Musings & Rants
64

“Are you crazy, OP? I don’t wanna love Nex! I hate him! He’s ________!” Insert your own reasons: “He’s rude! He’s like Riven! He’s boring!” Etc., etc.

Here’s another way to look at it. You do wanna love Nex, but those reasons are the barriers to your love. If they weren’t there, why couldn’t you love him?

This quote explains it well: “Hatred is a disguised form of love. You can only hate someone whom you really wish to love, because if you were totally indifferent to that person, you could not even get up enough energy to hate him.”

Both love and hate are forms of caring about someone — i.e., being invested in them. They both take a lot of time and energy. If you didn’t care about that person, you wouldn’t waste your time on them. You only spend it on people who matter to you in some way.

Why does Nex matter to the fandom? Because he’s dating Aisha. If you love her, you wanna share her happiness. You wanna cheer for her and look forward to her future as much as she does.

It’s hard to do that if you hate the person she might spend her future with. That’s why you wish you could love him. If only he wasn’t…insert that list of reasons again.

If we were talking about a real person, chances are you’d never get your wish. People can change, of course, but you can tell when it’s unlikely they will. But a fictional character can always change. It all depends on how his story unfolds. Those annoying traits that keep you from loving him could be gone by the end of next season.

There’s a lot we don’t know about Nex yet. Where is he from? What’s his family life like? What’s his social status? Why did he become a Paladin instead of a Specialist? Heck, what is a Paladin?

I bet Rainbow won’t answer all of these questions, but even a couple answers could change how we interpret his character. Nex is a work-in-progress. That’s what character development is all about.

With that in mind, let’s look at a few reasons the fandom hates him — and how Rainbow can make those reasons disappear. Read the rest of this post

Musings & Rants
35

We know Rainbow ignores Musa and Tecna. I even wrote a post about it. But I think we should add Flora to the disregarded Winx list.

You shook your head, didn’t you? Flora gets a lot of attention. She’s one of the “mascots”, so she’s on most of the magazine covers, at most of the fan meets, and in all of the doll lines. Compare that to Musa and Tecna, who are usually left out (especially in doll lines). Poor Tecna once went 18 months without being on the cover of a magazine! How is Flora as ignored as they are?

Because I’m not talking about marketing and screen time. I’m talking about character development and background.

Think about it. How much do we know about her? She’s from Lynphea, and she has a little sister. We just met her parents — Alyssa and Rhodos — in season seven, even though she’s one of the initial five Winx.

We don’t know what her childhood was like, either. (Judging by her parents, it was probably happy.) Even though we didn’t meet Tecna’s parents until season six, we at least know she grew up suppressing her emotions. It’s something she’s had to overcome over the years.

Rainbow revealed Musa’s back story in season two. They even told us how her parents met! She also had a dream: to become a musician. We watched it come true in season four, and we know she’ll probably keep performing in the future.

But what are Flora’s dreams? We know she loves gardening, but does she wanna be a gardener or a florist? She’s also good at mixing potions, but she’s never talked about becoming an alchemist, teaching potionology, or anything like that.

I don’t think Rainbow has decided yet. World of Winx season one seems to confirm that because cooking was her talent, something she’s never shown interest in. It felt like they just gave her a leftover skill that worked well for a talent show.

What about her relationship with Helia? They’re one of the most popular couples, but have you noticed Rainbow hasn’t developed them much? We’ve only seen them kiss a couple times, and we’ve never seen them alone on a date. Plus, Helia’s never met her parents, even though he and Flora have been together for five years.

That last fact might sound unfair since we just met her parents. But Tecna’s parents were introduced in season six, and Timmy met them that same season. Couldn’t Helia have met Alyssa and Rhodos in season seven? Heck, he hasn’t even met Miele in the show!

What’s going on here? How is one of the most popular Winx so far behind the others? Flora seems like nothing but “the girl who talks to plants.” That’s it. She doesn’t change or grow. Yes, she comes out of her shell sometimes, but she doesn’t stay out for long.

Is there any hope for her? Maybe. She and Helia have gotten more development in the last few seasons (even though it’s just been petty fights), and in WoW season two, Rainbow came up with spells for her other than her traditional vines. It’s not much, but maybe it’s a start.

