Musings & Rants
18

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Nex is not “the new Riven.” Got it? Good. 😛

Why did I write that post before this one? I mentioned why at the beginning of it. Whenever Nex says or does anything, the first thing people say, “He’s ‘the new Riven'” or, “He replaced Riven” or, “He’s just Riven except —,” or something like that. The fanbase keeps trying to force Nex into a role he wasn’t created for.

We’ll never understand his character until we stop comparing him to Riven. The truth is we still don’t know him well. He’s only been around for two seasons.

Here’s what I’ve been hinting at since the ep. 7X04 review. In season six, Rainbow began his love story with Aisha. This season, they focused on his relationships with the Specialists. In most of the episodes he was in, he interacted with one or two of them at a time:

  • “First Color of the Universe” (7X04) — Brandon, brief moment with Helia
  • “Back in the Middle Ages” (7X08) — Helia
  • “Winx Trapped!” (7X10) — Timmy
  • “Mission in the Jungle” (7X11) — Sky
  • “Back to Paradise Bay” (7X16) — Sky, brief moment with Brandon
  • “Lost in a Droplet” (7X17) — Timmy
  • “Baby Winx” (7X20) — Helia
  • “New Magic Harmony” (7X25) — Helia, Sky
  • “The Power of the Fairy Animals” (7X26) — Timmy, brief moment with Helia

The types of interactions varied. Sometimes he talked to them, sometimes he raced them, and sometimes he just exchanged glances with them. You could always tell who the chosen guy was for each episode. He and Nex would be isolated from the others, or Nex would be beside him in almost every scene. For example, in “Baby Winx” (7X20), he was almost always next to Helia:

This is nothing new for TV. For example, when Zuko joined the Gaang in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang, Katara, and Sokka each got an episode (or two) alone with him. When it was Toph’s turn, she lampshaded what the writers were up to: “Everyone else went on a life-changing field trip with Zuko.” (It didn’t work out for her, though. 😛 )

The guys’ moments with Nex didn’t change their lives, but they did reveal his real role in the Boys Club. (Hint: it has nothing to do with Riven.)

Read the rest of this post

Musings & Rants
58

nex and riven comic -- not alike

Like I said in my ep. 4 review, a lot of fans still see Nex as “the new Riven.” They also call him a “clone,” a “copy,” or a “replacement.” Bottom line: they think he’s just Riven with blue hair.

I thought this phase would be over by now. Nex would settle into the group, and we’d be able to tell how different he is. Boy, was I wrong. 🙄

No matter what this guy says or does, somebody ties it back to Riven:

  • He’s teasing Stella? Riven did that all the time! Nex is such a copycat!
  • Look at him racing Sky! Riven was Sky’s rival, so Nex must be his new rival!
  • Ugh, how could Aisha date him? She might as well be dating Riven!
  • No! As long as Nex is here, Riven can never come back! đŸ˜„

(No, I didn’t make those up. And that’s just a sample of what I’ve heard.)

Some fans barely treat him like a different character. Check out this description:

…a proud and bossy guy, and he always wants to prove he’s brave and ready to jump into action. He has a rebellious and dark nature, and because of the kind of aversion others have of him, he often tends to isolate himself. He feels he’s in competition with anyone who’s in front of him and is passionate about sports, which he trains himself in constantly, because of a strong desire to improve himself more and more and prove he’s the best at what he does….He’s an excellent swordsman and athlete….

Sounds like Riven, right? Musa calls him “mysterious and a bit of a rebel” on her WinxClub.com profile. He kept to himself a lot (he was a loner), he loved to compete (especially against Sky), he wielded a sword (before season six), and Rainbow said in one of his profiles that he was “good at all sports.” And remember in season six when he kept ignoring Musa and goofing off during missions, because he couldn’t wait to get back to training?

I’d give whoever wrote this kudos — if they’d written it for the right character. This is from Nex’s Italian Winx Wiki page (my translation). All I did was leave out the parts about season seven, The Halberd of the Wind, and being in love with Aisha. That shows you how alike some fans think these boys are.

