Musings & Rants
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"Hina Logic" PowerI love talking to my brother. He sees the world so differently from anyone else I know, and I always learn something new or see an old topic from a new angle. A couple weeks ago — July 4th, I think — we got on the subject of shows and movies where the characters use magic. (Yes, he’s a geek, too. 😛 )

It started when I told him about a new magical girl/fantasy-action anime called Hina Logic: From Luck & Logic. He watches more anime than I do, so he can tell right away if a story will be cliché. Takes place in a high school? Has a clumsy airhead as the main character who’s somehow a prodigy? Uses its most important terms so often, you get sick of hearing them (for this show, it’s “Logicalist,” “Foreigner,” and “Trancing”)?

I’m not sure how many anime I just described.

My brother wasn’t interested, and one of his reasons surprised me. In shows where the main characters have magic powers, he doesn’t like it if:

  • They’re constantly impressed by them, even they’re common
  • They don’t use them for everyday things

At the time, he was playing an MMO. He wasn’t thinking about where his computer came from or what powers it. It just worked. But a century ago, no one could have imagined pressing buttons to control a creature from another world inside of a black box. That would look like magic to them!

He told me to look around at the objects in the room. What were we doing with them right then? How did I feel about them? My answer was something like this: “We’re doing the best we can with what we have, but we don’t have magic.”

What I meant was we were using the resources we have in our world: paper, plastic, electricity, etc. We use them for everyday things like drying our hair or cooking food. Some of them are limited, but we’re trying to reuse them or find more sustainable sources.

Why aren’t more fantasy worlds like that? If magic is abundant like electricity, shouldn’t the characters use it the same way we use our resources? An example my brother gave was in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. When Tina takes Newt and Jacob to the house where she and her sister live, the two witches use magic to make them dinner. The potatoes, carrots, fruits, plates, bowls, and rolling pin move on their own.

Jacob the muggle — I mean “no-maj” — was amazed, but Newt and the witches didn’t bat an eyelash. They probably do things like that every day and don’t even think about it. If they have magic, why not use it to make their lives easier? Isn’t that what we muggles use technology for: convenience?

My brother couldn’t think of another show or movie that portrays magic as “ordinary” — especially not an anime. Instead, in many fantasy stories, the characters only use magic as a last resort. They live their everyday lives as if they’re human.

What about Winx Club? Sometimes, the Winx use magic for mundane things like trying on dresses or pouring tea. Alfea’s lights and the flying cars in Magix City are powered by magic. Yet the characters still have to conserve their energy, and their lives don’t feel much different from ours. Does that count as magic being integrated into everyday life?

Also, people who have magic powers are treated like they’re special, but they shouldn’t be. Almost everyone’s a fairy, a witch, an elf, a wizard, or some other magic being. Their power sources may be unique, but that’s it. To paraphrase The Incredibles, when everybody’s super, no one is.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Is magic in Winx Club treated as special or ordinary?

Side note: By the way, my brother eventually watched Hina Logic. Neither of us likes it. 😛

Video
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Now this is a surprise! Rainbow made a video of ALL the Winx’s transformations from seasons 1-7! That includes Charmix from seasons one, two, and the Nick specials; the 3D Enchantix, Believix, and Sirenix from the movies; and Roxy and Daphne’s transformations. (Roxy’s grouped with Believix, while Daphne’s grouped with Bloomix even though she’s a Sirenix fairy.)

With eleven years worth of footage to go through, something was bound to get left out. They forgot Aisha’s Charmix/Magic Winx transformations — both from the original and the Nick specials. That’s a shame. Her Charmix is my favorite. 🙁

Still, the video’s worth watching for nostalgia. Bon appétit, Winx fans!

Musings & Rants
20

Nabu’s a difficult character to talk about, since he’s hands down the fan favorite in the Boys Club. He stood out because of his skin tone, because he wasn’t a Specialist, and because he was able to use magic like the Winx. Also, like his eventual fiancée Aisha, he showed some leadership ability. The Specialists took orders from him at times instead of Sky.

