Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Masters of the Universe Revelation - A Review By A Casual Fan


 

Little warning in advance. This is a full review of Masters of the Universe Revelation Part 1 on Netflix, so if you haven’t watched the show yet and you do plan to watch it, then stop watching this video now and come back here when you’re done unless you’re okay with spoilers.

The Bad

Right, so let’s get the things I hate from this show out of the way. First of all, I really hate the central character in this series, who is of course, Teela. Yes, it was a bait and switch all along. If you wanted to hate this show for feminist, SJW pandering, then she is the embodiment of all those things. She’s portrayed to be super capable – a lot more than Prince Adam and basically, she can do no wrong in this show even though she has a horrible personality. When Prince Adam dies, instead of mourning her friend, she’s more hung up over the fact that he didn’t reveal his secret to her and feels justified in basically having a temper tantrum and sulking off because her feelings were hurt.

This seems extremely egotistical considering that she’s just been named the new Man-At-Arms and was supposedly chosen for her competence and responsibility.

The show also plays up just how incompetent Prince Adam can be next to her. Whenever they’re shown together, it’s always Teela to the rescue because Prince Adam can’t get anything done unless he’s in his He-Man Form.

Next, there’s Teela’s pseudo girlfriend. She’s so forgettable that I forgot her name even. Anyway, she’s some black girl that Teela picked up in the events that ensued after the (quotation marks) final battle. She’s apparently some genius engineer but she has zero personality and is basically just there to be woo hoo! Girl power whenever something technical that requires high level engineering skills comes up.

Finally, there’s Evil Lyn’s betrayal. I mean, it was to be expected since she’s always been one of the iconic villains of the show, but when she’s basically one of the main protagonists for the entire journey in Masters of The Universe Revelation Part 1, the plot twist of her defecting back to Skeletor just because she finds out he’s still alive feels cheap and basically erases her entire character development up to that point.

The Ok

The story itself is actually ok. The first episode is especially good and does a great job of seemingly showing things to be as they always were and then suddenly breaking the mold with He-Man and Skeletor’s double KO in the “final battle.”

The plot then follows what happens in the events after and basically shows a dystopian world where magic is scarce and where good and evil aren’t so clear-cut anymore.

Orko’s death was fine, I would say. I mean, they didn’t really find the body so he still could have survived even though they basically already held a small funeral for him in the series. He also had a few moments to really shine at the point of his apparent death.

As for Roboto, well, to be honest, I didn’t really care that much for him so giving him a glorious death was fine I guess… if a bit cheap. I felt like he didn’t really need to die since he’s fully mechanical anyway. Couldn’t genius engineer black girl have figured out a way to retain his memories at least? Do high capacity memory cards not exist in Eternia?

Kevin Smith seems to be taking the taking the easy route by using death to create artificial drama.

The Good

The good thing about Masters of the Universe Revelation Part 1 is that the ending actually shows some hope that this whole feminist woke propaganda was just a setup for showing us a more serious world with actual consequences and then developing Prince Adam into a more competent and ultimately more likable He-Man once he regains his powers. I have no doubt that he survived that little backstab that Skeletor gave him before he could transform after all – but then again, I could be wrong.

After all, even with the little screentime he had in this series, he’s already become a very likable character for me despite not being as seemingly competent as Teela is. First of all, he made that heroic sacrifice at the end of episode 1 and then again, he does it in the finale when he basically sacrifices his chance to enter their version of Heaven in order to return to Eternia and save everyone – again. Whether these events are intentional on the author’s part or not remains to be seen.

One complaint that I’ve seen others make about this show is that there are no strong male leads… while that may be true to some extent, there is actually one strong supporting male character in this series and that would be Duncan, the former Man-At-Arms. Throughout the show he’s seen going toe-to-toe with major opponents with hardly a scratch and I would say that he has some of the highest stakes in this series with Teela now being openly his daughter and the sorceress being her mother.