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Time out, guys. No matter how you feel about Nex, he’s a main cast member now. Rainbow’s gonna treat him the same way as the boys we’ve known since the early seasons. And he might be here for the rest of the series, especially since — well, I’ll talk about that in the next post.

Until we let Nex be himself and stop judging him based on someone else, we’ll never understand his character. It’s time to separate him from Riven once and for all. Read the rest of this post

Episode Reviews
75

IMG_4502I know, I know. I’m extremely behind on these reviews. They take a while to write, so I started feeling overwhelmed. Plus, I always feel brain-fried and spacey while I’m in school.

Sorry, guys. Thanks for being patient with me. I’ll still review the whole season, but I won’t be anywhere near done when the last episode airs. (A lot of you have seen it all anyway, so maybe that’s okay.)

This review’s gonna look a little different to you. I’m trying to find the format that works best for me so I can churn these out faster, but still get most of my thoughts out. Let me know what you think.

When we — I mean, I — last left our heroes, they’d just gained the Butterflix power — everyone but Roxy 🙁 — and returned to the present. Now if I mention Kalshara, Brafilius, or Faragonda, I’ll be talking about their present-day selves.

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EPISODE SUMMARY

1. Kalshara interrogates the Digmole (again), and Brafilius tries to help by casting a spell to make it speak human language. But the little guy still won’t talk.
At the risk of sounding like broken record: Why does Kalshara need Brafilius? She even used her own magic in this scene to move the Digmole’s cage. He’s useless.

Every now and then, he does something interesting, but most of the time, he’s just comic relief. I’d be okay with it if he were funny, but he’s not. He’s just silly. I wish Kalshara were the sole villain this season.

2. Meanwhile at Alfea, the Winx have brought a group of Digmoles to Faragonda’s office. Roxy casts her vocalization spell on them, and they give the fairies a riddle: “Amongst the many, find the animal with the first color of the Magic Universe. This is the only way to obtain the Fairy Animals’ Ultimate Power.” Searching for said animal will have to wait, since today’s the grand opening of The Alfea Natural Park. Unfortunately, the party planner, Stella, forgot all about it.

Wait a minute. Did the Winx changed time? Digmoles were nearly extinct, and now they’re everywhere. Did saving them from that giant change their fate? And were Kalshara and Brafilius the ones who nearly wiped out their species?

It’s also possible they were never extinct, and the Winx now knew where to find them. I doubt that, though. Anyone who’s studied Digmoles would know to look underground. Why would they have looked for them all this time?

I’m not sure which of my theories is correct — or if they’re both wrong. All I know is the Winx changed something. Bloom said it herself. Why would Faragonda trust them with the Stones after that? Clearly, they can’t handle the responsibility.

At least this was a small change that didn’t wreck history, and they figured out what Kalshara and Brafilius are after. I love seeing Roxy use her magic. She learned that vocalization spell way back in season four (though it was weak). Last season, she perfected it with Griffin the crow, and now she can use it easily. It’s nice to see how far she’s come as a fairy. 🙂

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3. The party in the park starts late. The Winx say hi to their boyfriends. Newly-single Musa feels left out of the love, but Bloom cheers her up in time for the grand opening magic show.
Hi, guys. Glad you could make it. I think this is the latest first appearance in any season. Rainbow really is pushing them into the background. 😕

They’re wearing their season five outfits again — except Nex, of course, who’s got a brand-new look. I think it suits him. I love how the Specialists are in sneakers, but he’s in hiking boots, proving he’s the outdoorsy, athletic guy in the group. (Reminds me of Aisha in season two.)

I like his outfit now, but when I first saw it…I cracked up! The jacket, the necklace, the metal bracelets, the earrings (which he had all along). Can you say “clichĂ©?” 😛

Search Google, and you’ll find tons of anime “bad boys” rocking this look. I’ll give you one for free. Last November, a movie called Digimon Adventure tri. — Saikai (Reunion) premiered in Japan. (Yep, I brought up Digimon again. I love that series.) Take a look at one of “bad boy” Yamato’s (Matt) new outfits. I guess he and Nex shop at the same store. 😛

I have something else to say about Nex, but I put it under “Other Thoughts.”

