Das Leben ist ein Rätsel

Archiv für September, 2013

How to make a good movie out of Equestrian Girls

Ok as most know I watched MLP and though I for my self don’t see me as a brony I also watched the Equestrian Girls Movie that came in early summer into American theatres. I watched it on youtube though.
And although the brony community is surprisingly happy with the movie and it is actually enjoyable if you can overlook some major plot holes I want to outline how this already quiet OK movie (because of good music, protagonists, fanservice and animation, and a few good plot elements) an actually good one:

The film begins with Twilight and her friends going to the crystal Empire to celebrate Twilights coronation again. Coincidentally that very day Sunset Shimmer returns through the mirror, planning to make up with Celestia, feeling a little remorse and maybe even homesick. But than she learns of Twilight existence, how Celestia simply replaced her. Twilight on the other hand learns about the portal and it 7 days (!) time frame which it is open, and it would take 30 moons (whatever that exactly means) until it opens again.
She pretends to be nice and forgiving first and learns about how Twilight and her friends regained the Elements of Harmony, that’s when she decides to steal the crown, as an act of revenge against Celestia and Twilight who stole her place as a pupil.
Twilight wakes up in the night, as Sunset Shimmer steals her crown, chasing her to the mirror Twilight fights her of, resulting in the crown falling through the mirror, which she, because of SS already knows is connected to another world. Sunset takes the first opportunity to follow the crown and Twilight,without much thought followed by Spike who came along, follows her, arriving infront of a school building.
It is early in the morning, school is just about to start, but Twilight naturally is very confused by her looks and everything. She finds out that Fluttershy found the crown, which looked exactly like the crown for fall formal, and gave it to the headmistress Celestia.
But of course Sunset Shimmer realizes and even expected Twilight to follow her. She challenges her, of course both could just try to steal the crown but that wouldn’t be as satisfying as defeating Twilight, showing her that she is a failure. So who ever gets to be fall formal princess will get the crown.
Sunset Shimmer is kind of the school Diva, popular an feared with her clique consisting of her as the leader, Trxie, as her best friend and Diamond Tiara and silver spoon, two freshmen who basically would do everything for them they are.
Twilight on the other hand for the moment only has Fluttershy, whom she helped out against Sunset Shimmer before. She learns that her other „friends“ are fighting, but manages to reconcile them and bonding them against the common enemy: Sunset Shimmer.
While Twilight is still busy managing to reconcile her friends Sunset Shimmer and Trixie already start running an anti-Twilight campaign including embarrassing photos made during Twilights first day at the school. Twilight and her friends try to save the day by digging up the old „Wondercolt“ uniforms to again unify the whole school, but Sunset Shimmer & Co try to undermine this new found unity by spreading rumours and secrets, basically telling the leaders of each group if they didn’t vote for them, everyone would get to know their secret (stuff like that the jock also likes dolls etc).
Soon the mane six realize the change of heart and fear in the other students, puzzled what to do next. Meanwhile Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon got an Idea they think will impress Sunset Shimmer, they trash the auditorium where everything is already decorated for the dance in a few days. They feign evidence to frame Twilight for it so that she would be taken of the competition but that is exactly not what Sunset Shimmer wants! Angry with the two, she is the one who saves Twilight, she wants to have this competition to crush Twilight and show, she is more worthy of the crown!
In the end the trashing of the auditorium was great for Twilight because while she and her friends tidy everything up, other students she this and join, because of some confessions triggered by the mane six the thread of secrets being revealed vanishes because the students realize friends will like you even if you have a hobby they might not share.
The last days Sunset Shimmer and her clique try to discredit Twilight any way possible (this could well be done in a song) but somehow it always turn all right for her.
Finally the night of Fall Formal arrives and Twilight wins by a landslide. While Trxie and the others are a bit annoyed they admit Twilight just deserved it, but Sunset shimmer is enraged by her defeat. She storms up and takes the crown for herself saying Twilight cheated and she should have been the princess! And even offences her friends saying it was all their fault she lost.
Than something no one had forseen happens, the crown reacts to Sunset Shimmer and transforms her. Consumed by her rage she enslaves the students planning a march to Equestria to take revenge on Celestia and become Princess instead.
But Twlight and the mane six together with Trixie, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon who want their old Sunset Shimmer back, fight her by activating the magic of friendship. It is Trixie who manages to get through to her friend, saying how much she liked her even with her flaws and temper and that she didn’t need to be a princess or anything, just her self.
With the power of rage weakened because of her friends words, Twilight manages to regain the crown, Sunset Shimmer turns back to normal and the student are freed from the ban as well.
Since Sunset Shimmer now for the first time in her life really saw what friendship could do she feels redemption of her actions, and is grateful to Trixie as well as Twilight and the mane six. She admits her wrong doings and explains just how hurt she felt when she saw how she simply had been replaced. But she decides to stay in the human world, since here she found friends.
So after a nice Fall Formal dance Twilight can return home where her friends, who of course realized her absence by now and counted two and two together, await her anxiously.

