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Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL posted:

I want to say Hordak gave Skeletor the original marching orders to Eternia which of course Skeletor promptly ignored/focused on his personal superiority. I think if he had gotten a hold of Grayskull’s power he’d immediately turn on Hordak and Horde Prime.

I think he straight up turns on Hordak several times in the old show, they're pretty much enemies. One of the best/silliest episodes involves Skeletor baking Hordak a pie that when eaten causes him to fade from existence unless he can get someone to shed tears at his passing.

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Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

CaptainCrunch posted:

Does it? I don't actually know how horoscopes are supposed to "determine" one's personality.

How do Cancers and Scorpios get along, supposedly? Since Catra's a scorpio.

The stereotype about Scorpios is that they're pragmatic, assertive and domineering, so despite her name and aesthetic Scorpia doesn't really fit into that bracket. Cancers are meant to be intuitive and sentimental, but moody. Stereotypically (and again astrology is nonsense, but it's fun nonsense) they have being high-strung and emotional in common, but Cancer is the soft-hearted one and Scorpio is the one with hard edges.

Also Catra is clearly Vriska, so only Scorpio really makes sense.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Yep. See also: why so many skeevy dudes like "moe" anime that just focuses on Japanese tweens expressing a single personality trait and being helpless.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

side_burned posted:

I appreciate the use of the original costumes and music. I can tell that Noelle Stevenson spent a lot of time watching the original series, there tons of easter eggs and a lot of them are really obscure details, Adora's rank of Force Commander is straight from 80's series and used maybe half dozen times. That is some attention to detail.

My favourite one of these is when Adora turns her sword into a lasso and looks disgusted at how obviously useless this thing is. In the original series, the lasso got an absolutely unreal amount of air time because hitting people with swords, or even punching them, was a no go for children's programming.

As such, She-Ra's two main moves were like...turn her magic sword into a lasso and lasso someone, or pick up something extremely heavy and throw it at them. Throwing heavy objects somehow didn't count as direct violence, so it was permissible.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

On the whole I actually thought this run of seven was a bit dull. Lots of nothing-y plots (Adora and Swiftwind rebuilding the spire, the ghost village where the entire B plot is just ten minutes of them getting scared of ghosts until they realise they're holograms), and now that Catra's uncomplicatedly villainous she's a bit less interesting. It feels like a lot of the drama drivers from the first season (Catra's conflicted loyalties, Adora's culture shock, Glimmer's domestic problems, the fractious princess alliance) are gone and there isn't much to replace them.

The Shadow Weaver flashback episode is definitely the best of the season on that front, I feel like, in that it gives Catra something to react to emotionally and lets her play more than one note. I actually hated the "Scorpia has a crush on Catra" thing, just because Catra is such a giant rear end in a top hat I can't imagine that relationship being particularly good or healthy for Scorpia.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

side_burned posted:

https://twitter.com/HeManOrg/status/1123266365555707904

I would have been very excited about this 20 years ago.

drat, you've been a Noah Cent fan for a long time!

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Labes for days posted:

Most of the hero plots were skippable but man oh man I would watch a soap opera about the Fright Zone.

Catra hopped from abusive approval-seeking relationship with Shadow Weaver to abusive approval-seeking relationship with Hordak so I imagine the Scorpia thing is going to help her understand “huh this is what it’s like being in a relationship with somebody who likes me for who I am instead of what I can do for them.”

100% agree that Light Spinner was the best episode because it was about my favorite character’s journey from being a frumpy green elf to a frumpy gray elf.

Yeah, plus Shadow Weaver's voice actor can bring it, and as a character she's still compelling.

I really wish the hero plots had been better, though. The one with Bow's parents was good, I thought, but a lot of the rest are just one beat stretched out for ten minutes, capped with one character apologising to the others for being slightly snippy with them. The ghost one and the rebuilding the tower one are the worst culprits, but the one with Frosta and Glimmer having a spat also comes off as really shallow. I feel like the first season had a lot more texture for the heroic characters, particularly Adora who got a lot to chew through, and whose most notable character beat this season is that it's funny when her sword transforms into useless stuff.

