What If Wednesday
197


Today’s “What If Wednesday” question: “What if Tecna becomes an ambassador for Zenith?”

No, don’t leave! Let me explain.

Remember how King Cryos didn’t wanna join the Sovereigns’ Alliance? He kept saying Zenith was better off protecting itself. After all, they have the most advanced technology in the Magic Dimension. Zenith sounds like an isolated realm — open to tourists but closed to foreign relations.

After the Winx saved him from his techno-drones in “Listen to Your Heart” (5X22), he changed his mind. Tecna then wished for everyone in Zenith to feel connected to the rest of the Magic Dimension. Does that mean the realm’s attitude changed? Maybe, but she can help keep it that way.

She’s been all over the universe, so she knows how to deal with different types of people. Plus, she’s a Winx, a well-known hero. Who wouldn’t listen to her?

Most of all, she doesn’t follow Zenith’s “logic over feelings” ideal anymore. That’s why “Listen to Your Heart” was a good title for that episode. It wasn’t just about Cryos. Thanks to the Winx (and Timmy), Tecna has learned to trust her heart more, too. She can help Zenith open up to other cultures and appreciate emotions.

I know this sounds far-fetched, but what’s the alternative? We don’t know what her dreams and goals are. All we know is she’s great at inventing things and loves to tinker with technology. Why not use her knowledge to help her realm?

Plus, three of her friends will be queens one day. I’m sure they’d welcome her into their realms. She could even help modernize them.

That’s it for today. Like I said last time, I have a list of “What If” topics already — yes, this was one of them — but if you have an idea, feel free to send it to me.

Reviews
158

What I Didn’t Like

  1. The pacing: Too choppy and fast, especially in the first few episodes
  2. The dialogue: Too much “Shyamalaning” (repetition); too much filler (like the Winx praising each other); lots of cheesy lines, even in serious scenes
  3. The pop star side plot: Interfered with the main plot; felt like filler; made scenes where people didn’t recognize the Winx seem silly
  4. Fewer fairy scenes: Too many spy and pop star scenes instead (first season had better mix)
  5. How the Winx gained Onyrix: No explanation; “evolution” idea felt cheap
  6. Onyrix’s limitations: More powerful spells, but no different from Dreamix except for appearance; the Winx couldn’t use it on Earth, which made no sense
  7. Aisha’s personality: Too aggressive and angry; not enough (or any) of her gentle side from Winx Club
  8. The returning Neverlanders: Seemed dumber and less intimidating than in the first season (especially Smee and the zombie pirates)
  9. Musa and Flora’s nemeses: Based on their powers instead of character flaws
  10. Tecna’s character flaw: Felt made up on the spot; not enough built up to her nemesis (she wasn’t acting like a “control freak” before that episode)
  11. The prophecy: Random; added nothing to the story
  12. Matt and Tinkerbell’s love story: Shallow and rushed; felt creepy since Tinkerbell loved his father, too
  13. Venomya’s role: Felt out of place in the story; could have been better integrated, even if she’s next season’s villain

What I Liked

  1. The animation: Lots of improvement, even from season one
  2. The Winx’s new spells: Creative uses of magic like Flora traveling through Earth’s root system, Stella bending lasers, etc. (I’d like to see more spells like this in Winx Club)
  3. Matt: Entertaining new character; good character development
  4. The nemeses: Cool and intimidating character designs; interesting fight scenes with them
  5. The new outfits: Too many to keep track of, but all beautiful
  6. The overall story: Enjoyable; good integration and adaptation of the Peter Pan characters
  7. Stella’s back story: Moving and relatable scene; added much-needed depth to her character
  8. Finale (in Neverland): Stakes felt high; nice twist with Smee saving the day
  9. Cliffhanger: Interesting set up for a possible season three

Overall Thoughts

I prefer season one for the structure, dialogue, and character personalities, but I prefer season two for the action, magic, and overall story. World of Winx is okay to me, but because it’s an alternate universe, I treat it the same way as PopPixie. They’re both just fun side stories, as well as ways for Rainbow to try new ideas.

Regardless of the cliffhanger, I don’t want a season three. I wish instead of continuing to make a separate show, Rainbow would put these ideas into Winx Club (except the spy stuff). World of Winx would have been just as good if it had been Winx season eight. Plus, it would have restored the fanbase’s love for Winx Club. Instead, many fans seem ready to abandon it for good and only watch WoW from now on.

