Posts Tagged ‘Rant’

So one day I was lurking the front page of FA (FurAffinity) when I stumbled upon a gem of a submission.  Granted, it was just their own take on various other images that you can find everywhere but I digress.  It was a “tutorial” of sorts.  On how to make your character/fursona original.  What a wonder this work was.  And here I was thinking that even by creating something that meant something to you, you were being original.  Silly me for believing such nonsense.  It’s ludicrous to believe that giving your character unnatural colors or markings is original.  Or that creating a character of a specific species is unoriginal.  Unless you’ve completely thought up the idea yourself, you’re not being original!


A pink and blue kangaroo with a removable green wig and a strawberry mark on it's back...yep that's a completely unoriginal concept. Seen it a hundred times before.

Okay, okay…of course I’m being satirical now.  It’s no secret that I like sparkle animals and it shouldn’t be a secret (well…it won’t be anymore) that I believe something that is completely 100% original is hard to come by nowadays.  So when I see the concept of other people’s character getting bashed, it just makes me want to slam my head against a desk.  Granted there are many people out there who are just trying too hard to create a unique character or people who could possibly use some character design classes (myself included), but that doesn’t mean that they’re completely unoriginal or uncreative.


Usually this concept of original vs. unoriginal comes up during periods in the fandom when an artist creates a popular trend or species that has nearly everyone creating one on their own.  But of course there’s going to be the naysayers who believe that because you’re partaking in a particular fad that you’re being unoriginal.  You have a soda roo?  Nope, too many of those exist.  Not original.  Or a pokesona?  Nope…based off fan art.  No way you had any originality with that.  What about sparkle dogs?  God no!  Those things are too hideous to be unique or of any importance.  You have to love the types who can tell you exactly what is or isn’t original based upon…the fact that they’ve seen something similar before.  You also have to wonder if those types find anything original.  Usually you can please these types by drawing naturally colored animals.  But how many times can you repeat the same colors on naturally colored animals before you say that you’ve seen it before?  This isn’t to say that using natural colors is unoriginal (it most certainly isn’t).  It does limit you quite a bit with what you can and can’t do with your character.  If you want a naturally colored dalmatian you’re limited to a white and black or white and liver palette.  While the spot combination will change, there’s no doubt you’ll probably be thinking of Pongo and Perdita when you’re looking at the picture.


What some of these fads also do that many people fail to realize is that they get people to create.  They get people thinking about what colors and attributes they want to give their character.  What will their personality be?  What specific species will I be referring to?  There’s more than one type of kangaroo to base a soda roo off of.  So while they might be following a specific fad which might die in time, at least people are creating.  They’re exercising their ability to be creative.  Even memes allow for creativity (even though we might be dead tired of seeing them all the time).


Even fan art can have an original spin...now only if I'd sit down and finish this picture...

I realize that you’re entitled to your opinion.  And just as you may have yours, this one is mine.  Originality rarely exists anymore.  Everyone copies or is at the least influenced from someone else.  And even sitting down to draw a simple little character requires a little bit of creativity or originality (at the least creativity).  Not everything that’s created needs to be a brilliant masterpiece worthy of placement in only the finest art establishment.  No.  Sometimes creating for the sake of creation or for fun is just as good.


What do you guys think about creativity?  Do you think it’s hard or easy to still be completely creative and original?  Or do you think people now have to work harder at it since there’s more ideas out in the world and it’s easier to get your ideas out there?

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After finishing my whole review about Detective Conan, I realized I’d forgotten to revisit one particularly interesting aspect of the show for either the “bad” or the “ugly” section.  But while thinking about it, I realized that this isn’t a problem that is singular to that series.  Other shows have issues with this as well.  And what’s this problem that I’m talking about?  I’m talking about characters who are supposed to know English, speaking horrible English.  Also known as…”Engrish”.


And this one might be the worst offender of them all...

Meet Jodie Starling.  She’s American.  She’s an FBI agent.  She’s also posing as a high school English teacher in Japan so…no one knows she’s an FBI agent?  I don’t really know how that one works but oh well.  Unfortunately for her, she must not have gone to a very good school in America (or any good schools actually…) because her English sucks!


At least have some effort be put in.  If you want to have an American living in Japan that’s fine.  But when you cast for voices, you should make sure that the person you cast can speak with some sort of American accent.  Doesn’t matter if it’s Southern, Midwestern, Texas, Boston…who cares.  Her American accent comes first, then the Japanese one.  She isn’t a Japan-born citizen living in America.  She’s an America-born citizen living in Japan!  Was it really too difficult to find one person in Japan who was born in America and is fluent in Japanese?  Was it?