Also the, "we can't take prisoners! We'll be just like them!" thing is bizarre. I don't think it's come up before because the Rebellion mostly fights robots, but is their standard practise when they defeat Horde soldiers literally to just let them go? I guess that is what She-Ra used to do on the old show, but that was very transparently so that Hordak and the gang could return to their status quo next week. This one is a touch more grounded and actually has an ongoing plot, so it's really weird that the characters have the same 80s cartoon approach.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

The Horde actually vanishes their own soldiers who go into the Whispering Woods, solely to maintain the credibility of their "evil monster princesses" propaganda. This is the sole reason they haven't already won the war, Shadow Weaver murdered like seven hundred trained troops to build up that legend, and now they have to send in teenage cadets.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Motherfucker posted:

My only problem with the show is isn't hordak the boss of all the horde so why does a trainee rookie get promoted to force captain which is like... directly answerable to him and also apparently a select cadre, was that one guy who was a drill instructor in the first episode a force commander? Like does Catra run the entire horde for a while?? I thought scorpia was a force captain of the same rank?? Is there a LOT of force captains?? That would make sense but we never see any others and the entire horde seems to be like four people and a thousand mooks I don't know what the gently caress is going on with this evil hierarchy!!

In the old show, Hordak was actually just a backwater colonial governor, and the Horde was a massive intergalactic empire lead by an evil ghost called Horde Prime. Hordak was literally just some schmuck who was failing at keeping a conquered planet under control.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

One of the old show's Horde lieutenants (Grizzlor, the hairy monster man) has had multiple unvoiced cameo appearances now, which would stick out less if he wasn't one of like, six actual remaining Horde characters with a distinct design.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

side_burned posted:

My personal favorite episode of 80's She-Ra is Horde Prime Takes a Holiday. It has Skeletor stealing a spaceship and the most ridiculous displays of She-ra and He-Man's powers.

I love that one too. The whole thing where She-Ra turns her sword into a grappling hook, hurls it into space, and abseils to a spaceship in orbit? It's so ridiculously silly, it's fantastic.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Labes for days posted:

That was a good one but the one with the cursed pie that made Hordak fade from existence and was basically an entire episode dedicated to other characters insulting him viciously as he dies was my personal favorite.

Of course that wouldn’t happen in the current series because 1. this Hordak’s not that stupid and 2. Entrapta would be bawling her eyes out because now who’s gonna bankroll her trip to outer space???

I also love the one where a wizard's apprentice craves power, so he goes and apprentices himself to Shadow Weaver instead, which naturally proves to be a very bad idea. Original Shadow Weaver is honestly fantastic and occasionally transcends the sheer camp of the show. Hordak is just a snorting goofball, but Shadow Weaver is actually menacing.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Waffleopolis posted:

https://twitter.com/lauren_ash/status/1128764082461396992

Geena Davis is doing a role. Don't remember that character from the old cartoon, though.

She was only in one episode, she's like an honourable warrior race space bounty hunter that the Horde tricks into thinking She-Ra is evil.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Catra has never been a moral person - she's totally happy to hurt other people if it means personal advancement for her. That's consistent in her characterisation from jump. The change now is that she is willing to forgo self-preservation and personal advancement if it means causing pain to Adora, such is the depth of her anger. She's effectively willing to destroy the world just to hurt Adora's feelings. That's pretty messed up!

The ameliorating factor is, like...Catra is a teenager who was severely abused by her mother in an environment that primed her to resent Adora and see surpassing Adora as the key to earning her abusive parent's love.

That's why I think Shadow Weaver is worse. She's the author of Catra's psychological damage, and is at least partially responsible for the person Catra is now. She's an adult, doesn't have a history of trauma, and is totally in command of her faculties: she chooses to do evil things anyway. Unlike Catra (who demonstrably still loves Shadow Weaver, and has at least some complicated feelings about Adora given her whole charade with them being Horde pals in the alternate reality), Shadow Weaver doesn't seem to care about anyone at all. She's totally callous, and the only emotion she's driven by appears to be selfishness. And, I guess, desire for revenge on Hordak for casting her aside? But even that could be a feint to give Brightmoon an excuse for why she's joining what she now perceives to be the only side that will have her. After all, she joined the Horde in the first place not because she agreed with their evil agenda, but because she wanted a position of power and was indifferent to the harm they might cause.

Catra's really bad, though. Super evil. Still mostly responsible for her own wickedness. Adora's speech about how she's had plenty of chances to reform and now she has to live with the choices she's made is an exhilarating moment, because she's completely right.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Entrapta just has a sense of self-preservation. It doesn't mean she's more moral than Catra necessarily (although she probably is just by virtue of the fact that she's kind to Hordak), she just doesn't want the world to blow up because that would kill her and stop her from doing cool science experiments.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Halloween Jack posted:

The original Scorpia had some very Divine eyeshadow, and a deep voice. I don't know if that was deliberate, or if it's just because Linda Gary was already doing 6 other voices on that show.