Fanfiction
40

I really wanted to finish that “Yin and Yang” post, so that’s what I focused on last weekend. That’s why this is so late. “What If Wednesday” will resume next week. Like I said in last week’s post, I’ll talk about the Specialists and Paladins.

Today, here’s chapter 2 of my fanfic “The Storm.” (Click here if you haven’t read the first chapter.) I hope you like it!


“The Storm”

By: The Oblivious Prattler

CHAPTER II

Oya, the recurring storm. How could anyone from Andros forget it?

Aisha remembered the times she snuck out of the palace to visit the farmers. They talked about Oya all the time. Every year, it provided them with enough rain to water their crops all summer. But it also flooded fields, toppled trees, and tore apart buildings.

The storm was a blessing and a curse, but Andros wouldn’t be paradise without it.

While the sun was still shining, Aisha had plenty of time to share this paradise with Nex. Besides, she hadn’t won the bet yet.

She led him along a bay just outside the palace walls. Her parents, Queen Niobe and King Teredor, had brought her here when she was young to meet her underseas family: the mermaids. Nex had never seen one before. If this didn’t make him smile, nothing would.

Near a boulder in the water, a long, lavender fin poked through the surface. Nex jolted.

“Wait, is that a — ?”

“Uh-huh,” Aisha said, grinning. The frown on his face stayed put, but his shaky hand gave away his excitement. Why hadn’t she tried this sooner?

She knew who the mermaid was right away: her cousin Tressa. This time of day, she’d be patrolling the ocean for pirates, but maybe she could spare a few minutes.

“Tressa!”

No response. Tressa’s fin flicked up and down a couple times, then sank back beneath the waves.

Just as Aisha was about to call her name again, the red-haired mermaid burst through the surface, waving her hand wildly. “Cousin Aisha!”

The fairy beamed. “Hey, Tressa! I’ve got someone I want you to meet!”

Three more mermaids popped up next to Tressa. Perfect timing.

“Tala! Nesia! Kalia!” said Aisha. “Hey!”

As the mermaids waved back, an idea flashed into the fairy’s mind. “Stay there! We’ll come to you! Up for a little swim, Nex?”

“Why not?” he said, keeping his expression still.

Aisha stripped down to her swimsuit and charged into the water. It was lukewarm, the perfect temperature. A smile broke across her face as she took in her surroundings: the sand, the breeze, the seashells prodding her heels, the rhythm of the waves. The ocean was her home. It moved her, energized her.

“Race ya!” she said as she dove in. Her arms spun like turbine blades, digging a path through the water. She rolled with the waves, letting them lift her and propel her towards her goal.

Nex’s voice grew louder, closer. She could see the tips of his hair, the spray from his swim strokes. He laughed between breaths. A taunting laugh.

You won’t beat me! She kicked harder and faster. Her lungs sputtered. No stopping. No looking back.

She sighted the boulder. Just three feet away. Two feet. One.

Her palm collided with the cold stone, and she leaned against it as Tressa and her friends applauded. Nex came in seconds after. For a few moments, they floated there and caught their breaths, with the ocean’s roar and their heartbeats as their soundtrack.

It was Aisha who broke the silence between them.

“Is that all you got, sweetie?”

“You had a head start!” Nex snatched her up into his arms and planted a wet, salty kiss near her lips. The fairy dissolved into giggles.

The mermaids crowded around the couple like paparazzi.

“Who is he, Princess?”

“Is he a Specialist?”

“How long have you been dating?”

Typical mermaids. They loved gossip.

As Nex stared at them with a whale-like grin, Aisha giggled again. Had she looked that bug-eyed and full of wonder when she met the mermaids when she was little? Maybe her parents would remember.

Then it hit her. She leaned right up to Nex’s ear. “I win the bet.”

It took a few seconds for him to realize what she meant. As soon as he did, he buried his head in his hands and let out a frustrated sigh mixed with laughter. Aisha threw her arms around his neck and chuckled.

Who cared about a bet? This was all she wanted, the only thing that really mattered. A day alone with her sweetheart.

* * *

When she and Nex returned to the shore, she snapped her fingers. Two beach towels appeared in a flash of glittering light. After wrapping herself up in one, she picked up her pants and fished her cellphone out of her pocket.