At least it's better than "A secret makes a ooman, ooman"...

But the “Engrish” doesn’t stop there folks.  Usually I can take a little bit of Engrish in songs.  A little bit.  It can be funny.  Rarely can a stand a full song of Engrish.  Red Fraction by Mell is pretty much as close as it gets to an Engrish song that I can take seriously.  The top offender in this category is the songs of Beck Mongolian Chop Squad.  At least the ones that are in English anyways.

Out of anything, I wish they explained the franken-dog. They need a spin-off about him.

The worst offender has to be the song “Moon on the Water: Full Moon Sway”.  The version that Sowelu sings anyhow.  Now Sowelu is a gorgeous singer and I’m not faulting her for her voice in any fashion.  This song has the potential to be very gorgeous and lyrically it’s made more gorgeous in the English version (actually singing wise…it’s horrendous) because at least the effort was put forth to try to make sense of the song.  Now I understand poetry is supposed to be symbolic and metaphoric.  But symbolism and metaphors are no excuse for poor grammar.  And being from another country is no excuse for it either, especially when you’re working in a profession or on a project that calls for you to know what you’re doing.  I understand having a character mess up on words if they’re a student in an English class and I understand having a basic non-English speaking characters speak poor English.  Those are deliberate choices made for those specific people.  But if you’ve got songwriters writing a song completely in English I’m pretty sure that a line like “I was fool, I couldn’t let myself to go…” would get corrected somewhere along the way.  I’m pretty sure the line is supposed to be “I was sure, I couldn’t let myself go” but what do I know…?  I’m not a songwriter.  What’s worse is that the series the band is marketed to an American audience and is apparently popular in America.  In the real world this just wouldn’t be possible.  Because most people would laugh at the blatant “Engrish” and pass it up for your basic song that actually make sense.  Let’s face it…even the theme song to this show doesn’t make sense.  I love “Hit in the USA” and I love the Beat Crusaders but really…can someone just tell me what any of these words mean?


“I never dreamed before

I’m gonna knock the door

Into the world of perfect free (you ain’t no lonely)”

Really?  No one has a clue?  I’m not surprised.  Though if I’m going by the context of the series my best guess would be that the song is about following your dreams, breaking down barriers, and making it big (specifically in America).  But there wasn’t anyone who could’ve written that song with better grammar?  No one?!


Look, this doesn’t only go for anime.  If you want to feature characters that speak various languages in your shows or write a song using a different language, by all means go for it.  But people aren’t stupid.  You’re show is going to hit another audience and having a native English speaking character speak broken English shows through.  Or a native Spanish character speaking broken Spanish with a French accent.  Those things make a difference.  Take the time to learn a proper amount of grammar before you decide to write a character that speaks a language that you don’t know.  Or better yet, hire or find a person that will be willing to help you out with your scripts and/or casting.  It’s not a difficult task.  It just takes a little more effort and if that means that your product is delayed a bit then so be it.  Better a delayed product with clear effort put in it than a haphazardly done finished one.

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Cosplay.  A fun pastime in the anime, furry, sci-fi, and other fandoms where fans of series will dawn the costumes of some of their favorite characters for a weekend.  Whether it’s to show off something that they’ve made or something that they’ve bought, all cosplayers cosplay for the same reason: It’s fun.  You know it.  You know that when you see that one really good cosplay of your favorite character, it puts a huge smile on your face.  You’ll walk over, ask for pictures, or even ask for tips for the next time you want to make a costume yourself.  But there are people who bring costuming out of the realm of “fun” and into the realm of “serious business”.  And I’m not speaking of those who actually make costumes for a living.  No.  I’m speaking of people who’ll go out of their way to ruin the fun of others because they don’t look like the character they’re cosplaying as.  Specifically those who put down overweight cosplayers and non-white, non-Asian cosplayers.


These people are ones who completely take the fun out of cosplay and bring it into a realm of discrimination (albeit on a rather silly level).  Black person wants to dress up as Sora from Kingdom Hearts?  Nope.  Can’t have that.  Sora’s not black!  Or an overweight (even if it’s just slightly) girl wants to be Sailor Moon?  Nope.  Can’t have that either.  Sailor Moon isn’t fat!  And god forbid you have an overweight non-white, non-Asian person dress up as a character.  That’s a disaster waiting to happen for these people!