He also had the closest and most meaningful relationships. Obviously, he and Aisha were deeply in love, which made some of their friends jealous. Riven, during his drama with Musa in season four, often went to him for advice or just an ear to listen. The two of them became best friends, to the point where Riven cried after his death.

The funny thing about his relationship with Aisha is most fans just remember them as the happiest couple in season four. But when Nabu (a.k.a. “Ophir”) was first introduced in season three, Aisha hated him. She’d sworn off guys at that point in her life, and having one stalking her annoyed her to no end. Let’s look back at their love story.

Did I just call Nabu a stalker? Yes, I did. 😛 It doesn’t matter how nice he was. If you’re watching someone through a telescope while hiding in the bushes, following them wherever they go, then lying about it when you get caught, you’re a stalker. Plain and simple.

When Aisha meets him in “Valtor’s Box” (ep. 3X18), she scolds him for “slinking around” and eavesdropping, then races off in a huff. Later in “The Red Tower” (ep. 3X21), when she discovers he snuck onto the Owl before their mission to the Golden Kingdom, she tackles him and tries to put him in a headlock. (He was invisible, so she ends up grabbing his feet instead.) He introduces himself as “Ophir” and tries to be friendly with her, but she doesn’t trust him.

The others agree he can’t be trusted. After all, thanks to him, Valtor was able to steal the Agador Box in ep. 3X18. Aisha and Tecna think he’s Valtor’s spy, so Musa puts magic-sealing handcuffs on him and Aisha decides to lock him up in the brig of the ship. Unfortunately, thanks to some bad timing by Timmy, they get locked up together. 😛

This is when they finally get a chance to talk, and Aisha finds out they have things in common: they like the same music and have a similar rebellious attitude (revealed by Nabu’s favorite line in their favorite song: “No one makes decisions for me but me”). Later, he shows off some surfing skills he learned “from a wave wizard on Andros.” Aisha’s very impressed.

In “The Wizard’s Challenge” (ep. 3X23), he finally tells her his real name and why he’d been stalking her: he wanted to know more about her, since his parents had picked her to marry him. He also reveals, to Aisha’s surprise, that he rebelled against their decision and ran away from home. But in the end, he fell in love with her on his own.

What I like about their romance is everything worked out for them and their parents. In most stories where a kid rebels against their parents, the kid ends up being right for “following their heart,” and the parents look like fools who didn’t understand their child’s needs. But Nabu and Aisha fell in love anyway, which proved their parents had picked the right partners for them. It was a good twist.

In season four, Rainbow tricked into thinking they were about to settle down into a happy life together. He proposes to her in “Winx Club Forever” (ep. 4X11), and they start talking about where they want to live (Earth was a possibility). It was all to lull us into a false sense of hope.

Then two episodes before the end of the season, Nabu gives his life to save Roxy’s people. Just like that, he’s gone forever. It was a bold move for a show aimed at girls as young as four years old. Read the rest of this post

Episode Reviews
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Like I said in the last review, I loved this episode — at least the first time I watched it. It didn’t impress me as much when I went back through to summarize it. But it’s still one of my favorites in the Magic Marathon and possibly the whole season.

I’ll try to finish my reviews this week. Remember: pretend I haven’t watched the next four episodes. No spoilers, please!

EPISODE BREAKDOWN

The Trix love The Children of the Night! Great story, Selina! Hey, wait! They’d be perfect minions to help them conquer the Magic Universe! But first things first: time to finally get rid of Bloom! Selina orders the vampires to attack Bloom’s house.

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She’s climbin’ in your windows, she’s snatchin’ your people up…

Thankfully, Bloom has a head start. She and the pixies arrive just in time to warn her parents and defend the entrances. But one vampire still gets in, and boy is she persistent!

Bloom decides to take the fight outside the main street so no one else gets hypnotized. She and the pixies lead the vampires to Gardenia Park and try to face them head-on, but they’re quickly surrounded!

Suddenly, a magic bolt knocks one of the vampires out. It’s the Winx! Perfect timing as usual! Even they’re not strong enough to beat the Children of the Night, but they manage to scare them away.

