What Happened To LoliRock?

I want to talk about this show for a while.

Lolirock is a typical magical girl show. And when I say typical, I mean that absolutely. The show covers just about every cliche ever shown in magical girl shows. Personally, I like the show, but I can’t say it didn’t put me to sleep after a while. I never got through more than half of the first season, though I know what happens, important plot points, and how the show ends.

The show is aimed at kids, but I think My Little Pony proves the age of the target audience doesn’t doom a show to be boring. So, what’s LoliRock’s problem?

As I said, the show is very cliche. On its own, that’s not a bad thing, but there’s ultimately nothing unique about LoliRock. Lost magical princess sent to Earth to be raised in safety because of the downfall of her kingdom? Yep. Male characters who exist solely to be the generic love interest? Got it. Repetitive day-to-day plot? Check. I’d say the only unique thing about LoliRock is the show never did school episodes. I consider that a plus because school episodes bore me, but a lack of something rarely stands out and that’s easy to miss.

Iris, the blonde you see in the middle, is the show’s central protagonist. Unfortunately, cute and sweet as she is, she’s more bland than a Barbie doll. She’s not a bad character, but she’s arguably the most vanilla character of the cast. She’s perfect, her life is perfect, and she barely struggles.

A character with a perfect life isn’t boring for that reason. A good comparison is Usagi of Sailor Moon. Like Iris, Usagi also had a picture-perfect childhood and had few worries growing up outside of her next test. However, unlike Iris, though Usagi’s life was perfect, Usagi herself wasn’t. She was lazy, clumsy, ditzy, a crybaby, a drama queen, and a bit of an airhead. In other words, she was flawed. But she made up for all those traits by being an all-loving heroine who’d go to the ends of the earth for her loved ones without hesitation, and would willingly sacrifice herself for the good of everyone else. Usagi struggles so much with being Sailor Moon, her powers temporarily disable because she dislikes being Sailor Moon that much. She just wants to be a normal girl and not worry about her loved ones dropping dead at any moment.

Iris is perfect from the start, and while she has her own battles, her life doesn’t seem hugely affected. After the first episode, she seems just fine with the revelation she’s a magical fighter. She has few flaws, if any, and simply put, she’s not as interesting her friends. The defining trait of the redhead, Auriana, is that she’s boy-crazy (surprise, surprise), but that’s still something over Iris. The cast as a whole isn’t very fleshed out, but with the show’s focus primarily being Iris, there’s little excuse for her.

Some fans feel the show’s title is awkward, but I disagree. It definitely sounds better than LoliPop, and it still matches the show’s overall cuteness. In fact, the overall opinion is cuteness is all the show really has going for it. By the end of the first season, the show’s whole plot is reset and the girls have to achieve the same goal in season two. Not hard to see why the show didn’t do well.

No news has been given about the show for more than a year, so it’s unknown if the show is really cancelled or if it’s merely on hiatus. If it’s the latter and there is a plan for LoliRock, I hope, if nothing else, there is less repetition and the cast outside of Iris gets more exploration. And that they either get rid of the generic love interests (yeah, right) or give them a purpose besides being generic love interests. But it is an MG series, so best to not hold my breath for that one.

The Real Loser

There’s an expression that hard times help you discover your true friends. I agree.

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Toy Story No More

One of my favorite trilogies is Pixar’s Toy Story. I love the first three movies, the third being my most favorite, and I like the shorts they had. I was never interested in Toy Story 4 because, to me, they ended the trilogy perfectly. On top of that, Toy Story is one of those rare series where the sequels are better than the original. You cannot beat that! But they tried.

And in my opinion, they flopped.

The only reason I watched this film is my boyfriend likes it and wanted to watch it with me. I figure maybe I’ll be surprised, so I said yes and we watched it during a sleepover. I was surprised, but not pleasantly.

The only parts of this move I enjoy are the flashback montage at the beginning, and Bo Peep. I love her character, and I didn’t expect to because, while I have always liked Bo Peep, I never liked her more than any of the other toys (Jessie is my favorite, and Buzz before her). However, in my opinion, Bo Peep is the sole reason this movie is worth watching. She’s still not my favorite overall, but she’s my favorite in this film.

I can’t decide which is more annoying in this film: Woody, or the romantic plot. I never enjoyed romantic plots, even as a teenager, and ironically, they areĀ more annoying now that I have my own steady relationship. But depending on how they’re done, they can be enjoyable. This one, however, was only a nuisance. And no, I don’t believe romance weakens an action girl (I just said I have my own!). My issue is when it takes over everything. Which it did here.

And that brings me to Woody. I like Woody in every film except this one because he is an utter idiot! I was glad Bo Peep called him out on his actions, but really, after the first scene with the antique shop, I could not stand Woody anymore. The entire movie after that scene happens because Woody is a blundering fool!

I am not trying to knock down those who love this movie, but you can’t say everything after the first scene with the antique shop isn’t Woody’s fault because the rest of the movie wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t go in there. He got Forky back, and finally convinced Forky he was valuable as a toy, so Forky is willing to stay. But after going through all the hell of bringing Forky back, Woody suddenly decides a tiny chance of seeing Bo Peep is more important than Bonnie, despite how much he preached that importance just a scene ago, and that we saw he still misses Andy.

