Musings & Rants
68

“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
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

Musings & Rants
41

IMG_2403

In case you skipped Roy’s post, here’s a recap. Roy was just a minor character. He was her segue between mourning Nabu and falling in love with Nex. That’s why he vanished at the end of season six: Nickbow (and Aisha) didn’t need him anymore.

Aisha’s dating Nex now, and the fans aren’t happy. They pretend the two aren’t a real couple, or they act like Nex doesn’t exist by leaving him out of fan art or screenshot sets. Ms. “I’m-Banning-Guys-All-Together” can’t really be in love with a “bad boy,” right? And there’s no way he loves her back. He just loves competing with her.

Here’s my two cents. Yes, this is my opinion, but I’ve got some official stuff to back it up. Read the rest of this post

Musings & Rants
41
capture_007_18032015_193714_016

The fro seen ’round the net

Winx Club is racist.

That’s the latest charge against the show. It stems from a scene in “Miss Magix” (1X12), where a dark-skinned girl has a meltdown over her hairdo, which looks like a normal afro. A writer for a blog about black natural hair called it “a clear-cut case of racism and ignorance” and “yet another attempt to impress upon little Black girls that their natural beauty is a ‘catastrophe.'” (Full post here.)

Good grief.

I’m not gonna try to defend this scene. It’s been done already, and the critics aren’t listening. No matter what we say, the problem’s still the same: this looks like an afro.

But I don’t agree the scene is racist. Calling it that implies the insult was intentional, and we don’t know that for sure. The blogger claims she does, but was she at Rainbow when they wrote the script? No. Neither were we.

All she knows is she’s offended. She’ll never know if this was meant to be offensive. She’s just guessing and reacting like we are. The difference is we know enough about Winx to give Rainbow the benefit of the doubt. She barely knows anything about it. (Did you see version one of her post? She really skimped on the research. Screenshots below.)

Now her readers think the whole show’s racist. Some have said they’ll never let their kids watch it. One even slammed the fans who defended it, saying they have “no concept of right and wrong.” Wow.

Those readers and that blogger don’t know what they’re missing. In reality, Winx Club is one of the least racist, most diverse, and most progressive cartoons on TV.

Read the rest of this post

Thursday Your Say
38

capture_019_09052013_155307_275

Today’s “Thursday Your Say” is about the Winx Club couples.

We see it every season. A Winx catches her beau with another girl and immediately fears the worst: “He doesn’t love me anymore!” She tells her friends, cries, yells, and/or threatens to break up with him.

The Specialists are guilty, too. Riven butts in on Musa’s conversations with other guys. Sky sasses Bloom if she talks about another guy for more than ten seconds. He even spies on her!

Why so much jealousy?

Let’s be fair: if two people decide they’re a “couple,” they’re choosing to be tied to each other. That doesn’t mean neither of them can have a guy or girl friend — as long as that friendship doesn’t turn into something more.

In Winx Club, the drama’s usually caused by a misunderstanding, not cheating. The Winx (or the Specialist) apologizes — in her or his own way — and everything goes back to normal.

Until next season.

YOUR SAY: What’s wrong with the relationships in this show? Not enough trust? Not enough time together? Something else?