What If Wednesday
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Today’s “What If Wednesday” question: “What if the schools in the Magic Dimension let in more students from Earth?”

The Winx brought magic back to Earth three years ago. That means new fairies, witches, wizards, Specialists, Paladins, and more are waiting to be discovered. Someone has to train them — or else their skills will never grow, and magic won’t spread on Earth.

Queen Nebula knew that. That’s why she turned Tir Na N’Og palace into a fairy school. Maybe more magic schools will pop up on Earth one day. But Alfea, Cloud Tower, and Redfountain are the most famous schools in the Magic Dimension. They should open their doors to these students, too.

Of course, admitting Earth students wouldn’t be easy. First of all, how would they get to the Magic Dimension? Portals? Magic keys like in Regal Academy?

Second, could the students adjust to living in a realm where magic is everywhere? Bloom and Roxy have done well, but not everyone would have a fairy club to support them. Also, they wouldn’t understand what magic really is and what it’s for. Even Bloom had the wrong idea at first, thanks to fantasy books and fairy tales. Maybe the schools should create a curriculum to teach Earth students about magic life.

Finally, how would the students from the Magic Dimension treat the Earth students? Would they accept them or give them a hard time? The professors might have to teach them to be patient and helpful.

The novelty of “Winx on Earth” is fading. If the girls start helping people from Earth adjust to life as magic beings, that might make this gimmick interesting again.

That’s it for today!

What If Wednesday
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Today’s “What If Wednesday” question: “What if a magician from Earth gained magic powers?”

First, a confession: this is based on a fanfic. Back before season five premiered, I had an idea for a fanmade season. I probably won’t write it now. The story hasn’t been fleshed yet, and now my transformation name (Dreamix) has been used. 🙁

Anyway, the villain is a famous magician from Gardenia (sorry!) named Mephisto. (Yeah, I know it’s a lame name. Me from eight years ago couldn’t come up with anything better.) His shows used to sell out everywhere he went, but after the Winx brought real magic back to Earth, no one cared about magic tricks anymore. He became jealous of the Winx and hated them for ruining his business.

One of his assistants is a witch who has been living on Earth for decades. Seeing this as a chance to seize control, she turns Mephisto into a wizard. He uses his new power to get revenge on his critics, read and manipulate people’s minds, and — of course — take over the Magic Dimension to become the greatest magician in the universe.

Mephisto doesn’t know the difference between real magic and magic tricks. To him, being a wizard is just a way to make his act more realistic and surpass all other magicians. Of course, his spells end up causing lots of trouble.

Rainbow has already done this type of back story with Selina. She was jealous of Bloom’s popularity and wanted more power, which led to her teaming up with Acheron and becoming a witch. I wish the writers would keep exploring the idea of normal people becoming magic beings. The season four comics had a few interesting stories like that.

Imagine the possibilities. Here’s an example: the leaders of an oppressive government become witches and wizards. What would they do with their new powers? How would the Winx handle the situation?

That’s it for today!

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. 😛

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.

What If Wednesday
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I guess I shot myself in the foot by calling this What If Wednesday.” A lot of fans thought I meant, “What if [insert major event] didn’t happen?” or “What if So-and-So had been [insert different role] instead of…?” Nope. That’s not what this is about.

I’m not trying to make fodder for alternate universe fanfics (but you can use it if you want to). What I’m gonna talk about are things that can still logically happen in the show. Remember how I said this will be focused on the future, not the past? The “What if” isn’t, “What if this had happened instead?” It’s, “What if this happens in a future season?”

Just a warning: this will set us up for disappointment. It’s inevitable. The ideas we come up with may never happen; in fact, chances are they won’t.

But do we ever know what was gonna happen in a season? Guessing, theorizing, and wondering are part of the fun of watching a series. Even if the end result is different than we hoped, we don’t have to change things to make something out of it. New possibilities and new angles are still hiding in the story, waiting to be discovered.

Maybe this first post will clear things up. Why am I starting with Helia? I was talking about him with a friend on Instagram recently, and I realized he has a lot of loose ends in his back story. If Rainbow tied these up, he could become a more interesting — and more powerful — character.

What if…Helia followed his dream of becoming an artist?

A lot of fans were happy to see Bloom drawing again in World of Winx, but it’s been a long time since our other artist has picked up a sketchbook. Bet you never realized Bloom and Helia had that in common — or at least, you never thought of it as a shared talent. That’s not the only similarity between them. I get to that later.

In comics #35 and #36, “The Trial” and “New Challenges,” Helia leaves Redfountain — like he almost did in the show — and tries to sell paintings for a living. Of course, it doesn’t work out because the comics always reset everything back to how they are in the show. But it begs the question, “Could he have become a famous artist instead of a Specialist?”

But since season two, we’ve barely seen him draw at all. His only artistic talent seems to be making origami. (That started in season two, too.) Did he give it all up to become a Specialist again? Why did he have to do? He can be a Specialist and an artist, right?

Or can he? Would his love of art conflict with his job? After all, he can’t paint while he’s battling monsters, and Specialists have to be on call at all times. How would he handle it?

I’d love to see this internal conflict in him in a future season. Should he stick with what he’s been training for for years (and keeps him close to his girlfriend), or should he follow his dream? Which one is he better at? How would leaving Redfountain affect his relationship with Flora? Read the rest of this post