The End.

What is it with Magical Girls

This will be a less „scientific“ approach and more of a personal thing so I won’t go into theories and what not.
It’s just that since I took a look into MLP (yeah I know its not magical girl genre, bear with me for a moment) and I realized there are a lot of feminist mothers who love to take any girl-oriented show and tell why it is an embaressment for any sophisticated woman and that girls will only learn how to be cute and obedient…
And thouh some aspects might be true I started thinking about it.

Now comes the personally part:
My neices (4 and 6 years old) are classical girls. They want everything in pink, love princesses, play with Barbies wear cute dresses,… and their favourite show is Winx Club.

For all who don’t know it a picture and you will I think understand the shows basics…

winx-enchantix-the-winx-club-30825307-1772-1265

In the course of the Show (basically every season) the girls get new cute companions like Pixies, Pets or little mermaids. Also they get new transformations with new cute outfits.

And now I managed to draw the circle to the title: Magical girls!
Although Winx is an Italian Show and the concept came from Japan it is still very much comparable to older Magical girl Shows like Sailor Moon to which I will come later.
These shows are heavily criticised and I must say I wasn’t actually happy to hear my nieces loved Winx of all shows, the best. It is pink, they look way too thin, its all about looking cute and having make up…
Than I realised I loved Sailor Moon with 6 and it puzzeled me: Why did I like Sailor Moon?
And not only Sailor Moon, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Card Captor Sakura, when it first came out even Wedding peach!
Most readers might say „well its a show for girl, you were a girl… that’s what they like right?“
But those who know me know I NEVER was a typical girl. Till this day I hate pink, I never wanted to be a princess, in Kindergarten I played with the boys Power Rangers (though I always insisted on not being the pink ranger) for Karneval I dressed up a a Squa or Pirate…
So why did I become so interested in such a girl show, one that is so much criticised at that. My mother still tells me how she hated that show, because of the short skirts the needy attitude of the protagonist and the shrill voices. But still, although I was a tomboy, a girl any feminist mother could wish for, I fell for magical girls.

So after thinking about it and watching the whole Winx series, which I like to call the new Sailor Moon, I came to an answer:

They are not at all that anti feminist.
Yes you can criticise the dresses and length of skirts and personality aspects of characters and probably bring MANY points against Magical girl series.
But I claim there are many points that can be highlighted that show a good gender approach for small girls!
I liked Sailor Moon because she kicked ass! Yes she was a cry baby and a glutton and naive but that made her all the more appealing because it actually is a realistic character. Maybe not the type of character feminist mothers want to have their child to look up to, but still a realistic one. I would cry for help if I saw some monsters attack someone and than turning towards me! What’s so wrong about that?
Sailor Moon just like Winx and many other magical girl series give normal girls a special feature, they are not passive, but they have to act, be it defeating enemies as in Sailor Moon or Winx, or be it breasking a witches curse, as in DoReMi or collecting magical cards, like Sakura.
And the best is: They can remain girls doing this! They don’t have to become some kind of boy, or even dress like a boy. Even as a girl, wearing a cute dress, maybe even heels, you can kick ass!
Now what’s so wrong about that?
Also since usually these shows have very different characters. It’s not like they say „you have to be a dumb Blonde like Usagi to be happy“ but they show different characters, usually one more sportif and less girly in between (for example tecna in Winx or Haruka in Sailor m
Moon, hell they even say it’s Ok to be homosexual, how much more open can you get?)

So to all hard core feminist mothers: it is easy to spot the mistakes producers did, considering you point of view and surely there are some things that just shouldn’t be, but also try to see what some show and movies actually do right.
You can talk with you kids about the shows to strengthen their understanding on it and the depiction of women to prevent a band influence. 😉