So let’s say you’re a white person and you see a black guy cosplay your favorite character.  You get all in a tizzy because you will have none of this black Ichigo nonsense.  Only character black people should dress up as from Bleach is Tousen ’cause you know…he’s black.   So in an outrage you decide to tell him that he looks horrible as Ichigo (but conveniently leave out the why because you don’t want to come across as racist or anything…no need for you to break out the whole “my best friend is black!” line that all people who use racist language use) even though the actual costume is spot on.  Meanwhile you see a white Ichigo cosplayer.  His costume isn’t terrible but clearly isn’t up to par with the black Ichigo cosplayer’s costume, but you tell him he looks amazing otherwise.  Well hold on now…why did the white one look amazing?  Ichigo is clearly not black but he’s clearly not white either.  His name is ICHIGO KUROSAKI!  Since when was that a European name to you?  And he lives in Japan!  Just because he has orange/red hair isn’t an indication that he isn’t Japanese.  So if you’re going to get angry at one race of people because they’re not the right race to be portraying a character, you’d better be getting angry when another race of people (even if it’s the same race as you) wrongly portrays the race of a particular character.  If you’re going to display racism for such a petty thing, it’d better be equal opportunity racism.


As for weight bias, it’s to be expected.  A little more so than race bias.  Weight is always on the forefront of American society in one way or another.  Celebrities are always put down in tabloids for being too heavy or overly skinny (though more for being heavy).  Models (unless they’re the elusive plus sized model) are always tall and thin…always a size zero.  Kids and adults are bullied every day for weight related issues and it’s definitely harder to be bigger than it is to be thinner.  But just remember this one tiny lesson…YOUR FAVORITE ANIME CHARACTER ISN’T REAL!


That’s right.  None of these characters we love are real.  They’re all figment’s of their creator’s imaginations and putty in the hands of said creator.  Even the characters that are based off of historical figures are still fake.  Le Chevalier d’Eon?  While a very real historical figure, the anime’s recollection of his life is only .5% true (and I’m being rather generous with that).  He was a man.  He dressed up as a woman.  Those two things are true.  He did not have a sister that he masqueraded around as during battle.  Nor did a spirit of his sister or any other woman possess him.  Nor was he actually a woman (though he claimed to be).  These characters that we see are ones by the creators to help tell a story.  So it’s only natural that we’d end up either loving or hating them.  So when a person decides to dress up as the ones we like either because we like their outfits of because we like them as a character.  Why should an overweight person be left out of the fun?


“But Sombra!  We have every right to make fun of people!  It’s fun for us!”  I’m sure that’s what some people would say.  Well sure you absolutely have the right to be a cold heartless jerk but is that really the way you want to portray yourself to the world?  “But Sombra!  We’re only telling the truth!  These people need to hear it so they can change their lives and get healthy!”  That’s just what you’d want me to believe.  Because the truth is that you’re just cold and heartless.  You feel every need to rain on someone else’s parade because it makes you feel better.  There’s a comfortable overweight person over there having fun…you can’t have any of that because you’re unhappy with yourself  Or maybe you just don’t like seeing people who you feel shouldn’t be happy actually be happy.  You need to bring them down to your level so that you can be brought up and somehow feel superior over them.  Your version of the “truth” is often a very distorted one.  One where you have to tell people that they’re ugly, need to stop eating, or in some cases (depending on how really cold and black your heart is) that they need to die.  But there’s a few facts that you need to be schooled on:


1) Beauty is always going to be in the eye of the beholder.  What you find absolutely repulsive, someone else might find beautiful.  Or even if their physical appearance isn’t the greatest someone will always give this person the time of day and find that there’s a beautiful person underneath who was just waiting to get out the entire time.


2) Eating is a rather natural function.  While it would be a normal assessment to say “eat less” or “cut back on these sorts of foods” to expect someone to stop eating altogether is an unrealistic idea.  The body needs food to function and to make your metabolism work faster.  So while it might be “obvious” to you to tell the overweight person to stop eating, just realize that actually a death wish upon them…which brings me to the last point…


3) Really?  You’d go tell a person to die because of their weight?!  Because they dressed up as your favorite character, “messed it up”, and somehow that’s a qualification for them to commit suicide?!  How much more of a dick do you have to be?!  I don’t have to elaborate more.  Actions like this just speak for themselves.


