Musings & Rants
35

"Hina Logic" PowerI love talking to my brother. He sees the world so differently from anyone else I know, and I always learn something new or see an old topic from a new angle. A couple weeks ago — July 4th, I think — we got on the subject of shows and movies where the characters use magic. (Yes, he’s a geek, too. 😛 )

It started when I told him about a new magical girl/fantasy-action anime called Hina Logic: From Luck & Logic. He watches more anime than I do, so he can tell right away if a story will be cliché. Takes place in a high school? Has a clumsy airhead as the main character who’s somehow a prodigy? Uses its most important terms so often, you get sick of hearing them (for this show, it’s “Logicalist,” “Foreigner,” and “Trancing”)?

I’m not sure how many anime I just described.

My brother wasn’t interested, and one of his reasons surprised me. In shows where the main characters have magic powers, he doesn’t like it if:

  • They’re constantly impressed by them, even they’re common
  • They don’t use them for everyday things

At the time, he was playing an MMO. He wasn’t thinking about where his computer came from or what powers it. It just worked. But a century ago, no one could have imagined pressing buttons to control a creature from another world inside of a black box. That would look like magic to them!

He told me to look around at the objects in the room. What were we doing with them right then? How did I feel about them? My answer was something like this: “We’re doing the best we can with what we have, but we don’t have magic.”

What I meant was we were using the resources we have in our world: paper, plastic, electricity, etc. We use them for everyday things like drying our hair or cooking food. Some of them are limited, but we’re trying to reuse them or find more sustainable sources.

Why aren’t more fantasy worlds like that? If magic is abundant like electricity, shouldn’t the characters use it the same way we use our resources? An example my brother gave was in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. When Tina takes Newt and Jacob to the house where she and her sister live, the two witches use magic to make them dinner. The potatoes, carrots, fruits, plates, bowls, and rolling pin move on their own.

Jacob the muggle — I mean “no-maj” — was amazed, but Newt and the witches didn’t bat an eyelash. They probably do things like that every day and don’t even think about it. If they have magic, why not use it to make their lives easier? Isn’t that what we muggles use technology for: convenience?

My brother couldn’t think of another show or movie that portrays magic as “ordinary” — especially not an anime. Instead, in many fantasy stories, the characters only use magic as a last resort. They live their everyday lives as if they’re human.

What about Winx Club? Sometimes, the Winx use magic for mundane things like trying on dresses or pouring tea. Alfea’s lights and the flying cars in Magix City are powered by magic. Yet the characters still have to conserve their energy, and their lives don’t feel much different from ours. Does that count as magic being integrated into everyday life?

Also, people who have magic powers are treated like they’re special, but they shouldn’t be. Almost everyone’s a fairy, a witch, an elf, a wizard, or some other magic being. Their power sources may be unique, but that’s it. To paraphrase The Incredibles, when everybody’s super, no one is.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Is magic in Winx Club treated as special or ordinary?

Side note: By the way, my brother eventually watched Hina Logic. Neither of us likes it. 😛

Thursday Your Say
20

k-on winx club comparison

Thank you, Cupcakedoll, for this idea!

Today’s “Thursday Your Say” is about Japanese anime. (Remember those references in the season six trailer?)

Winx has always had anime influence. The show’s inspired by Sailor Moon, one of the most famous magical girl series in the world. The Winx also look like anime characters, with the signature big eyes and stylized figures, and the pixies are drawn in “chibi” style — huge heads on tiny bodies.

But there’s more Rainbow and Nick can take from anime than character designs and plot devices. For example, I’d love to see that type of storytelling in Winx Club — deeper emotions, unpredictable plots (sometimes), and more interesting characters.

YOUR SAY: What could Rainbow and Nick learn from anime to make Winx Club better?

Musings & Rants
7

I don’t know who’s styling the Winx this season, but Rainbow’s really stepped it up with Musa’s hair!

Don’t get me wrong — I’ve never hated her hair. It was weird in the first two seasons, but unique. (Tune thought it was a pair of headphones! Remember?) But when Rainbow gave her long pigtails in season three, I was disappointed. It didn’t fit her personality — though it’s changed over the years — and it left Tecna as the only Winx with short hair.

Then came season four. Don’t ask what I thought of her Believix outfit, but I liked her hair. Especially the braid — it was a unique touch to a typical, long hairstyle.

But Musa’s never looked as fabulous as she has this season! Here are my top three, season-five hairdos.

capture_110_13052013_080203_157

3. Stella’s Fashion Collection

Can Musa rock a beehive or what? I guess we have Stella to thank; she probably picked this ‘do for her. Our sun fairy sure knows how to make her friends look stunning!

capture_002_07072013_102211_495

2. Pajama

This ‘do screams “Japanese anime” to me. It’s so cute! It also looks like a style her mom would wear. Awwwww! 🙂

capture_003_07072013_104816_483

1. Harmonix

My favorite! It reminds me of my favorite Andros mermaid (I don’t know her name, but she’s one of Tressa and Aisha’s friends). That’s why Musa looks the most like a “mermaid fairy” to me.

QUESTION: Which Winx do you think looks the most fabulous this season?

Announcements
4

I just started a new TV blog. Don’t worry—Una di Noi is not going anywhere, but I wanted a place to talk about other shows I like, too. Right now, there are only two posts: a welcome and post about one of my favorite anime, Digimon. (Fans, if you haven’t heard, there will be a sixth season!) Please check it out and tell your friends!

29

If you visited Michael’s Winx Club today, you may have noticed he said something a little strange in his new report: Winx Club is “not an anime from Japan.” Isn’t all anime from Japan? Winx Club is an Italian show, which means it’s not an anime, right?

Yes, it is. Time for Anime 101.

Anime (アニメ) is short for animeeshon (アニメーション), the Japanese transliteration of “animation.” In Japan, it’s the term used for all animated works, no matter what country they’re from, what types of animation they are, or what length they are. That means Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Dreamworks’ Madagascar, Spongebob Squarepants, and everything else like them count.

Winx Club is a mahou shoujo (魔法少女) or “magical girl” series. (You probably knew that if you love Japanese anime like I do; in fact, the magical girl genre is my favorite.) It belongs with shows like Sailor Moon, Ojamajo Doremi, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, and Shugo Chara!, which share the same element: transforming super girls with magic powers.

Panicked Amu chibi thinks about all the boys she likesThe pixies are also based on characters from Japanese anime. They’re drawn in super-deformed style (sometimes called chibi), marked by big heads and bigger emotions. Chibis are very popular in Japan and appear on food labels, drink cans, park signs, and billboards. Sometimes in anime, non-chibi characters are turned into chibis for a comic effect. This picture shows Amu, the main character from Shugo Chara!, as a chibi while she’s panicking over having too many crushes. Don’t you feel her pain? 😛

Okay, lesson over. That settles it, right?

Not really. We have to look at the other side. In the western world, we often change the meanings of foreign words, even ones from other parts of the west. For example, the entrée is the appetizer in France and the main course here in the states. Obviously, anime has come to mean “Japanese animation,” which is why you rarely see Japanese and non-Japanese shows shelved together in a store unless the Japanese shows have been dubbed by a company like 4Kids TV. There are a lot of fans of Japanese anime who think it and “cartoons” should never mix anyway (especially since a lot of those fans hate dubs); for people who don’t like Japanese anime, it helps to keep it in its separate world; and for everyone, it makes the shows easier to organize. Imagine an A-to-Z list of every cartoon in the world!

So, one more time: is Winx Club an anime? My answer: absolutely. But I guess it depends on who you ask.