A missed call? From Mom?

She couldn’t ignore it. Her mom only called when she had something important to tell her. Aisha mashed the call button, and a hologram of the queen, Niobe, jutted out of the screen.

“Aisha, darling!”

Her breathless voice made Aisha shudder. “Mom? What’s wrong?”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, my dear, but your father and I would like to speak with you.”

Now? Great. This would set the tour back a few hours — maybe the rest of the day. But family came first. Besides, her mom looked worried.

“Okay, Mom. We’ll be back soon.” Aisha looked up at her boyfriend as she slipped the phone back into her pocket. “Nex, I’m sorry, but I — ”

Before she could finish, he grabbed the tips of her towel and scooped her into his arms.

“I know,” he said, laying a kiss on her forehead. “Don’t worry. I just hope it’s nothing serious.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Musings & Rants
67

“Sparxshipping,” a.k.a. Bloom and Valtor. They’re a pairing that’s been popular since the 4Kids days. With opposing poles of the Dragon Flame — a flame of light and a flame of darkness — this couple sounds impossible, yet intriguing. How would good and evil fall in love with each other?

A better-known, non-Winx ship is “Zutara” (Zuko and Katara) from Avatar: The Last Airbender. (I’m not touching the “Kataang vs. Zutara” debate.) Some fans can’t resist the fire-water dynamic between the two benders. Even Zuko’s voice actor, Dante Basco, is a hardcore “Zutarian.”

These couples, “Zutara” and “Sparxshipping” (and technically “Kataang,” too), follow the concept of “yin and yang,” two opposite forces in harmony with each other. It’s the same theme Rainbow used for Aisha and Nex.

Yeah, yeah. They’re “Life” and “Death,” right?

Yes, I know I’ve mentioned that a dozen times. Aisha is “life” in Arabic, and nex is “death” in Latin. But remember in my recent Aisha/Nex post when I said I keep discovering things about this couple? Turns out Rainbow took the yin-yang idea further than just name meanings.

Winx 6X15 - Aisha and Nex windsurfing

Same, Yet Opposites?

Wait a minute. Aren’t these two a lot alike?

Being yin and yang doesn’t mean being different in every way. “Yin and yang” is relative. Object A may be opposite of Object B for a different reason than Object C. It depends on what traits you’re comparing them by.

Water and fire are yin and yang because water’s cold and wet, and fire’s hot and dry. But ice and running water are also yin and yang. Even though they’re both water, running water is liquid and active, and ice is solid and stationary. (Yes, that means Icy and Aisha are yin and yang, too.)

It’s actually more complicated than that. If you’re curious (and you’re a nerd like me), TED-Ed has a short video that explains it better than I can.

Back to Aisha and Nex. Most fans think they’re exactly the same: confident, fearless, energetic, athletic, etc. Yes, they have those traits in common — if they had nothing in common, they’d have nothing to bond over — but some of their other traits couldn’t be any more different.

For example, Nex is flirty. In his debut episode, “The Flying School” (6X03), he strutted up to the Winx and said, “Hey, ladies!” Can you imagine Aisha doing something like that? Yeah, right. In fact, it was something she didn’t like about him when they first met.

That’s just one of the ways they’re opposites, but it’s not as important now that they’re dating. Their other differences affect their relationship now.
Read the rest of this post

Fanfiction
36

Winx Club 7X25 - Aisha and Nex HuggingNope, my blog’s not dead. 

Last month, I started writing Winx fanfiction. I wanted to finish this story by Valentine’s Day, but schoolwork — and nervousness — got in the way. Now I’m finally done…with the first chapter. Good grief.

As you can guess from the picture, “The Storm” is about Aisha and Nex. Expect most of my fanfics to be about them. No couple in this series has ever ignited my imagination as much as they do. They’re a treasure-trove of creative ideas waiting to be used to tell thrilling, clever, romantic, and even profound stories.

Let me guess: you think I’m exaggerating, right? Okay then. Give me a chance to show you why this couple’s so unique and powerful together.

My story takes place on Andros between seasons seven and eight, ignoring the comics (they’re not canon, anyway). Read the rest of this post