All in all, this form of bias is amazingly ridiculous and baseless.  Why it exists is beyond me.  We’re all member of the same fandom and we all understand what it feels like to cosplay.  It’s fun.  You know it and I know it.  Even those who have never cosplayed know it (which is why they want to cosplay).  But it’s people with the attitudes that I mentioned above that really take the fun out of the experience and turn it into something that people could potentially hate or fear instead of enjoy as they should.  And a small message for the cosplayers, you know what you like.  You know what you can pull off.  Don’t let a few haters ruin the experience for you.  Because for as many people that are there that might hate you for it, there are plenty that will either love you or be indifferent.  Other congoers are there for fun to.  Just remember that.  Do what you love.  That’s all that matters.

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Despite there being artist in all fandoms, this one is specifically geared towards the furry fandom for a few reasons.  In the anime fandom your popularity is gauged either on your being an already published mangaka/successful animator or for the case of non-published artists, being able to successfully and skillfully draw already established characters or which ever characters might be popular at that time.  The lucky anime artists will have their own characters known, but for the most part, the anime fandom is about celebrating and coming together over already established works.


While there are certainly established “furry” characters (Pikachu, Sonic, Spyro, etc.), most furs don’t go around furry conventions looking for the pokemon cosplayer.  No, they’re searching out their favorite original characters created by other furries.  As well as searching out their favorite artists for conversation, possible commissions, or just wanting to meet the face behind one of their favorite fursonas/characters.  So this rant’s for the furs out there.  At least the ones who complain about different marketing strategies artists take to earn money.


Adoptable/Character auctions.  If you haven’t heard of them, they’re auctions of premade characters that artists don’t use anymore or have created for the purpose of selling.  And it seems to be all the rage amongst furs.  On deviantart, there are full groups set up for the selling and trading of various characters either through the usage of actual money or through DA’s points system.  But when adoptables or other characters are sold on FurAffinity, money is the sole option for getting one (unless they’re free which they rarely are).  The most I’ve seen a single character go for in an auction was $400+ dollars.  The lowest amount maybe $2 or $3.  Yet there’s always someone who wants to rant and rave about how wrong artists are for “selling characters”.  And then rant and rave at people who wish to buy said characters because “they could always make a character themselves”.


Yes…yes people can always make their own characters.  And they do.  But why do they want to buy this particular character?  Because it’s that particular character.  Made by that particular artist.  Maybe they like the colors and markings and you want a character with those colors and markings.  They didn’t think of doing it first but here’s a character that they really like, admire and want, and unless they don’t have enough to pay for it, nothing’s going to stand in their way of buying it.  And it’s a brilliant marketing strategy for making a decent amount of money in a short period of time.  Adoptables using the same base are quick to create.  Just put some colors on the premade base and you’re good to go.  This is the cheapest variety of adoptable.  Then there’s people who create very different character sheets for each creation they make.  These are you’re higher end adopts.  And usually the more popular artists can use this version because people want work by this artist, from this artist and are willing to pay for it if they can afford to (sometimes if they can’t).


Artists know their market perfectly when they do this.  They know their standing in the fandom, they know what sort of creations others in the fandom (or rather their watchers) look for.  And they cater to that.  No different than what any other working person in the world does.  Sure a person could create a character and it would be cheaper, but would it turn out exactly like the character that X-artist over there created?  Most likely not.  And most likely not and most likely they wouldn’t be able to get away with ripping the same design from X-artist over there due to the potential trolls, flamers, and white knights coming to protect their precious artist’s creations (while I agree that stealing intellectual/artistic property is wrong, I generally disagree with the tactics of most people who comment on such things).


Imagine this.  You walk past a store.  You’ve got money to spare after paying off student loans, rent, mortgage, etc.  And in this store window you see…a plushie or statue (depending on your tastes) that you would just love to have.  And it’s from a studio or artist or creator you admire.  You don’t need it.  But it appeals to you.  You know you can make something like that, but you can’t make that particular object.  And you want it.  So you buy it because you’ve got that bit of money to spare.  Now you can say you’ve got a creation by this person you admire.  Like a woman who buys a Gucci bag buys it to say they’ve got a Gucci bag.  Or a person who buys a Ferrari buys it to say they’ve got a Ferrari.  You’ve got a creation by X-artist just to say you’ve got a creation by X-artist.