I think it was literally just because yeah, her voice repertoire was stretched to its limit with how much they used her. Melendy Britt's Catra voice was similar (and hilarious) - it was pretty much just a pitchier take on her Adora voice with a bunch of random yowls and MYAAAAs thrown in, to the point where Catra sounded like she was constantly on the verge of having a stroke.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

SardonicTyrant posted:

Pretty sure it was magic, and pretty sure She-Ra and the sorceress being magitech is just a thing in the new show.

Kinda - the sword was magic, but Masters of the Universe was always a science fantasy pastiche with plenty of sci-fi elements. Like, Prince Adam's mother is an astronaut from Earth who crash lands on Eternia. The old She-Ra has a bunch of magic vs. tech stuff, like the Horde uses a combination of both to control the planet, and Hordak's tech powers are implied to be augmented with evil magic. The new show has expanded on these vague themes a lot, but it's working off something that was present in the original show.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

The waterfall's super yonic (I thought the same thing) but I don't think the worm is phallic, really. Not framed right. It's way too bendy, too.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Mordaedil posted:

It's surprisingly common in children's entertainment, but it usually is just the result of the animators being really horny.

This monster could have been anything, but it was a giant one-eyed snake.

There was symbolism going on, but I'm not smart enough to piece together what the allegory actually was, if it was sex on wedding night or implanting a seed in an egg to pass the torch to the next generation, but there was definitely something going on and it was intentional.

The quest chamber, with its hologram of Angella, is also a pseudo-tomb for the queen. The whole "entering a cave through a vertical slit in a waterfall" thing is classic return to the womb imagery, more so because Glimmer's mother is literally in there waiting for her. From this you get a dualism of womb/tomb which is real common subtext when exploring yonic spaces that are at once mystical, potentially nourishing, but dangerous and somehow forbidden or restricted. Glimmer is both returning to the site of her birth, and acknowledging the end of her childhood as she passes into adulthood. She returns to the womb so that she can confront her mother's absence, memorialise her, and then emerge reborn.

I don't think the snake is phallic at all, or at least it's not important to the metaphor. It's a hazard and a danger that must be tamed - essentially just a crisis in catabasis, the descent into the underworld, where the questant is stripped of their weapons and possessions (here, Glimmer is stripped of her ability to teleport) while confronting ghosts and demons that want to end their journey. Typically, those demons have to be reckoned with through diplomatic manners rather than combat, which is also how they defeat the serpent!

If you really wanna incorporate the phallus into the metaphor, I'd say this: the ghosts and demons in catabasis are typically casualties of less heroic journeys into the underworld, or those who died long ago and are now bitter spectres of their former selves. They're inversions of the hero, and reflections of what the hero could become if they stray from the path of heroism. So the snake is arguably an anti-example: everything Glimmer shouldn't be to survive her adulthood. Solitary, aggressive, powerful, aimlessly defending the static memory of her mother. You could map some phallic symbolism onto that, if you wanted.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Also this season was really good, the best so far I think. They're finally paying off a lot of drama they spent S2 and S3 building up - and they're doing it in relatively complex, interesting ways. The rift between Glimmer and Adora is making me care more about both characters than I did when they were just uncomplicated pals, and Glimmer in particular is getting a powerfully interesting treatment that really makes her feel like a developed, complicated person.

Also, Double Trouble rules. Jacob Tobia's line deliveries are fantastically energetic.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

I don't think there's anything thirsty about it, really. Like, in this particular case none of the metaphor is about sex in a direct way. It's more about birth and growing up. Womb/yoni symbolism is really, really common for that kind of thing.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Seems like it's a doomsday weapon that eliminates the enemies of the First Ones i.e. probably the entire galaxy around Etheria, or something like that. It's a bit vague but there's explicit reference made to it destroying all the stars and planets in the sky.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

CuwiKhons posted:

I got the impression that it was a very powerful weapon that could annihilate entire planets, but could only be aimed by someone with the She-Ra sword (which the First Ones created for exactly that purpose). I also got the impression that something was wrong with the device and at this point, using it would cause Etheria to pop like an overfull balloon. I don't think it was broken at the time Mara chose to shut it down because her objection seemed more "I don't want to kill other people" than "I don't want to destroy this planet specifically."

I don't think She-Ra was even meant to aim it, she was just the automated conduit. The programming in the sword was supposed to allow the First Ones to force She-Ra to fire off the weapon at a target of their choosing, and even though the First Ones are gone Light Hope's still aiming the weapon per their design. That's why Adora is getting all program-y and overrun with circuitboard patterns when it's about to fire.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Regy Rusty posted:

God drat that was a good season.