Going forward, I believe the show has potential and taken by itself, it’s not that bad at all. Of course, if you’re a hardcore He-Man fan and if you’ve been following all the fan drama leading up to the show’s launch, then you might feel disappointed when you see that indeed, Teela is the central character of this particular story arc and not Prince Adam, as it should be.

Myself, I’m a bit more lenient than that… but, do consider that if you think you hate this show that much, there might be a bit of some confirmation bias going on here.

Anyway, I think it’s a decent show, worth a watch at least… but hey, tell me what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to like and subscribe (on youtube). This is lordcloudx out.

Buh-bye, buh-bye~

Friday, July 16, 2021

Hayate Reflections Revival Episode 2: Are Recent Anime Really Superior?


 When I was a child,  I used to love stuff like Transformers, Archie Comics, He-Man, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers... basically, any cartoon or kids show that I could watch at that time.

As I grew older... perhaps around the time I hit high school, I realized that some shows just didn't feel right for me anymore. While I could still watch stuff like Pokemon, Batman: The Animated Series, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and of course, anime, I tried to avoid watching animations that didn't have this mature vibe to them.

At that time, I thought that this was merely a consequence of growing up. After all, I was now a teenager, therefore, my tastes had matured. Those kiddy shows from my childhood just didn't fit with my more adult tastes nowadays.

I continued to adopt this kind of mindset when it came to animation for the next two decades or so. Anime always got a pass since where I'm from (in the Philippines), it was always seen as ok to like anime. For example, the local tough guys who frequent the basketball courts here are all aware of Sakuragi and Mitsui from the anime Slam Dunk. 

It was only when I reached my late twenties when I began to realize that: you know what? I still like cartoons after all. Which leads me to the point of this video.

A few days ago, while surfing youtube, I came upon a particular anime review. While I agreed with the content creator's analysis, there was a moment in that review which had me thinking: wait a minute, that's not right.

Basically, without being too specific, the reviewer mentioned how a particular anime that he liked back then wouldn't hold up to his own scrutiny nowadays. This wasn't the first time I'd heard or read something similar online. I remember an anime review site from the early 2000s that reviewed a DVD release of Magic Knight Rayearth and how it's just not that magical in modern times.

Have you ever thought this way about something you liked from your younger days?  Something like: "It was fun back then, but it just doesn't hold up in hindsight."

Well, because I've been guilty of having such a mindset myself, I'd like to present a different perspective on the matter. It's not that the things you loved back then aren't as enjoyable anymore -- they still are. It's just that you accumulated a lot more preconcieved notions now. For example, I believe that a show like Ranma 1/2 is still just as enjoyable to watch today as it was back then. Then, I started watching the author's previous work, Urusei Yatsura Lum. At that time, the jokes all had that been-there, done-that  feel to them because of course they did, it used the same formula as Ranma 1/2 but with a more likable, less vulgar and crude protagonist.


Still, because Animax-Asia chose to keep airing Urusei Yatsura over and over again, I found myself watching it anyway and you know what, the show kind of grew on me. The more episodes I watched, the more I realized that I shouldn't be trying to draw comparisons between this show and other more "modern" or more "recent" shows because it was in fact funny and quite enjoyable on its own merits.


The reason that I didn't quite like it the first time was simply because I thought "I'd seen better" with Ranma 1/2... but the truth is that there's actually no objective standard for saying that Ranma 1/2 does things better aside from the more modern animation and character design -- which is understandable because the two shows were released a decade apart from each other. It's not that the older show is necessarily inferior, it's just that my values had evolved to be more receptive to the more recent animation quality and the more timely use of comedy in Ranma 1/2.


I think the same thing is happening for younger viewers and readers of anime and manga nowadays. It's easy to look back in hindsight and say that a show that you enjoyed back then doesn't quite hold up to scrutiny when compared to recent shows because of more modern animation quality and writing that's more in-line with the taste of current audiences... but the truth is that it's just your personal taste having changed because of the type of media you have consumed and the type of social circles you've frequented over the years.

I believe it's arrogance to claim that something you liked back in the past has somehow become inferior when it's really your tastes changing and reflecting the values you hold nowadays and nothing more than that. 

