What If Wednesday
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Sorry for skipping “What If Wednesday” last week. I bit off more than I could chew by trying to finish the “Yin and Yang” post, chapter two of my fanfic, and this post around the same time. Hopefully, I can get back on track now.

Today’s “What If” question: “What if Specialists and Paladins could have advanced forms like fairies do?”

What do I mean by “advanced forms?” I don’t mean transformations, per se, but that depends on the class. Specialists and Paladins are different from each other — at least they’re supposed to be. Rainbow hasn’t clearly shown the difference between them, so their development could be a way to distinguish them from each other.

Specialists

Almost eight years ago (yes, it’s been that long), I wrote a post asking what in Magix Specialists are. Griffin calls them “wizards” in “A Friendship Sundered” (1X08), and the season two website called Codatorta a “magician.” Those terms don’t make sense because Specialists don’t have magic powers. (Helia does, but they probably run in the family.)

Specialists just seem to be all-purpose heroes. They fight monsters, save princesses, carry out secret missions, etc. We can guess Redfountain isn’t the only place that trains them, since in season five, Roy wore a different uniform designed for underwater missions.

Is that all there is to them? Maybe not. The word specialist means “a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field.” In some Winx dubs, the Specialists are called Experts. Same idea.

The first time I remember hearing “Specialist” in this sense is in season six. In “A Monster Crush” (6X21), Tecna’s mother Magnethia asks Timmy what field he specializes in. Aisha says he’s “a pro at mechanic design, navigation, and all-around problem solving.” I’d add strategy to that list, too. He’s used all of those skills in missions over the years.

What about the other Specialists? Do they have specific skills other than fighting? I can’t think of any. Riven was good at picking locks, but he probably learned that growing up. (The season two website said he was “skilled as a thief.”) Maybe Timmy’s the special one. 😛

Thirteen years and seven seasons later, it’s still not clear what Specialists are. That doesn’t mean they’re worthless, though. The Magic Universe needs non-magic beings, too. Magic fails sometimes and isn’t appropriate for every situation. Plus, the Specialists have always known more about magic creatures and how to handle them.

What would an advanced Specialist form look like? Maybe we’ve seen it already. Since Sky’s squad got new outfits and weapons in season six, maybe they graduated. If so, what will their futures be like? How will they use what they’ve learned?

Paladins

Nex and Thoren may be new to the Boys Club, but Paladins aren’t new to the series. Rainbow first used the term “Paladin” in the original Winx season two. In “The Mysterious Stone” (2X07), when Avalon takes off his hood and reveals himself, Bloom, Stella, and Aisha yell, “It’s the Paladin who rescued us from the Trix!”

When they met Avalon in “Magic Bonding” (2X05), he was wearing armor and a pair of angel wings. Some fans think that Avalon was the impostor sent by Darkar. Here’s a question, though: how did those three know he was a Paladin? He didn’t tell them. They said it like it was common knowledge — or it was the first term that popped into their heads.

4Kids tried to expand on the concept of Paladins. In “Professor Avalon’s Secret” (2X09) — a.k.a. “The Angel of Doom” — Avalon says, “There are 10,000 Paladins with the same wings I have.” Yes, I know the 4Kids dub doesn’t count, but why couldn’t Rainbow keep this idea?

The word paladin means a “knightly or heroic champion.” That sounds like the Specialists, but here’s an interesting detail: it has a religious background. Medieval legends talk about an order of Paladins called The Twelve Peers who served Charlemagne, a devout Christian emperor of Rome. (I’m not condoning his actions; I’m just stating historical facts.)

Fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons and World of Warcraft have adapted this by making Paladins “holy warriors.” They embody chivalry, purity, and light, and they have magic abilities like healing. That sounds like Avalon, doesn’t it? His wings radiated a powerful light, and he was able to restore the Winx’s energy.

No one would describe Nex and Thoren as “chivalrous” and “pure,” though. (Maybe Thoren, but not Nex.) That’s fine, though, because it means they have room for character development. I’d love to see them become holy warriors.

Rainbow could easily make Avalon’s winged form an advanced Paladin form. How would they earn it? A year at Light Rock Monastery? A character arc where they have to confront their inner darkness? Imagine the possibilities!

That’s it for today’s “What If Wednesday.” I’m not sure what I’ll talk about next time, but I have a list of topics already. Stay tuned.

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
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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.

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Today’s featured fanwork is from a blast from the past from Annorelka! Check out her deviantArt page for more great artwork!

If you want your fan art or fan fic to be featured on the blog, send it to [email protected]!

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Reviews
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winx complete orig season 1 coverI got my copy of “Winx Club: The Complete Original Season 1″ boxset from Amazon yesterday! 😀 If you haven’t decided yet if you wanna buy it, here’s a short review to help you make up your mind.

First things first: this is the RAI English dub. Sorry, 4Kids fans. I doubt we’ll ever see another DVD of that dub again, especially since 4KidsTV doesn’t exist anymore.

I’ve already shared my opinion of the RAI English dub. To me, the voice acting ranges from “cringe-worthy” to “okay,” and occasionally hops off the chart and reaches “good.” But I still chose to buy this boxset because:

  • I wanna support Winx any way I can
  • It’s the first complete, unedited version of season one released in the U.S.
  • I can use it to make cleaner screenshots 😛

WHERE AND HOW TO BUY

Winx Club: The Complete Original Season 1″ comes in three forms:

  • Boxset: Check Amazon, eBay, and retail store sites like BarnesAndNoble.com and Kmart.com. The retail price is $24.99, but most places are selling it for less. Barnes & Noble has it right now for $14.99. That’s the cheapest I’ve seen. (I wish I’d shopped around a little more. 🙁 )
  • 2-Disc Volumes: Each of the two volumes — “Realm of Magix” and “Defeating the Trix” — contains 13 episodes and the “Fairy Identity Booklet” (more on that later). You can buy them from the sites above, or you can look for them in stores. I saw them at Walmart a few days ago.
  • Digital: Volumes 1 & 2 are also on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. Get a few episodes for $1.99 each, or save $10 by buying a whole volume for $14.99 (iTunes only).

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