Flora tells Bloom they came because the pixies were in danger. (Oh, and they missed you, Bloom. 😛 ) Plus, Eldora’s flower grows somewhere in Gardenia! Bloom knows where it is: The Forest of Flowers, where she and Selina used to play when they were kids. She recognized it from a picture she drew back then. (Nice use of one of her hobbies.)

Meanwhile, the park is giving Stella a case of déjà vu. Of course! It’s where she and Bloom first met! Thanks to that fateful encounter, Bloom left Earth to study magic at Alfea, and the Winx Club was born! They’ve come so far since then!

Bloom apologizes for leaving. What happened in the greenhouse was shocking, but she can’t imagine a life without her friends. Awwwwww! Group hug!

Tecna breaks up the lovefest by reminding everyone The Children of the Night are still alive. The Winx need some advice on how to beat them. Time to call Daphne at HQ! (Because Tecna can’t just look up “vampires” on her magi-phone. Oh, no! That’s too much work!) The professor tells them what we already knew: vampires hate sunlight. You’re up, Stella!

Now that they have a plan, they just need to find the vampires without attracting attention. Stella comes up with what might be her weirdest idea yet: turning herself into a street cleaner and Bloom into…a broom. She’s “Broom Bloom” now! Ha ha! Get it?

No, Stella. We don’t. Moving on.

capture_004_01062014_115726_732The Winx’s search leads them to the center of town where a Goth Fashion Contest is taking place. While Stella fills out an entry form, her friends scan the crowd. They’re something…off about everyone. They seem…out of it.

Turns out they’re all servants of the Children of the Night! It’s a trap! The vampires ambush the five girls and drain some of their power! But there’s plenty left. They decide to take them to their hideout and absorb the rest there.

Stella finally notices. After the pixies save her from the mindslaves, she transforms and follows the vampires to a castle in the middle of a forest. (Did Selina summon that, too?) Lockette uses her location magic to find a place to sneak in.

Just before the head female starts draining Bloom, Stella swoops in. She can’t beat the vampires on her own with energy beams, but she still has her secret weapon. She gathers all the power of the two suns of Solaria…and blasts them with a massive Ray of Pure Light! The vampires dissolve, the mindslaves are freed from their control, and the Winx get their power back!

capture_002_01062014_115452_751Gardenia’s saved and Bloom’s back with her friends. Time to head home, right? Oh, wait. The fashion contest. *Sigh*

Long story short, Stella wins with a line she calls “A Shimmer in the Shadows,” and she dedicates her win to “the person who inspires us all to shine.” Who would that be? Bloom, of course!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

This was a well-balanced episode — lots of action and just enough comedy. It didn’t waste a lot of time with pixie antics, wardrobe changes, or ballet. I got nervous about the fashion show, since in the past, those have dragged on for several minutes. (I’m thinking of “The Shark’s Eye.”) Thankfully, this one didn’t. And the outfits were pretty cute. 🙂

My favorite scene was when Stella used her Ray of Pure Light spell. I’ve always loved the visual of a halo of light melting away darkness; it’s one of the reasons light magic is my favorite type. You could argue she should have done that earlier in the episode, but it was cooler as an ending.

From one of the best episodes in the marathon…to one of the worst: “The Fairy Godmother.” The Winx finally meet Eldora, who tells them about her history with Selina. The Trix take advantage of their relaxed mood to ambush them with Specters from the Legendarium.

I didn’t like this episode. I’ll tell you why next time.

Read the rest of this post

Opinions
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Who else was impressed when Flora blew up that rock in “The Lost Library?” Sure, she’s the fairy of nature, but I never pegged her for an Earthbender! 😛 She’s always been the tree-loving, “friend to the forest” type. This felt kinda out of character for her. In a good way.

That got me thinking about her powers, and I came to this conclusion: even though she doesn’t act like it, Flora is as powerful as Bloom.

The show seems to say otherwise. For the past two seasons, Flora’s been the enemies’ designated punching bag. Every time we need to see they’re a match for the Winx, they target her. The poor girl’s been captured by monsters, turned to stone, and knocked out of the sky more times than I’d like to remember.

Bloom’s been through a lot, too, but it hasn’t hurt her reputation as the strongest fairy in the Magic Dimension. Flora, on the other hand, now looks like a pushover. Read the rest of this post