So…as a (somewhat…though I highly, highly doubt this will ever work) “appeal” to the haters and flamers out there, artists can sell what they wish and people are free to buy what they wish.  If the fact that artist A over here is making hundreds selling character designs is bothering you so much, find something that you can create and offer to the community and work hard to market that skill.  Everyone’s got something.  Even you.  If you put half that amount of energy into doing what you do instead of ragging on other artists because of their selling a colorful dog character and making about $50 off of it, perhaps you could make a bit of money too doing what you love.  While I’m sure this appeal won’t do anything for you guys (you’ll just continue on being flamers and haters), perhaps those on the fence about such things can find a different yet valid viewpoint on the subject.  And also it was a nice way to end the rant.  ‘Til next time, guys…

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If there’s any term that is over used in the furry fandom (whether it’s in a serious context or silly one), it’s “fursecution”.  A made up word consisting of “furry” and “persecution” used to describe when members of the furry fandom are being persecuted against by people who aren’t furries.  And I’m using “persecuted against” very lightly.


(Also I’m only speaking to those who use the term “fursecution” seriously.  As a term used to mock others, it’s quite perfect.)


Furries have gotten a bad rap in the media (via CSI mainly) for being a group of socially inept outcasts who are all perverts.  For anyone who isn’t familiar with the furry fandom or doesn’t have friends that are furries, the internet and the television is going to be their only source for find out what a furry is.  And if anyone hasn’t noticed, the media is generally apt to making “strange” groups of people seem even more strange.  It’s happened for gamers, sci-fi fans, comic book fans…furries are no different.  And with the anonymity on the internet, anyone can hate on anyone else without ever having to face this person in real life.  Never mind the furry they might be picking on might be a fantastic musician, beautiful painter…someone as gorgeous as a super model or as strong as an MMA fighter, the internet makes it easy for the weakest person to pick on the strongest person.


Fursecution as a term needs to stop.  The primary reason is because there’s already a term for persecution and it’s persecution.  Adding “fur” to it detracts from the seriousness of the word and gives people more of a reason to mock you.  Also in order to be persecuted against, you must prove that a person has actually persecuted against you.  Denied you a job, fired you, did something to harm your reputation, etc.  Because a person says negative things against a furry does not mean that they’ve actually persecuted you.  Take a step back from the fandom and look at what a non-furry sees.  The most popular art has large breasted, seductive anthropomorphic animals.  Regular anthropomorphic artist (such as Goldenwolf) don’t even want to be associated with the fandom (despite completely catering to the fandom) because they are very aware of the stereotypes.  And even more popular than the seductive anthropomorphic art is the pornography.  Being a PG-PG-13 artist in the fandom is difficult because in order to get your art fully noticed you have to be as talented as Goldenwolf, Dark Natasha, or Screwbald/Blotch (traditional and digital art wise) or an X rated or fetish artist.  A rather large gap don’t you think?


(This isn’t to say other artists aren’t noticed.  But in order to be popular, this is a general observation about skill and talent in the fandom.  The more popular artists tend to be the ones who draw beautifully detailed images or the ones who can quickly crank out lots of cartoony, cute work.)


There are plenty of negative things to say about furries and furries provide the negativity.  I love the fandom for the creativity that exists within it, but many members are childish, rude, and intolerant while hiding beneath a guise of acceptance and tolerance.  Not to mention the paranoia of allowing non-furries explore the furry fandom and the rudeness that surrounds that.  Behind every stereotype that’s an inkling of truth and the truth is that very few things that non-furs say about furries is false.  Unless it’s geared towards everyone who considers themselves a furry.  Broad assumptions are generally incorrect.


Long story short, furries aren’t persecuted against, have never been persecuted against, and will never be persecuted against.  Furry is a fandom.  A group of people brought together by a mutual interest in anthropomorphic animal art.  And you chose to associate yourself with it.  Being a furry should be fun and enjoyable.  And if you aren’t having fun with it or if you’re too self conscious and only think about the negatives of the fandom, then perhaps this isn’t the fandom for you.  When you associate yourself with any group (whether the association is from birth or self-inflicted), you always…always have to take the good with the bad.  But lucky for you, the furry fandom is something you can easily walk away from.  If you don’t want to take the negatives with the positives, you are free to walk away from the fandom.  But if the positives outweigh the negatives, don’t linger on them.  Take the negatives, ignore them, and continue on with your life.

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