Still, this show proves Rainbow isn’t “out of ideas” and can still make good seasons with these characters. I hope the writers learned from this experience and filled Winx season eight with the same depth and creativity.

Musings & Rants
65

Warning: if you haven’t seen World of Winx season two yet, turn back now if you don’t want spoilers!

Still here? Okay, here we go.

Overall, I didn’t like this season. I felt indifferent towards it at first, but as my sister watched it, I noticed I agreed with most of her complaints. I’ll tell you what she said about both seasons later.

If I could sum up this season up in one word, it would be “spectacle.” It put on a flashy show: lots of action, powerful spells, darker scenes, and interesting enemies. But that just distracted us from the major problems, including a plot flaw that makes the Winx look like idiots.

In the first episode, they get whisked away to Neverland — a.k.a. The World of Dreams — after randomly gaining Onyrix. They run into Jim and Smee, who tell them Tinkerbell’s back story: Peter Pan left her, she fell into despair, and she become the evil queen they fought last season. Naturally, the Winx feel sorry for her. They decide to find Peter, hoping she’ll turn back into a good fairy if she sees him again. Nothing wrong so far.

While they’re looking for him, which later changes to looking for his son Matt, the Spirit of the World of Dreams — a.k.a. the Spirit of the Forest — occasionally interrupts to tell them a Neverlander is in danger. Here’s when the Winx start contradicting themselves. After Flora, Tecna, and Aisha save the Alligator Man in “Mermaids on Earth” (2X04), Flora says the Winx and the Neverlanders are “united against the queen [of the World of Dreams].”

What does that mean? Don’t the Winx wanna make her good again? Why is Flora talking like they wanna fight Tinkerbell?

This continues throughout the season. Every time the Winx save a Neverlander, they send them to Jim’s army. At the same, they keep looking for Matt so they can solve the conflict peacefully. But once they find him, they even train him for battle — before they learn about the prophecy!

Because of this, the “betrayal” arc near the end makes no sense. In “Technomagic Trap” (2X10), as soon as the Winx return to Earth, Jim rallies the Neverlanders to march on Tinkerbell. Matt says maybe he should go alone and try to talk to her (the Winx’s plan), but Jim convinces him to join them.

I remember being confused when I watched this scene. Why would anyone, especially Matt, be surprised about fighting Tinkerbell? The Winx made it sound like that was the point. They even helped him find a sword. What did he expect to do with it?

Bloom also says Matt will “help turn Tinkerbell back into the good fairy she was.” Then why did he need warrior training? What was the point of being “the hero of Neverland” if he wasn’t supposed to fight her?

In the next episode, “Jim’s Revenge” (2X11), the Winx’s plan works. As soon as Tinkerbell sees Matt, she gives up her fairy powers and her crown. Problem solved, right? Nope. Jim wants justice and convinces the Neverlanders to attack her. The Winx try to protect her.

It’s a clash of ideals: justice vs. mercy — expect the Winx spent all season planting the “defeat Tinkerbell” idea in the Neverlanders’ heads, too.

Wait a minute. They just wanted to fight the shadow creatures, not Tinkerbell. Right?

Yes, the shadow creatures were everywhere, and the Neverlanders had to defend themselves. But that’s not how the Winx pitched it. They kept saying, “Defeat the queen!”

  • Flora in ep. 4: “We are all on the same team now and united against the queen!”
  • Bloom in ep. 4: “The more we are, the better we can fight the queen!”
  • Stella in ep. 6: Defeat the evil queen ruling in Neverland!”

See? It’s like they forgot she was Tinkerbell! Even if they meant “defeat her shadow creatures,” it doesn’t explain why they trained Matt for battle if they just wanted him to talk her out of her wickedness.

I’m getting confused trying to explain this, so here’s a TL;DR.

From the beginning, the Winx wanted to make Tinkerbell good again. Their plan was to find Peter Pan (later Matt) and bring him to Neverland. Jim wanted to destroy Tinkerbell. They all wanted to save Neverland, but they had different ideas for how to do it. But for some reason, the Winx tried to play both angles: looking for Matt and helping Jim build his army. Why were they surprised by the outcome?

Didn’t he trick them into thinking he believed their plan would work? After all, what he really wanted was power.

It seemed that way, but again, that doesn’t explain why they kept talking about fighting her, too. Bottom line: the Winx’s actions and dialogue didn’t match their goal.

That’s just one of the problems I have with this season. I’ll talk more about it after “What If Wednesday.”

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.
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