Comfort Entertainment: ‘Phineas and Ferb’ Ships

Screenshot of the characters from ‘Phineas and Ferb’. Copyright goes to Disney, Disney Chanel, and Dan and Swampy.

Hi! It’s Annie!

Lately I haven’t had many ideas in the way of binging new shows, so I have instead reverted to some of the shows I used to love and haven’t seen in years. And no show says summer quite like ‘Phineas and Ferb’. It’s definitely the most obvious show to watch around this time of year where summer is fast approaching and it’s becoming far too hot. But one of the things I didn’t remember as much from when I used to watch this show, is how much this show actually focuses on romantic relationships. And I was even more surprised to find that I actually wasn’t a huge fan of any of them (for the most part) upon my rewatch. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this show and I don’t think anything will ever change that. I absolutely love the characters! But my disappointment with some of the match-ups, really made me start to think about which match-ups I would rather see. Welcome to shipping, everyone! Am I seriously going to talk about my ideal ships in ‘Phineas and Ferb’? Yes. Yes, I am. Obviously, this post is going to be absolutely full of MAJOR SPOILERS for ‘Phineas and Ferb’, so if you haven’t seen it (HOW???) go ahead and watch the absolutely timeless brilliance of Dan and Swampy before continuing on with this post. Let’s get into it!

Couple: Candace and Jeremy

This is one of two of the major focused on couples in this series, and arguably the most prominent of the two. Candace loves absolutely nothing other than busting her brothers and Jeremy. But most of the time, busting Phineas and Ferb beats out any and all obligations to Jeremy. Poor Jeremy has to at first deal with Candace being creepy and stalking him in her crushing stage to being constantly abandoned during the dating stage. I used to not mind Candace as a character, but watching the series as an adult has made some of my previous neutrality on Candace as a character fade away as well. Candace can provide some comedy and some much needed foil to Phineas and Ferb’s plot lines, but she doesn’t really seem to care that much about anyone. Her goal in life is to bust Phineas and Ferb, which would effectively get them in trouble with their parents and result in them being unhappy. It would be one thing if she was worried, but she never really seems to care about the dangerous aspects of anything they create. She only cares about her Mom if it means she’s busting the boys, no matter what she might be pulling her Mom away from. And she’s constantly abandoning her boyfriend and best friend with these endeavors. Jeremy is laid back and sweet. Seriously, he’s the most understanding boyfriend ever. Even when Candace demonstrates that she doesn’t trust him to be faithful to her on multiple occasions. Jeremy deserves better.

Alternative Couple: Stacy and Jeremy

Stacy is just as victimized by Candace as Jeremy, if not more so. Candace will spend what little time she’s willing to give up on Phineas and Ferb with Jeremy. In the end, you really do wonder why the two are still friends. Stacy even confronts Candace about this issue, and though it is resolved in the episode it is obviously never solved in the overall plot. Stacy also occasionally has love interests, but they never really appear or are referenced again after the episode finishes. So Stacy is always left completely alone. Which is messed up considering how much Stacy has been there for Candace. You never really see that friendship reciprocated. Stacy is also shown to be pretty laid back and has a lot of the same interests as Jeremy. When Candace and Stacy go to see a music festival that Jeremy’s friend is involved in, it is very clear that both Stacy and Jeremy are more interested in that music style and festival than Candace is. I just can’t help but think that Stacy and Jeremy would really get along and that they would have a much healthier relationship. Because both of them are so understanding, they would actually have someone to be understanding towards them too.

Couple: Phineas and Isabella

Whatcha Doooin?? The second of the two prominent couples and quite possibly the more popular of the two. I used to love the idea of Phineas and Isabella. It was made to be cute and lovable from the get go. But you do always feel bad for Isabella considering that Phineas never seems to realize that she’s even there beyond the regular friend group. He’ll do anything for her, but that’s no different than how he acts to any one of his friends. And sometimes he ignores her to an extent that makes it annoying to not just Isabella. Isabella is very obvious in her feelings and it gets to a point where you honestly wonder if Phineas is pretending not to notice because he doesn’t feel the same. I don’t think Phineas is ever interested in having much in his life other than coming up with what he and Ferb are going to do today. And he often doesn’t give Isabella any of the recognition she rightly deserves for her help. Literally everyone else pays more attention to Isabella that Phineas does. And while I still love Phineas, I don’t personally feel that the right answer is Isabella waiting around for him forever. I think I would have much rather seen her move on with someone else.