For a while I was upset at the severe lack of Entrapta, but Double Trouble made up for that and almost supplanted her as my favorite character by the end. Of course she came back in strong and secured her place at the top once more but DT's final scene was amazing too.

It was nice seeing things really come together in a big exciting way after the last couple setup seasons, and it managed to simultaneously set up the next part of the story. Great stuff all around I can't wait to see what's next.

Agreed. S2 and S3 felt so uneven that I almost thought the show had lost its spark. They were playing the long game, though, because they cashed so many of those dramatic chips in this season, and had some really complex, thrilling, moving scenes. I teared up several times!

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Doctor Reynolds posted:

Has the show in-universe ever explored what in the world "For the honor of Greyskull!" means?

No, but given the events of this season it seems like Eternia (and Castle Greyskull) were part of the First Ones' space empire, and She-Ra shouting that to transform was just a patriotic flourish.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Mermista doesn't seem like the type to tolerate him calling her His Beloved if they weren't actually an item.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Taear posted:

Yea I agree. We've seen frosta at work, and now excited frosta.
We did get that episode about her being too much as well.

Frosta and Perfuma are such thin characters compared to the rest of the cast. Mermista has gotten a lot of development (especially this season), but Frosta and Perfuma have only gotten your typical "potted moral" episodes, one each, where they're struggling with something mundane and then at the end they solve the problem. They don't get to deal with anything that has stakes or consequences for their characters. The rest of the cast all have at least one dramatic conflict to grapple with!

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Elephant Ambush posted:

In our house the theme song goes like this:

"We're on the edge of greatneeeee-ONG!"

Yeah, I normally never skip intros, but She-Ra's theme song is not good.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Re: Game of Thrones, I don't think the "Dany is a tyrant" plot point is impossible to deliver well, but yeah, as delivered in the show, it's literally just "woman goes crazy, Jon Snow and Tyrion sadly muse over how they both think she's a hottie and would totally do her but damnit, the nation demands a coup". That scene with Jon and Tyrion in the dungeon radiates "women are crazy, what are you gonna do" energy.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Her new transformation also looks quite a lot more like the 80s She-Ra, which I thought was kind of cool.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

I think it's tricky because like, Catra has literally attempted to kill Adora, kill Adora's friends, and destroy the world, some of those things multiple times each. You sort of have to read those as heightened metaphors for bad behaviour, rather than as literalism, for her redemption arc to "work" without more time than the show had to spend on it.

That said I still love the Catradora dynamic. It's really sweet and romantic this season. It's just like, if you remember the details of the stuff she did in previous seasons, you kind of have to treat that as not entirely literal for it to feel fully satisfying. Imo!

Like, the lesson is "abused kids who lash out and hurt the people around them can be better and deserve second chances at happiness", not so much "abused kids who attempt the destruction of the planet and also murder can be made better if their victims choose to show them kindness". You have to take Catra's transgressions as metaphors for like, bad behaviour in the social realm, not the physical and murderous violence that they literally were.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Beekeeping and You posted:

I mean, they do, but it's usually businessmen and not traumatized catgirls

Yeah, pretty much. There are people who do things that are That Bad, particularly the attempted murder stuff, and this wouldn't be a satisfying treatment if you read Catra's transgressions as literal depictions of violence with intent to kill. If you read them as a big metaphor about broken families and warring friendship groups though, it works fine.

I think it helps to be aware of this stuff, because like, "my friend used to lash out and push me away, she could be really cruel, but she realised she had a problem, got better, and now we're dating" is a good message for kids, while "my girlfriend tried to murder me but she said sorry and now we're back together and things are good" really isn't.


What people take from this treatment is really going to depend on how much of the core conflict of the first few seasons they're willing to read as a metaphor for social conflict vs. the violence depicted on screen being literal. I think it works perfectly well if you do the former, but maybe you have to squint a bit.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

And yeah, with the Horde being as goofy and non-threatening as they are before the arrival of Horde Prime, it's easy enough to dismiss the whole Horde-Princess Alliance war as kids' stuff. But there's also not a huge amount of signposting that the reader needs to do that, so it's going to be up to individual readers to interpret it as they watch.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Pyrotoad posted:

Sheesh it's like some of you never shipped a hero with a villain before :colbert:

More serious note - there's been objectively worse heterosexual couples in children's media before with not a single raised eyebrow but for some reason when it's a gay couple suddenly they have to be paragons of virtue.

Is that true, though? I feel like there's always a pretty vocal contingent of people who are sceptical about villain shipping. Like, many people absolutely hated shipping Rey with Kylo Ren for pretty much the same reasons.

