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.

Episode Reviews
30

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School’s out for summer! 😀 I should have more time to blog now, but I might take a break for a few weeks. I haven’t decided yet because I don’t wanna miss the trailer and/or premiere of World of Winx (whenever that’s gonna be). I’ll let you know before I go.

Last episode, while the Winx were in prehistoric Magix, Aisha bonded with a Cry-Cry named Squonk. She decided to bring the little guy to the present. But he wasn’t the animal with the First Color of the Universe, so the mission continues.

EPISODE BREAKDOWN

1. While the Winx are in class (I’ll talk about that later), Aisha leaves Kiko and the Pixies on Squonk-sitting duty. Like all the other times the Winx have asked for their help, they fail. Cherie won’t stop yelling at him. Kiko accidentally bonks him in the head with a ball, which makes him and Piff cry. Finally, the Pixie of Weather can’t take it anymore and tries to zap Squonk with lightning! The little guy gets spooked and races into the school to find his new mommy, Aisha. The Pixies chase after him.
Hi, Pixies. Didn’t think you’d be in this season. Last time the Winx found new creatures to bond with, you guys went on vacation. I guess Rainbow was going for a record amount of cuteness, especially if you include the Mini-World animals.

Is it just me, or have the Pixies been useless since season three? All they’ve done is be cute, cause trouble, fly away from monsters, and dig a giant plot hole. I wish Rainbow had left them out this time. They only show up in a couple more episodes, and what do they do? Cause more trouble and be cute some more. Nothing important.

The only thing I liked in this scene was Cherie losing her temper. I haven’t watched much of PopPixie, but I know poor anger management was a hallmark of her character. When she gets mad, watch for stray lightning bolts! Did we see that side of her last season? I think she had a fight with Stormy, but anyone could get mad at her. 😛

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2. Meanwhile in Wizgiz’s class, the wee professor is teaching a lesson on Wild Magic, which he says is “among the darkest magical practices of Metamorphosimbiosis.” If it gets out of control, it can make any living thing go savage. He’s about to do an experiment when Squonk bursts into the room, leaps into Aisha’s arms, and cries waterfalls of tears. She and Bloom apologize and send him away with the Pixies again.
I’ll say it now: why are the Winx in class? Are they students again, or are they teaching assistants (or teachers)? It feels like Rainbow can’t make up their minds. Even at the beginning of the season, Faragonda suggested they’re not students when she said they should set an example for the students. Yet they’re taking classes? 😕

I’m gonna echo what other fans have said: they may be in some sort of graduate program created for them. They get to learn more about magic, but they still have teaching/teacher’s assistant duties. Plus, it looks like their adventures are affecting the school’s curriculum. Wizgiz never taught them about Wild Magic before.

Whatever’s going on, I love seeing Alfea classes again. They were always one of my favorite parts of the show. Also, kudos to whoever wrote the English script for this episode and to the actor who voiced Wizgiz. I loved his lines in this scene.

3. The Winx visit Roxy to see if she’s got new info on Fairy Animals. She does (sort of). If Kalshara and Brafilius wanna find the animal with the First Color of the Universe, too, then whenever an animal’s in danger, it could be the one they’re after. Luckily, Roxy knows a way to detect when animals are in trouble. She’s created a universe-wise alarm system run by Yaffles, birds who can sense danger to all species. One of the Yaffles senses something threatening the Magiwolves on Lynphea. The Winx decide to go to Flora’s house to see if her parents can tell them what’s happening.
I skipped the scene before this, when Aisha was saying she felt like meeting Squonk was her destiny. Roxy brings this up again in a later episode. I couldn’t take it seriously at first because the Fairy Animals were so cutesy, but it felt more meaningful when we saw their true forms. I bet that was the point. It was almost like Rainbow was saying, “They look silly now, but just wait…”

Back to Roxy’s scene. Poor thing. 🙁 She’s been demoted from potential seventh Winx to mission control. It doesn’t feel right.

Yes, she has the strongest connection with animals, but wouldn’t that have been more useful out in the field? Think of all the times her magic could have helped them. For example, in “Mission in the Jungle” (7X11), she could have calmed down the tiger cubs. Or maybe she could have broken the Wild Magic spell possessing the poachers.

I think that’s why Rainbow sidelined her. They couldn’t make an animal-themed season without the Fairy of Animals, but she couldn’t be too involved or she’d upstage the Winx. Almost everything they did this season, she probably could have done herself.

That’s my issue with transformations that are based on one of the Winx’s powers. It makes sense for them to exist, since the Winx aren’t the only fairies with these power sources. But when all six (or seven) of them can do what normally only one of them can do, suddenly that girl isn’t special anymore.