Alternative Couple: Ferb and Isabella

There’s a time travel episode where Candace goes to the future and it comes out that her future kids have an “Aunt Isabella”. Isabella at first rejoices until Candace points out that this could also very well mean that she’s married to Ferb, who then reacts fairly positively to this news. And the idea of the couple hasn’t left my brain since. Ferb is very obviously more emotionally available in a few more aspects of his life than Phineas is. He’s more sympathetic and often notices when Isabella doesn’t get recognition. And Ferb is actually also shown to be interested in relationships. It would just be a bit better if it was more in his age group, but I’ll get back to that in a bit. Phineas isn’t necessarily not emotionally available in general, but his interest in anything other than friendship with anyone is never present. Isabella and Ferb have always been close as the brothers and Isabella usually spend the most time together. It would be really interesting to explore a different kind of connection with Ferb and Isabella, and Isabella would finally have the romantic and thoughtful partner she so desires.

Couple: Vanessa and Ferb

The very obvious issue here is the age gap. Maybe if they were older it wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but a teenager and an elementary school student is very very not good. I understand the significance of the voice actors and ‘Love Actually’, but that shouldn’t directly effect the characters. Vanessa also has made it clear on multiple occasions that she’s more interested in someone mature and also around enough because of her feelings of abandonment revolving around her Father at times. And I think we were already introduced to a great relationship for her.

Alternative Couple: Vanessa and Monty

Obviously, I’ve already talked about Ferb. But Vanessa and Monty were an adorable couple that we never really saw an actual break-up from. Our only clue that they broke up was the jump to the future where it showed her dating Ferb. And let’s be honest, Vanessa dating someone she first met as a child is really creepy. The connection between the son of Major Monogram and the daughter of Doofinshmirtz was an interesting dynamic. They both found something in each other that they couldn’t find with their sometimes absentee fathers. And they didn’t let their differences get in the way either, for the most part. Monty and Vanessa were absolutely perfect for each other, they even have the same coffee order, and knowing that they eventually broke up canonically breaks my heart. I prefer to think that they were truly endgame instead.

The Good Couples:

There are two canonical couples that I do absolutely love. Lawrence and Linda are the absolute cutest. They go antiquing together, they danced together very cutely to Love Handel, and Lawrence even became a pop star for her. Lawrence and Linda are a timeless couple, and rewatching has only re-introduced me to more cute moments that I didn’t originally fully appreciate. The second major couple that I love is Buford and Baljeet. And no, you can’t convince me that these two weren’t actually a couple. They have sung more than one song about missing each other and are heartbroken every time they are separated. Their relationship may be complicated, but it certainly looks nothing like any of the friendships between any of the other characters. They are a couple that slowly, throughout the series, become unafraid and unashamed of pining after each other. It’s an adorable progression to watch.

Did I ever actually think I would make this post? Absolutely not. But I never expected to be so passionate about ‘Phineas and Ferb’ couples. Of course, this post barely even mentions my favorite character Dr. Doofinshmirtz, but we all know he’s the most relateable anyways. His comments about being lonely are played for comedy, but hit really close to home for many of us. Which is part of the reason why we ship. I’m curious if anyone else has considered alternate ships for some of the main couples after having seen many of the same issues that I do. Feel free to comment your alternative ships below! Now I need to go do something else instead of obsessing over couples from ‘Phineas and Ferb’.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

Sci-Fi: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Episodes 1 and 2

Still of Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura and Ethan Peck as Spock in ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’. Copyright goes to Paramount Pictures and Roddenberry Entertainment.

Hey! Hallie here!

