J. J. Abrams and everyone else that worked on the story for doing the same thing, only with less green screen and Jar Jar? Second, you worked hard to make each movie different? Do you know which of the now seven Star Wars movies is probably the most thematically different, all things considered? The Empire Strikes Back. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s the one that, up until the newest movie, had the LEAST DIRECT CONTROL BY GEORGE LUCAS! Isn’t that a funny little coincidence?
And while I do consider the repeated plot elements from the older movies here to be a legit critique, I also kind of take the approach of…well, what were you expecting? If I may be allowed to quote the Cinema Snob from the Nostalgia Critic’s review of The Force Awakens, “It’s the reintroduction of an old friend who’s taken a beating and just needed to show that he’s gonna be okay before he accomplishes better things”. It had to hit all these same beats for this one, to show that the ones making these new movies know what they’re doing, before they continue down a new direction. So, while it’s a legitimate issue to take with this one movie, I think it’s one that shows that Episodes VIII and IX will probably be pretty good.
So, in short, here’s my final word on the subject: George, you sold the rights to Disney. You made more money off of that purchase than I will ever see in my entire life. On top of that, you made who knows how much off Star Wars when you owned it, you were awarded a Life Achievement Award by the American Film Institute (although I think perhaps one or two guests mistook the event for a celebrity roast, particularly Carrie Fisher…as frigging hilarious as that was), you won Hugo Award after Hugo Award after Hugo Award, and you were inducted as a Disney Legend by those same people you, jokingly or not, referred to as “white slavers”. So, I suggest you take all that money you’ve got in your World’s Biggest Piggybank, buy yourself a tropical island (which I’m shocked wasn’t part of the original game-plan in selling Star Wars), go retire there, and shut your mouth, you HHHHHHAAAAAAAAAACK.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter. And I know I’m opening the floodgates with this one, but…honestly, I just can’t seem to care this time. Lemme know what you think of all this, and hey, if you haven’t already, go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yes, there are a couple of things I could give real critiques about, and I probably will someday, but overall, it really does hold up pretty well as the newest chapter of the Star Wars saga, and a VERY welcome breath of fresh air after the prequels. Just try not to post spoilers in the comments, or I WILL delete them. Ja né!
…On the other hand, though, at least he’s not that pig from the New York Post that body shamed Carrie Fisher, the stupid little shit…Yeah, you turn 59 and see how sexy you are. What, are you upset she doesn’t look like she did in Return of the Jedi? Seriously, what were they even smoking when they came up with the whole gold bikini slave girl on a chain thing???
Oh yeah, and Happy New Year, everybody! 😛
Okay, had some time to chillax, refocus my thoughts a bit, so now I think I’m ready to talk about Batgirl #22 a bit more, specifically what got me so angry. First off, I should clarify that I don’t hate this issue, and I believe that Batgirl is still one of the better books out there right now, same as Gail Simone is one of the better writers. My problem is directed solely at the current depiction of Commissioner James Gordon within said series, which has pretty much come to a boiling point at the climax of this issue, and as I understand it may only be getting worse in the next few issues, which I may be forced to skip. Secondly, I should note that all of this is strictly opinion based, hence why I noted this is an opinionated rant (please don’t hurt me, SF Debris), and of course everyone is free to have their own opinion. That was actually a mistake I made earlier, criticizing someone who really liked the scene in this book I despise so, and for that, I apologize. With that said, let’s dive in.
Now, first and foremost, let’s go over the scene at the end, which yes, DOES have some good to it. Oddly enough, it’s the depiction of Batman, who is actually in the midst of going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs in Batman and Robin over the death of his own son. Anyway, Jim Gordon hits the Bat Signal to bring out Batman, who tells Gordon that he’s sorry to hear about his son. Jim thinks he isn’t entirely sincere though, and gets straight to the point: He wants Batman to help him find Batgirl. Batman asks if he’s certain he’s thought this through, so Jim takes that as a no, tells Batman to stay out of his way, then punches him while berating him for letting Batgirl follow in his footsteps, as if to say that all of this (the death of his boy, Batgirl becoming who she is, etc.) is Batman’s fault. Batman doesn’t deny this accusation (even though he REALLY should) and tells Gordon, and I quote, “You’ve always been about justice, Commissioner. Never revenge. Be careful what road you walk. For everyone’s sake”. And Batman leaves while Gordon shuts off the Bat Signal, clearly intending to continue down this path…Plus, I know this for a fact because I’ve seen solicits for DC Comics all the way till October, so I know this is the next story arc.
If you didn’t pick out what was wrong with all that…well, let’s just go over the list.
