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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!

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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!

Batman #40 Preview + My Thoughts On The New Batman Direction (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, let’s get the Batman #40 preview out of the way first, because I got a lot to talk about afterward.

  • The finale of “Endgame” is here! Batman risks everything against The Joker! Who will laugh last?

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/04/exclusive-preview-batman-40.html

Now that that’s outta the way, I should probably clarify something I talked about this past Monday. If you haven’t heard, following the DC event Convergence, there’s gonna be a massive change to the Bat-related books. Long story short, Bruce Wayne is apparently being replaced by someone in a GCPD-owned Batman mech suit of sorts. And, according to information that was leaked from the Free Comic Book Day special, Divergence, the person replacing him is none other than the individual guessed and feared it would be: James Gordon, and for some reason, he’s apparently shaved off his mustache and has a mohawk. WHAT?! O_O

Okay, real talk: Of all the points where they could potentially do something like this with Jim Gordon, now is probably one of the better ones. Why? Because he’s not Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon anymore. That position is now held by Maggie Sawyer. Why does that factor into this at all? Because otherwise, we’d have him as a stand-in for Batman AND be Commissioner. And let’s be honest, that’d be stupid as all hell. On top of that, this move could conceivably be where Jim finally finds out about Babs being Batgirl. And, again, of all times where he could find out “OMG, you’ve been a costumed vigilante this whole time and never told me?!”, this is the best time for it, because she can literally just look at him in the robo Batsuit and go “…Really?”

With all of that said, the question I’m sure everyone that reads my blog and has heard me go on and on about how much I love Scott Snyder’s Batman and how great it is, to the point where I’m sure I’ve made someone’s ear bleed, is probably “So, are you gonna be reading this?”…….No. No, I’m not gonna be reading this. Why? Because just because this is the best timing if you were to do this, that doesn’t mean you should do it at all. And while I’m sure it’ll be well written, because it IS Scott Snyder after all, it nonetheless is not a concept that clicks with me personally. And I don’t know whose idea this was, be it Snyder or DC higher-ups. Frankly, either way wouldn’t shock me. And I don’t want you to think that I’m some Bruce Wayne purist who can’t see anyone else in the cowl. I liked the idea of Dick Grayson standing in when he did, especially in his team-up with Damian as Robin. I liked the idea of Flashpoint universe Batman being Thomas Wayne (though not so much in Earth 2). And do I even need to bring up Terry McGinnis? But Jim Gordon? REALLY? I’d sooner read about Tim Drake as Batman, albeit probably not in the upcoming Batman Beyond book. But the point is, of all the people I can see as a potential replacement/stand-in as Batman for Bruce Wayne, Gordon’s near the bottom of the list.

So, yeah, as much as it pains me to do this, because Scott Snyder is still one of my favourite writers, I’m gonna be dropping Batman after next week’s issue. Will it be forever? Probably not, mainly because I don’t see this change lasting for too long. I give it a year tops. And y’know, it’s funny that this is happening, given my previous statements regarding the All-New, All-Different Avengers book, and how, when it came to this book, you could either get on board or get out of the way. Well, this is me saying I’m getting out of the way. That said, though, because Scott Snyder IS still one of my favourite writers, I will still be posting links to the exclusive previews for Batman, since I’m sure others might wish to remain on board with this new direction.

Anyway, those are my two cents on the matter. Lemme know what you think about all of this, and we’ll see how this pans out in the months to come. Ja né!

Interesting Robin and Superman News (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, with the January solicitations out for DC today, there’s been some very interesting news made apparent, two bits of which caught my attention. If you don’t wanna know what’s going on, I advise you to turn back now, because…

Goddammit, am I glad she’s back. XD Anyway, let’s start with the Robin related news. As most comic book readers know, almost 18 months ago, Damian Wayne, AKA Robin, was killed off in the pages of Batman Incorporated. Storylines following his death had their fair share of highs and lows, many people in both the pages of the comics and real life readers were left distraught, and yours truly was left with the difficult task of eulogizing the poor kid. Hell, one person even made an extremely touching music video for him.

Ever since then, we knew it was only a matter of time before Batman got a Robin again. And I’ve had to remind myself that, no matter who it turned out to be, I needed to be willing to give them a chance, even more-so with the current Robin Rises story-arc coming to a close in December and the promise of a new Robin. The most recent possible Robins were Carrie Kelley (who we haven’t seen in months) and Duke Thomas (who actually appeared as Robin in the Batman and Robin Future’s End issue).

Well, with the solicits up, DC has decided to go ahead and stop all the suspense and make the reveal…which is an odd practice, since now we know how Robin Rises ends. Nonetheless, we have our answer. Ladies and gentlemen, Bat fans around the world, the newest Robin is………………………………………DAMIAN WAYNE! 😀

He's back, mutha fuckas! XD

He’s back, mutha fuckas! XD

Yep, the smug little bastard managed to come back from the grave after all. And if that’s not enough, apparently he’s got super powers, because bullets are bouncing off of him, possibly due to residual energy left over from the Chaos Shard (the object that is apparently responsible for his revival). I guess he really IS bulletproof with nothing to lose. 😛 But yeah, I can’t wait for December to roll around so we can officially welcome Damian back to the realm of the living, and just in time for Christmas, too, so Merry Christmas, Bruce and Damian.

But yeah, speaking of people that have been to the grave and back and are bulletproof, interesting news regarding Superman. Apparently, Superman #38 promises a new costume for Superman. Now, at first I was concerned about the presence of a whole new costume worn by the Man of Tomorrow…until I took a look at the images featuring Superman that were attached to the solicitations. I want you to look at this collage of pics (thank you, BeFunky) and see if you can notice a specific area on Superman that is either hidden or otherwise obscured in each one.

…So yeah, leave a comment below if you notice what I’m talking about, and lemme know what you think of the return of Damian Wayne. Ja né!