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

CuwiKhons posted:

I wouldn't call Star Wars 'children's media', generally. Certainly children enjoy it, but it wasn't made for them. While we're talking about ATLA, I'd more closely compare this to people who shipped Zuko/Katara before his redemption, specifically going into the last season when he'd apparently thrown his redemption in the garbage. I personally hated Zutara and still do - I liked Mai and related to her a lot and I hated the way that Zutara shippers treated her. Nobody involved in that ship was interested in hearing "Zuko refused his redemption and tried to kill the Gaang." It was all "No it's fine, they'll still get together in the end."

At any rate, I think it's worth saying there can be a happy middle ground here - I agree that I don't think Catra earned her redemption, yet. I think she could in the future, but we're not going to get to see it. By the same token, I don't think Hordak got any form of redemption. Mermista made a crack about 'are we all just okay with this?' but if you imagine the story continuing, there probably would have to be a very real conversation about 'okay, what do we do about this because sorry doesn't really cover it'. But that's not the scope of the show and I don't need it to be. I don't really like Catradora as they are now but I also recognize that outside the confines of the story, it was incredibly important for them to end up together for representation reasons. Every single other villain and former villain of the series except for Prime got their equivalent of a happy ending. Even Shadow Weaver got to go out on her own terms, tormenting Catra one last time. It'd be pretty lovely for Catra not to get hers.

Yeah, I pretty much agree. Well said!

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

I don't think it's iron-clad that Bow and Glimmer are dating. Like, in Adora's dream of the future they have couple-y mannerisms, but that's pretty much it. That moment also seems like "here's something Adora wants" rather than an actual precognition of what's to come.

I definitely read the "I love you" as "you are my best friend and I care about you immensely, and I need to let you know that before we both maybe die, especially since things have been bad between us lately". It's open to interpretation I guess, but you'd think if it was a big confession of Hidden Heterosexual Love they'd kiss.

Plus, I think it's cool (and on brand for She-Ra's general message) to normalise telling your friends you love them. Media needs more of that! Especially close friendships between a man and a woman that aren't a secretly simmering romance plot!

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Nerdietalk posted:

Honestly, Keston John really climbed up the ranks of my favorite voice actor list this season. His Hordak was always great, but the way he differentiates between Prime and Wrong Hordak and all the other clones while still technically being the same voice? Perfection.

Yeah, for real. Horde Prime and the clones are maybe the best voice performance of the season - not just Prime's menace, but the smarmy, adoring fanaticism of his "brothers" and the way it transitions into the gentle bemusement of Wrong Hordak. So good!

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Elephant Ambush posted:

My wife and I just finished this tonight and it was great. It was really weird hearing so many characters say "I love you" to each other but at the same time I love that it's normalizing the phrase and making it a thing you can just say to someone you love instead of the traditional media bullshit where it's a hard thing to say and you have to hold it back until the most dramatic moment possible or whatever. It was positive and refreshing.

My wife and I are straight so we really didn't see Catra/Adora or Bow.Glimmer coming but again, refreshing and awesome and cool and good. I hope this show blows the doors off so that many other shows (animated or otherwise) can follow suit with representation and normalization.

We're probably going to go back and re-watch the whole drat thing with the new perspectives this season gave us and I'm sure we'll pick up on things we missed before. Like we definitely noticed the subtle sexual tension between Adora and Catra at the prom but we thought it was just Catra loving with Adora because that's her MO.

Scorpia and Entrapta are the loving best. Hordak/Wrong Hordak/Prime's voice actor was the VIP of the whole season. That takes some serious talent to do what he did.

I'm really glad this show exists. My wife and I both watched the original show as kids and it's really awesome to see it not only modernized but also pushing LGBTQ+ representation to the max. And not even just that community but like Glimmer and Spinerella are chubby and they're represented. So many skin colors represented. Interracial relationships are represented. Literally gay black dads are represented and that is just brave as gently caress. I think the only group I can think of that wasn't featured was disabled people, although someone here can correct me if I'm wrong. It's late and I'm tired and going to bed after posting this.

It was also really cool reading through all the perspectives from different people here. We have a lot to digest and think about and talk about for the rest of the week. :)

Love the positivity in this post. Thank you for your perspective!

Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Vinylshadow posted:

With the sheer amount of queer couples in media (and how much everyone talks about them), it's straight couples that are becoming the minority

Can't wait for that powder keg to detonate

Haha, oh buddy. We're not even remotely close to this being the case.

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Android Blues
Nov 22, 2008

Scorpia could probably lay claim to the Fright Zone if she wanted, but she'd have no people to like, govern, and it's unlikely she has much interest in that kind of thing anyway.

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