Perhaps, of course, I'm just looking at things through the lens of nostalgia -- but then again, do you really think that there can be any objective universal standard for personal taste?

In any case, I invite you to try it. Just watch an older show that you might have enjoyed but never really had the time to watch from somewhere like the early 2000s and even before that. Don't think about how it compares to the current seasonal anime you're watching. Just watch it for what it is and try to discard any preconcieved notions you might have while you're watching. Then come back here in the comments and tell me: was it really that bad based on your own personal experience with it?

This has been Hayate Reflections Revival and this is lordcloudx out.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

New Hayate Reflections Episode Incoming...

If you're not aware, Hayate Reflections is a little episodic youtube series that I started on my Youtube channel about 3 years ago after the Hayate no Gotoku! manga ended wherein I talk a little bit about my thoughts on different aspects of the manga. I got tired of it eventually -- mostly due to having almost zero viewership on youtube thanks to getting shadowbanned and the really unfair algorithms they've put in place.

Anyway, since I've been motivated to make more new videos recently, I'm bringing back Hayate Reflections with a facelift and a brand new episode this week... watch out for it on my channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/lordcloudx

I won't completely spoil the content, but here's a little hint:





Sunday, July 4, 2021

PSSST! STOP SCROLLING! I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU…



So while buying lunch at GT Town Center Mall this weekend, I happened to overhear an interesting conversation: one that presents a moral dilemma.

There was an old (senior citizen) man who sat down at one of the free tables at the food hall. He had a takeout package from Jollibee. As he proceeded to open the package to eat his lunch, one of the people manning a particular food stall there told him:

“Sir, bawal magkaon diri. Puwede lang ka pungko. Take out lang kon magkaon.”
(Sir, it’s forbidden to eat here. You can sit down, but the establishment only allows take-outs.)

To which, the old man promptly answered:
“To, siling nila sa akon to puwede ka kaon diri sa food hall. Food hall ni indi bala?”
(Buddy,  they said I could eat at the food hall. This is the food hall, isn’t it?)

The employee replied:
“Sir, wala taka gina saway ah. Galing basi masaway ka sang security karon.”
(Sir, I’m not scolding you, but security might tell you off if they see you.)

The old man repeated with a more sarcastic and clearly agitated tone this time:
“Food hall na diri indi bala?”
(This is the food hall isn’t it?)

At this, the employee gave up and told him:
“Sige try lang sir. Basi indi ka man pagsawayon.”
(Go ahead and give it a try, sir. Maybe they won’t scold you after all.)

The conversation ends here. The old man got to eat his lunch and nothing really happened afterwards.

But… I think there are several moral dilemmas to be discussed here and for the record, I believe the employee handled the situation classily, with all things considered.

First of all, whoever told that old man that he could eat there was obviously in the wrong. If the establishment forbids it, then whoever gave the man this wrong piece of advice should be held accountable for misinforming him.

Secondly, I think that the old man himself was possibly frustrated at being misinformed but was taking it out on the wrong person. There was no need to get sarcastic (as I perceived him to be) to the point of arrogance. Secondly, if the establishment actually forbids it, then there’s really no reason to insist that he should eat there. This is especially true since the whole of Iloilo is still under strict Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)

Still, social justice pundits might say that we should give a little bit of leeway for understanding our senior citizens – fortunately, I don’t believe in social justice, especially the way it’s being shoved in our collective faces by the aggressive leftists brainwashed by cultist western social media woke propaganda.

If I were in that employee’s place, I’d simply call security upon that man and let things play out. He was given fair warning and still insisted on having his way after all

BUT… that’s my opinion. What do you think of the particular social dilemmas presented here? Comment and share your thoughts. No ad hominems, please.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Sir Jigger I Knew

By Cymark Ferdinand Mirasol
Former Feature Editor, USA Publications

There is always much more to a person than “meets the eye” – and it’s not just because I grew up with Transformers. The fact of the matter is that no man would exemplify this phrase more than Mr. Jigger Latoza.  