This is what makes me hate romance plots. Yes, real people make stupid decisions in the name of love. But again, Woody’s stupidity is the sole reason the rest of the movie happens. And no, the resolution does not make me hate that less. At the very least, take Forky back to the RV before going into the antique shop. But the movie couldn’t exhibit Woody’s chronic hero syndrome if he used common sense. My point is there’s a difference between a single lapse in judgment and having the intelligence of wall plaster.

Gabby Gabby. I am enjoying the trend of movies with no villains, so I like that she is more morally questionable than outright villainous (kind of like Elsa in the first Frozen, though Elsa’s questionable actions are either unintentional or done with selfless intent), and I do like she finally gets an owner. I admit I felt for her when Harmony rejected her. But otherwise, I don’t think much of her. I like her for what she is, but that’s really all I can say.

I don’t like the ending, but with Woody’s obsession with Bo Peep, it was probably the best ending.

I do enjoy the film’s concept of lost toys, however. The previous films depicted not being loved by a child as a tragic thing, so it is nice that not all lost toys are devoid of hope and can have a good life outside of a child’s bedroom. At the same time, Gabby’s desire to be owned by a child isn’t shamed and is shown to be as valid. I see it as a metaphor for commitments (career, marriage, parenthood, etc) versus freedom. It’s okay if you want to be a free spirit and go wherever chance takes you, and it’s okay if you’d rather settle down into a more (presumably) comfy and stable life. Neither is better than the other, and neither makes you better than someone who chooses differently. We definitely need more “live and let live” messages in society. Even when Bo Peep calls Woody out on his actions, it’s his selfishness, his disregard for his actions hurting his friends, she calls him out on, not his need to help Bonnie (which he sees it as an attack of).

Speaking of which, I admit that’s another topic the movie does tackle well: toxic loyalty. In real life, relationships are (or should be) built on mutual love, trust, and respect. Bonnie no longer had interest in Woody, but Woody was still willing to go to ridiculous lengths for Bonnie’s happiness simply because he could not accept he isn’t her favorite toy like he was Andy’s. Through Woody’s stupidity, this is shown as a bad thing, and it’s what Bo Peep calls him out on. As much as I dislike this film, that is a very good message for kids: be wary of who you give your loyalty to. Yes, we’re talking about a 5 to 6-year-old girl and her toy, but close enough.

All in all, I give Toy Story 4 a plus for Bo Peep, its positive messages, and realistic child behavior. Everything else is a “meh”, and Woody is an absolute negative.

When those “like other girls” are bullies…

Recently, I asked my boyfriend’s opinion on the backlash against “not like other girls”. Like me, he knows how it feels to grow up bullied and being treated differently, and struggling to accept those supposed differences, so I had to ask what he thinks of it suddenly being a bad thing to not be like the others.

His answer? “Hypocrites. They spent so much time hating others for their differences. Now, they suddenly want to unite and say we’re the same? What changed?”

I never thought of it that way, but I do agree.

A question I’ve posed lately on posts and groups about this topic is if a girl who grew up hearing constantly from other girls that she isn’t like them, was excluded and ostracized from groups in general, and wanted nothing more than to be like the other girls becomes a “not like other girls” girls when she finally gets fed up of failing to fit in and tries to embrace those differences that make the other girls reject her.

So far, I have received no answer to that question. Which further makes me agree with my boyfriend and believe the backlash against “not like other girls” is utter garbage.

No, I don’t want to be like the other girls who took joy in making my school life hell. No, I don’t want to be friends with the girls who mocked my appearance on a daily basis. Yes, I will proudly be “not like other girls” when the other girls spread vicious rumors about me, stole my lunch food, tossed my backpack out of a school bus, and never received consequences for their bullying behavior.

It was cool for girls (and boys) to bully, exclude, and antagonize a girl for not being like them. Now, it’s cool to do it when the girl is finally fed up and decides she doesn’t care if she’s not like them. It sounds to me like it’s okay for the other girls to decide she’s not like other girls, but it’s not okay for a girl to decide for herself she isn’t like the other girls… even if she has never stopped hearing it.

If the girl can’t fit in because the other girls deem she’s not like them, and she can’t embrace whatever those differences are because she is like them, the final option is for that girl to live her life hating herself. Poor girl.

To me, this is akin to the bully who beat you up and slammed you in a locker every day suddenly claiming to be a better person because he found God/Jesus/religion. I can’t help wondering how many of these preachers against “not like other girls” were the girls who bullied other girls for not being like them, and are now shaming those girls for deciding they no longer care if they’re not like them. Because if those girls finally accept what their bullies have told them and actually embrace it – that they are not like them and their group, and they are going to be proud of that – their bullies can’t bully them anymore about being different anymore. So, shame them for that pride and tell them they’re the same. And meticulously leave out how and why those girls became “not like other girls” girls to begin with.

In short, as far as I’m concerned, the preachers against “not like other girls” can fuck off. You didn’t want to my friend when I wanted nothing more than to be yours and join your circle. I’m not a crying elementary schoolgirl in her little blue uniform anymore. I don’t want to be your friend now that you suddenly deemed we are alike after all. Just don’t break your arm patting your back for being “inclusive” now.