Plus, you wonder why she needs that transformation. Did Flora need Sophix? It may have been the Gift of Wisdom, but it was nature-based. Did Aisha need Sirenix? She’s already a good swimmer, and she already draws power from the oceans. All she got out of the deal was a “special” spell and a key to the Infinite Ocean. And the biggest question of all: why on Earth did Bloom need Bloomix? It wouldn’t even have existed without her! 😕

Anyway…

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Even if I hate the purpose of it, Roxy’s threat detection system is cool enough. It makes me think of a Mega Man X game stage select screen. Roxy’s like Alia, detecting Mavericks loose in a remote area and sending the Maverick Hunters out to —

Okay, I’ll stop. My nerd is showing. 😛

4. When the Winx reach Flora’s house, they see her parents — Rollos and Alyssa — taking care of a pair of Magiwolves. After Bloom accidentally gets Alyssa off on a tangent about plants (like mother, like daughter), Flora tells her parents why they’ve come. Rollos says the Magiwolves are being infected by spores from mutated fungi. The two Magiwolves the couple healed offer to lead the Winx to where the mutation began. Before they leave, Rollos gives Flora some magic orchid seeds that can cancel the mutation.
Those of you who’ve watched the 4Kids dub, do you remember how they made Flora a hippie? (Her catchphrase was, “Peace out,” for Pete’s sake. 😕 ) I’m starting to think they had the right idea. Look at this house! I know Lynpheans would wanna live in harmony with nature, but something about this place screams “counterculture” to me.

And these are her parents?

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We first saw Alyssa last season in “Mythix” (6X14). She didn’t come off as eccentric to me, but I guess I was wrong. Her husband’s much crazier, but not all the buds have bloomed up there for her, either.

Don’t get me wrong. I like them both. They’re just…different than the other Winx’s parents. Still, I’m glad we’ve finally met them.

5. The Winx don’t get far before a squeaky voice stops them in their tracks. It’s Flora’s little sister Miele. As always, she wants to tag along, but Flora won’t let her. She’s still nervous about what happened to her when Lynphea College got attacked. The other Winx agree, and they leave Miele behind.
Flora, how long are you gonna do this to her? Yes, she got captured by the Treants, but she still proved she’s a capable fairy. Heck, she got knocked out of the sky fewer times than you do!

I think the “no, Miele” routine is getting stale. It made sense in season three because she was just a kid, and it made sense last season because Flora hadn’t seen her in a while and hadn’t seen what she can do. Now I think we’re pushing it. I don’t get why Flora still doesn’t believe in her.

In fact, why is she so overprotective of her? Being an older sister myself, I can relate, but you have to let your younger siblings make their own choices at some point. They’ll never grow if you don’t. (I hope my brother and sister don’t think I coddle them like this. 🙁 )

If Rainbow’s gonna keep this up, I think they need to give Flora a reason to act like this. Did something happen to Miele when she was little that made Flora so protective? Otherwise, she’s just smothering her. It’s not sweet anymore.

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6. The Magiwolves lead the Winx to a creepy-looking area of the forest, where the giant mutant fungi are. Since the Magiwolves are too scared to go further, the Winx continue on their own. Flora sees something watching them. She tries to point it out to the others, but it vanishes as quickly as it appeared. 

As they keep walking, she remembers Wizgiz’s lesson. The fungi could be possessed by Wild Magic! Sure enough, they start trying to trap the Winx! The girls transform and fight back, but the fungi are resistant to their spells because Butterflix magic — the essence of nature — can’t hurt nature itself. One by one, the Winx are captured and slowly drained of their magic energy. Flora remembers the orchid seeds her dad gave her, but before she can use them, she gets captured, too!

The extra-long Butterflix sequence almost killed the mood, but this was still a good scene. There was a twist here I liked, too. Remember last review when I complained that whenever it’s one girl’s time to shine, the others get put out of commission? Rainbow made it look like Flora would be the hero, but she couldn’t escape, either.

Let’s be honest, though: it was predictable. Miele foreshadowed it before they left: “But what if you needed me, and I wasn’t there?” Plus, every time Flora tells her to stay behind, they end up needing her. So while I’m sure most of us saw it coming, it was nice to see the Winx fail for once because it reminds us they’re not perfect. (Thank goodness because perfect characters are boring.) Read the rest of this post

Musings & Rants
19

Helia’s one of my favorite guys in the Boys Club. Unlike Sky or even Brandon, he’s not just nice — he’s gentle. Fighting isn’t really in his nature (even though he’s good at it). He originally dropped out of Red Fountain, but he re-enrolls after he meets Flora. I guess he just wanted to be around her more. 😛

In my opinion, Helia’s the most attractive guy in the group, even with the “spider ‘do” he got in season four. 😛 I’ve always wondered if he represents the Japanese character type “The Bishounen” (bishōnen) or bishie for short. In case you don’t know Japanese or don’t watch Japanese anime, here’s a definition (via TV Tropes):

…the Bishōnen, or “beautiful boy”, is a male character that possesses androgynous or ‘feminine’ physical traits. He is usually tall, slender with almost no fat and little to no muscle, and no body or facial hair….It is not uncommon for those at the more feminine end to be mistaken for women by other characters…

Technically, since Helia’s in his twenties now, he’d be a biseinen (“beautiful man”). But when he was introduced in season two, he fit the definition pretty well. Bishounen also tend to be intelligent, more sensitive, and adored by the women around them — and sometimes the men as well.

It might sound like I’m just gushing over him since I like him so much. But we know Winx Club was inspired by mahou shoujo (magical girl) anime like Sailor Moon. Bishounen frequently appear in shoujo (girls’) and mahou shoujo series, so it’s not hard to believe Rainbow would create a character of that type. Read the rest of this post