Along with a new main character, we have two relationship changes this season. Aisha and Nex are officially a couple, and Roy has disappeared. I still hear complaints about it, mainly from the fans who hate Nex, but…they’ll get over it. 😛

I mentioned the other change in the scene recap: Musa’s now single. Rainbow stepped on MuRi fans’ hearts again when she said she and Riven “weren’t made for one another.” You know I agree with her, but the shippers are still in mourning and waiting for him to return. (Wow, that sounds familiar.)

Things got worse a few episodes later when Orlando was introduced. Poor guy. I’ll have lots to say about him when I get to those reviews. Here’s a preview. Because the fans just saw him as a threat to MuRi, they overlooked the most important aspect of his character. I can’t believe no one mentioned it all this time. I’m disappointed.

4. The Winx ask the guys to help with their mission. Meanwhile, Brafilius sneaks into the park using the Digmole’s magic to cross the barrier. But thanks to his clumsiness, the Fairy Animal escapes from him.

Something dawned on me as I was writing this. If Brafilius knows the riddle, that means he and Kalshara finally got the Digmole to talk. Either his spell worked (not to give him too much credit), or they did something cruel to the little guy. Or both. Let’s not think about it. 😛

5. The gang finds a large, sleeping tortoise. Other Fairy Animals live alongside it and create a magic lullaby that keeps him asleep. Because it’s old and has a dark shell, Tecna thinks it might be the animal they’re looking for. (She thinks the riddle means the universe was once covered in darkness.) But waking it up would disturb the balance of nature. As they’re trying to figure out another option, the Digmole finds them. Under Roxy’s vocalization spell, it warns them Brafilius is in the park. Bloom wants to fight him. Roxy thinks they should focus on the mission and let the Fairy Animals protect themselves. Since the two can’t agree, Roxy leaves the group to do her own thing.

Did this tortoise look familiar to you?

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No, they’re not exactly the same. But my point is this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a giant tortoise with an ecosystem on its back. Like I said before, Fairy Animals aren’t a new concept in this show. They’ve always been around. Rainbow just ignored them until now.

Moving on to Bloom and Roxy’s fight — wait, was that a fight? It didn’t feel like a big enough deal for Roxy to react the way she did. Then again, we know she can be stubborn and hypersensitive sometimes. She stormed off once in season four, too, so this wasn’t out of character.

But why didn’t anyone go after her? They talked about it, but no one moved. Did they want the dopey dog wizard to find her? 😕

You could argue they got sidetracked by what happened next, but they had a few moments before it started. Even then, one or two of them could have gone looking for her. Clearly, the writers just wanted her to end up alone.

6. Brafilius uses the gem on his hat to analyze the tortoise. This wakes it up, and it starts shooting energy beams out of its back! The guys go into attack mode (as usual), but the Winx wanna use a gentler method to calm it down. They transform and protect the guys as they gather the animals that ran away during the chaos. Bloom uses her special spell, Freedom Enchantment, to help them restart the lullaby. Soon, the tortoise falls asleep again. 
That was random. I know the Winx have to save the day each episodes, but this just felt unnecessary. I don’t think they all needed to transform. Bloom could have handled this herself.

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7. Elsewhere in the park, Roxy’s looking for the oldest animal. She comes across a Highedgehog, an ancient creature but not the most ancient. Her next guess is an extinct species called the Cry-Cry. She decides to travel back to prehistoric Magix to find it, but before she can activate her Stone, Brafilius uses his hat to steal it and the Digmole! Roxy finds the others and tells them the bad news.
Let me gets this straight. First, Roxy — the Fairy of Animals — doesn’t get Butterflix because…the writers said so. Then one episode later, she gets her Stone of Memories taken, which means she can’t join the Winx on their missions anymore.

What was all the hype about her for? Wasn’t this supposed to be her big reintroduction to the show? She’s still a side character! Thanks for getting our hopes up, Rainbow! Read the rest of this post

Episode Reviews
54

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Lots to talk about once again, so let’s get started!

EPISODE BREAKDOWN

IMG_3134The Winx have tried every spell in their arsenal, even convergence. Nothing’s working. Rumpel’s invincible, and he still has Musa’s voice. Their only option is to trade for it.