Although I was a member of the USA Publications Staff for a good 4 years in college, the truth is that I did not really feel the influence of the man known as Jigger Latoza or simply “Sir Jigger” during my tenure.

Perhaps it is because I was too early or a little bit too late, because I can honestly attest to the fact that Sir Jigger was a lot more active after my time in the USA Publications.

Nevertheless, while I never had the chance to familiarize myself with the man as one of the “pubpipol,” I was already well-acquainted with him well before I ever decided to apply for a place in the USA Pub.

Sir Sid And Sir Jigger – My Mother’s Male Best Friends

This is because I knew Sir Jigger as a good friend of my mother’s. In fact, even as a child, I always saw him together with my mother along with Mr. Isidoro Cruz, or “Sir Sid.” They were my mother’s two slightly younger, male best friends or “barkada,” so to speak.

Sir Sid and Sir Jigger were like two sides of the same coin. Polar opposites at a glance, but actually a lot more similar perhaps than even they would care to admit – this is of course, from my own perspective.

I’d always known Sir Sid to be a very silent person, direct to the point, shy but also a very kind and gentle soul – but not without a sense of humor. One could fill an entire book based on Sir Sid’s witticisms alone. In contrast, Sir Jigger was more outgoing, bubbly, and an “everybody’s friend” type of guy with an eloquence and bravado that would probably make most introverts run away in fear… but beneath those jolly, seemingly carefree eyes – I couldn’t help but feel that there was a certain melancholy to them. The same kind of sadness that I’d come to know and expect in my mother’s eyes, in Sir Sid’s eyes and as I’d later learn, the same kind of sadness that perhaps exists in the eyes of all who had lived life long enough to experience the best and the worst that it had to offer.

Such is the pain of existence – such is being an adult.

I did not know any better.

I was only around 8-12 years old back then.

On The Road To Success

There was a short time after this period when I wouldn’t hear from Sir Jigger for a while. This was about the time when he momentarily cut off ties with San Agustin. During this time, he and my mother would remain good friends when they met by chance from time to time (Iloilo is a small city after all) but Sir Jigger would focus a lot on more on academics as well as growing his own business going forward.

I would later come to learn that he had become a successful self-made businessman. I was already in college and part of the USA Pub when this happened. Perhaps this is why I’d hardly ever heard from him during my time – it may have been a time in his life when he was focused more on self-development.

Over time, the legends surrounding the man known as Sir Jigger would start to grow as well. I’d hear stories about how he was the perfect example of a “rags to riches” story and about the many philanthropic activities he was engaged in. A consistent element in all these stories would be his loyalty to the University of San Agustin. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but at some point, Sir Jigger had returned to the University, but this time with an administrative role.

A True Augustinian

In the years that followed, Sir Jigger would have a sort of on-off relationship with the University. Sometimes becoming an active member of the administration and at other times assisting as an independent third-party in its continued development. Without a doubt, he was always an influential figure as far as the University of San Agustin’s direction was concerned.

I’d also learn that his influence extended far beyond the University as he was also engaged in various projects all around Iloilo from information technology to business consultation. He was a man with a gift of gab who had talked his way to the top – and without pulling down any other people along the way. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I know of no person who ever truly hated the brilliant, jolly, well-spoken individual known to many as “Sir Jigs.” For some reason, this man had bulldozed his way to success by making friends and not enemies along the way.

The Man I Knew

Yet, in the midst of his multiple successes and breakthroughs as an individual, when I met him once again in my adult years, one thing had not changed. Yes, he was a bit bigger now – more successful and more confident than ever, perhaps a bit more weary with age, and with the melancholy of life having grown ever more prominent in his otherwise, bright, jolly eyes.

Yet, I knew that it was still him. Sir Jigger was still the same person that I’d known from my childhood years – a dear friend of my mother’s, a friend to just about everyone, and an almost standoffish, flamboyant orator with the swagger of a big businessman that belies a true heart of gold.

This was the man I knew.

Sir Jigger, may you rest in peace.

Photo taken from Mr. Latoza’s official Facebook Page. Mr. Latoza passed away last May 20, 2021.