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

Episode Reviews
45

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This was my favorite episode so far this season. Yes, it had problems — occasional snail pace, way too much focus on Bloom and Daphne, a few unnecessary scenes, etc. But it was still enjoyable. The dialogue was acceptable, and the animation was eye-catching (especially in the Vortex of Flames).

Oh. The animation. Let me get that gripe out of the way. I caught three errors:

I can forgive a few mistakes here and there, but these happened several times throughout the episode. Nick animation staff, step up your quality control!

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Bloom, Timmy warned you about the Dragon Fire Soup.

Moving on.

It’s the day of Daphne’s coronation as Crown Princess of Domino! Question: why didn’t her parents bundle it with her “welcome home” party? Maybe they didn’t wanna overwhelm her. After all, she’s still getting used to being corporeal again.

When Bloom steps outside to find her friends — after cheering her sis up — she suddenly gets…magic heartburn? At least she knows the cause. It’s when she split her Dragon Flame among the Winx back in episode 6X03. Guess the saying’s true: no good deed goes unpunished.

Meanwhile, the Trix give Diaspro a test to see if she’s good enough to join them. They send her to Daphne’s coronation with one objective: “find a way to destroy Bloom.” Thanks to Selina, they learn about the Vortex of Flames, a fire pit conveniently located under Domino Palace. That should work.

capture_096_13012014_101706_066 After a looong dance sequence — made unbearable thanks to a couple dignitaries gushing over how perfect Bloom and Daphne are — Bloom’s “heartburn” returns, and she collapses. Dr. Daphne diagnoses her with Dragon Flame Deficiency and prescribes sleep. But before Sky can carry Bloom to her room, Fire Eaters, summoned by Selina, block his path!

The Winx and Daphne transform and clear them away. Thoren helps, too, proving he’s not the jerk Sky has thought he was since they were kids.

Down the hallway is another roadblock: Diaspro. She tries to convince the two cousins to take Bloom to the Vortex of Flames instead, since fire’s her element. Sky doesn’t believe her, of course. But after he’s knocked out by a Fire Eater, Thoren ditches him and follows her.

When Sky wakes up, he remembers what happened and warns Daphne about Diaspro’s scheme. The History of Magix professor whips out another fun fact: The Vortex of Flames was a training ground for Dragon Flame keepers. Bloom’s too weak to handle it at the moment, which means…it’ll kill her. Not good.

New plan: The Winx will hold off the Fire Eaters while Daphne leads Sky there. Thoren’s just about to drop Bloom in when they arrive. Thankfully, he listens to their pleas.

But Diaspro’s determined this time. She knocks the fire fairy out of his hands, levitates her over the pit, and lets go!

You’d think Daphne would just swoop down and catch her, right? Too logical. She attacks Diaspro instead. *Sigh* It’s wingless Sky who tries to stop Bloom’s descent. He almost manages to reach her hand, but Thoren freaks out and yanks him up before he falls in with her. Oh, well.

Bloom’s a goner, right? Very funny. She suddenly comes to and springs into action.

Now, if I were plummeting into a burning pit that looked like you-know-where, I’d be scared senseless. But somehow, Bloom had the presence of mind to realize where she was and decide to challenge it instead of flying away. Brave? Yes, but also hard to believe and kinda out of character.

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Bloom’s blooming Bloomix

But I think we can agree she’s truly earned her Bloomix. She overcame an assassination plot and used it to her advantage!

With her new powers, she wipes out all the Fire Eaters in a couple shots. Not a surprise. The other Winx did it, too, after they got Bloomix.

The episode ends with more dancing and a romantic moment between Thoren and Daphne. Kawaii.

Next episode (Jan. 26), Daphne leads the Winx on a tour of the Library of Alexandria, so they can learn more about the Legendarium. (I wish Roxy were here. She’s the Earth fairy, after all. 🙁 ) Read the rest of this post

Musings & Rants
19

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Bloom. First thing I think of when I hear that name: spring flowers.

Doesn’t sound like a good fit for a fire fairy, huh? Fire and flowers definitely don’t mix!

But flowers are more a part of Bloom’s identity than you might think. Here are some ways I thought of:

  • GARDENIA: The name of Bloom’s hometown — and a type of shrub that grows very sweet-smelling white flowers. 
  • FLOWER SHOP: Bloom’s adoptive mother, Vanessa, owns one. She asks Bloom to help out sometimes — much to her disappointment — so Bloom’s grown up caring for flowers. 
  • FLORA: How can you not love flowers when you’re best friends with a nature fairy? 😛 Flora shares her name with the Roman goddess of flowers and springtime. 
  • DAPHNE: Bloom’s sister — and another type of shrub with sweet-smelling flowers. It’s also the name of a nymph (surprise, surprise) who was chased by Apollo and turned into a laurel tree (daphne means “laurel” in Greek).  
  • “RED FLOWER”: Flora may not be the only Winx with flower power! In The Jungle Book, the animals call fire “The Red Flower.” 

QUESTION: Can you think of other ways Bloom’s name fits her? Or do you think it doesn’t?