Oh, but Rumpel won’t take just anything for the voice of a fairy. They must give him something equally valuable. The rarest thing they have is…the Legendarium Key. But how will they lock the Legendarium and beat the Trix without it?

The Winx need some time to deliberate, but Rumpel doesn’t wanna wait. He wants their decision now! Thankfully, Tecna manages to reason with the greedy dwarf. He gives them a day to make up their minds.

They return to the real world to an eagerly-awaiting Musa, whose hopes are immediately shot down. She dashes off to the Music Cafe in tears. That settles it. As her friends, they must get her voice back no matter what!

Musa tries to play her sorrows away on the piano. But suddenly, she’s accompanied by a symphony of instruments. It’s Roxy and the student musicians! They’ve come to cheer her up with a song to thank her for giving them the gift of music. The Winx come in and start dancing as soon as they hear the melody. When the song’s over, they give their friend a big hug. 🙂

Suddenly, the students’ instruments — which lost power when Musa lost her voice — regain their magic energy. Now they’ll able to protect Alfea once again! That song would make a great anthem for the school, as well as the perfect shield against the witches. But to bring out its full potential, the Winx will need a bigger performance — like a massive, outdoor concert! They start planning right way.

Meanwhile, Sky and Riven meet in Aisha’s gym for their duel. The prince tries to be diplomatic about it, but nothing will change Riven’s mind now. He’s determined to settle their rivalry once and for all.

Since he was the challenger, he lets Sky to choose the combat style: fencing. Morphix épées appear, and the two Specialists duke it out in what feels more like a fight to the death than a friendly match. Sky, being royalty, attacks more gracefully, while Riven strikes with anger and aggression. In the end, elegance trumps brute force.

Riven admits defeat. Sky will always be the leader of the Specialists, and he’ll always be standing in his shadow. If he wants to reach the top, he’ll need to make some big changes in his life.

IMG_3146At Cloud Tower, the Trix fuss at Selina for her failures. They’re tired of all her useless monsters, especially Rumpel, who won’t take orders. The young witch reminds them they got they wanted. Musa lost her voice, so Alfea’s still defenseless.

That gets their attention. If they wanna conquer Alfea, they must destroy those instruments. Now’s their chance.

They call the student witches to the dragon skull, where they keep the magic they’ve stolen, and grant them a new power: intangibility. Now direct spells won’t affect them. They’re practically invincible. Time to use it against the Winx!

Before Musa’s concert, Thoren and Daphne meet up on the lawn. She drops a few hints about what a perfect set up this is for — you know, two people getting together. 😛 The Paladin gets the message and asks her to be his date. Awwwww. 🙂 (Hey, it’s relevant for later.)

Faragonda introduces the new Music Cafe band, then the concert begins. The audience loves it, and the headmistress can tell there’s enough magic to protect Alfea. That’s a good thing, because just then, the witch army arrives to put it to the test! The Winx (minus Musa) transform, and along with the Specialists and Paladins, they attempt to fight back. But their attacks pass right through them!

Musa has an idea. If direct spells won’t work, maybe the magic of the instruments will. She leads the band in an encore of the anthem of Alfea and guides its energy right toward the witches. Sure enough, they can’t withstand it, and they retreat to Cloud Tower.

In the midst of the applause, Bloom notices Rumpel sneaking into the college. The Winx follow him to their dorm, where he tells them their time is up. Are they willing to give up the Legendarium Key for their friend?

Of course. Musa deserves to have her voice back after what she’s done to defend Alfea. They’ll find another way to beat the Trix. Rumpel takes the Key, then smashes the bottle containing her voice. The Fairy of Music’s finally able to speak again.

Just in time, too. How else would she have said goodbye to Riven?

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There’s someone important missing from this screenshot…

After losing to Sky and failing to protect her when she needed it, the Specialist knows he’s not the right guy for her. She deserves someone who can support her, as a warrior and as a boyfriend. Musa agrees. They just weren’t meant to be together.

“Goodbye, Musa.”

With those words, Riven leaves Alfea for the last time.

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