- While it’s not as if I’ve never seen someone fly off on a tangent about how Batman ruined someone’s life, usually it’s by one of the villains. Hell, he even looks like a complete psycho when he’s ranting and raving at Batman.
- How bad is it that the Dark frigging Knight, who recently lost his son to a minion of said son’s evil mother, is now able to look a man who lost his psychotic murderer son in the eye and say “You’re going too far” and be 100% correct?! O_O
- I would just like to point out that Batman never actually said he wouldn’t help Jim Gordon. I’m looking at this scene in the comic right now as I’m typing, and his exact words are “…Jim, are you certain you’ve thought this through?” He never said no, Gordon! Now, would he have said no anyway? Possibly. But the point still stands: You jumped the gun.
- Gordon’s kinda got his issues a little mixed, doesn’t he? Does he want to bring down Batgirl, or does he feel bad for her because following Batman’s example led her down a bad path?
- While the argument can be made that Batman didn’t try to stop Batgirl from being a heroine, we’ve seen how well that works. Let’s be honest: Barbara Gordon would’ve become a heroine whether Batman ‘let her’ or not.
Now, let’s go beyond this one scene, because as I said before, I’ve already gotten a little bit sick of this. In other words, this has been building for a couple of issues now. What has he done thus far? Well, he shot at Batgirl after he saw what had happened, he refuses to let anyone try to talk him down from his rage, he completely ignores the fact that his son is a psychotic killer, and he overlooks the fact that Batgirl did what she did to save his ex-wife! And there’s no way he couldn’t have known that!
Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look back to Batgirl #19. Jim Gordon gets a call from his son telling him to come meet him at a place where he promises to give his father nightmares for the rest of his life. He gets there, he sees Batgirl with Barbara Sr., both of them crying and upset, and James Jr. having fallen off the pier into the rocks below. He doesn’t ask questions or anything, and based on the artwork, it suggests that he arrived by sea, since he’s approaching from the end of the pier. If he was close enough to see Batgirl get James in the eye with a Batarang, he was close enough to see that his ex-wife was held hostage with a knife. Are we meant to assume he doesn’t care?
Oh, speaking of whom, I’m not letting Barbara Sr. off the hook either. She set the trap for James and tried to kill him, which I guess I understand if nothing else, but then she gets caught again, and when James Jr. is seemingly killed by Batgirl to save her (James isn’t dead, btw, he’s very much alive in Suicide Squad), she never tells Jim the truth! She doesn’t tell him that Babs is Batgirl and that, at the last moment, Babs tried to save James, or to stop hunting Babs because all of it was her own fault! No, she just says she didn’t see anything, packs up, and leaves!
Am I supposed to feel sorry for either of these two people? Because honestly, at this point, I HATE them. And if we’re gonna play it straight, this really IS their fault. Not to make excuses for James Jr., but he DID grow up to be who he is because he felt overshadowed by his sister, something that neither of his parents EVER picked up on or tried to talk to him about. The way they’re handling this current situation screams of negligence and hypocrisy, especially when one of Gordon’s cops had a similar situation with Batgirl early in the series and wisely decided to keep said cop away from her until it was necessary. And now, Gordon’s treating it like Batgirl deliberately murdered his son just because he was a villain, and he never considers the truth behind what happened? And now for at LEAST two issues, he’s gonna be hunting Batgirl, who is contemplating retirement from the role. The only way that ANY of this winds up working is if Jim Gordon becomes a villain, and even then, I’m not so sure I wanna see that.
…But, when it’s all said and done, I guess I can’t blame Gail Simone. Not really. I think what’s happened is that, while trying to tell a dark and edgy story, she made an error along the way because she was too focused on keeping it dark and edgy. If that approach sounds familiar, it’s only because that’s what a lot of writers are doing nowadays. And, believe it or not, I don’t have a problem with dark stories. I have a problem with said dark and edginess overriding common sense, and it seems to be SPREADING to the point where everybody’s doing it……Speaking of which, I should make a mental note to have a VERY scathing rant regarding Justice League #22 typed up sometime this week. lol
Anyway, I hope I’ve made my point clear by this point. As always, feel free to comment below, leave your own thoughts, agree/disagree with me, whatever. Ja né!
- What I Bought Today – Batman #22, Superman Unchained #2, Nightwing #22, Batgirl #22, Fearless Defenders #6 (WARNING – SPOILERS) (jygersrant.wordpress.com)
- Comic Preview Tuesday (geekleak.net)
- Comic Releases for July 10, 2013 (comicbooked.com)
- Exclusive Preview: BATGIRL #22 (comicvine.com)
Not a rant, just me talking about what I bought today at the local comic book shop and sharing my thoughts on ’em. Not sure if I’ll do this again or not, but…meh, we’ll see.