I’m finally caught up with a majority of the newer Star Trek content on Paramount+, so now I can actually watch some of these shows as they come out! ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ is definitely a series I’ve been anticipating. Anson Mount’s Cristopher Pike was my favorite part of season 2 of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’, and though I thought they could have done more with Ethan Peck’s Spock, I saw a lot of potential in this version of the character. All they really needed to finish selling me on this show was an awesome Uhura, and the minute I saw Celia Rose Gooding as the character I knew I would be tuning in every week to watch ‘Strange New Worlds’. Just like the other series we cover on this blog, I’ll be reviewing every two episodes so I have a good amount of content to dive into for each review. But who knows? This show’s already giving me so much to adore that I might be posting about it more often than planned! Here’s your warning that there’s SPOILERS ahead, and let’s get started!

Episode 1, ‘Strange New Worlds’:

What I Liked:

Captain Pike: Pike’s trauma is the star of episode one. Pike opens this pilot as a seriously depressed man, partially because of the people he lost in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’, but mostly because he saw himself in the future, horrifically scarred and unresponsive as we all know he ends up in TOS. You really feel how horrific this is for him when he begins to see his scarred face in every reflective surface. It’s disturbing, and if I had that knowledge I would also isolate myself in the middle of a snowy wasteland. But then Number One’s in trouble and she’s too badass to just leave behind, so Pike re-enters the Enterprise despite his mental state. Once we got onto the Enterprise, I was instantly reminded of why I liked Pike so much when he was on the Discovery. He’s a genuinely good captain. He’s loose in the captains chair and casual with everyone around him while still maintaining respect. When Spock corners him about his trauma he’s open to the conversation, even when Spock knowingly oversteps into something he isn’t comfortable speaking about. Pike even confesses that his trauma worries him mostly because he’s afraid of what kind of captain he’ll become when the knowledge of his death could potentially influence his decisions. I also think it’s really interesting to see a captain that’s so serious about the Prime Directive. We’ve definitely seen captains serious about it before, but Pike sees it as a moral obligation. The only way he becomes convinced to help the alien species in this episode is by the knowledge that they created warp technology and it’s partially his fault. At which point he gives the alien species, who’s currently at war, a rousing speech about avoiding the destruction the fictional World War III of Earth caused, which felt like Picard in the best of ways. I just really like Pike. It’s hard to dislike how caring he is is towards the galaxy at large.

Spock: Spock feels SO much more like Spock here than he does in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’. He isn’t moody here, but attentive and wise. He’s always calm and cool on the outside, as all Vulcans are, but his underlying care and concern for the other characters seeps through as well. He presses Pike constantly about his well being throughout the first half of this episode and he offers comfort in the best, most logical way he knows how. I also really loved the added touch of his lack of reaction after he screams in pain while experiencing the genetic disguise wearing off. It made for a good comedy moment that could really only ever come from Spock.

Other Crew: Pike, Spock, and newcomer La’an Noonien-Singh get the majority of the focus in this episode, but I wanted to shout out the other crew members. First, Uhura gets a few scenes in this episode and she shines in all of them. Her natural positivity is so infectious. Next, I actually like Christine Chapel! I really don’t like Christine Chapel in TOS. She’s mostly just used for eye candy and doesn’t have much of a personality to speak of. Christine Chapel here is quirky and funny, with a casual disregard for what others think of her that makes me want to be her. Dr. M’Benga also gets a personality boost in this series, and though we haven’t seen much of him yet, I really like his laid-back attitude. Also, I need to shout out Erica Ortegas, who didn’t get many lines but who was so much fun to watch onscreen that I barely noticed. Finally, Una Chin-Riley might not have been in this episode a lot, but she’s awesome whenever she shows up and I look forward to more of her as the series goes on.

Things I’m Not Sure About:

Incorporation of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’: I don’t have anything I outright dislike, but I do have some hesitations when it comes to this show. Its connection to ‘Discovery’ is one of them. I haven’t really talked about ‘Discovery’ much on this blog, and that’s because I’m not the biggest fan. I think it’s taking so many important strides when it comes to representation, but the writing isn’t the best in my opinion. In the very least I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking to watch ‘Star Trek’, so I’m not certain how I feel about a series I’m already loving so much, that I would recommend to my friends, depending on knowledge from a series I wouldn’t likely recommend to my friends. At least I’d only need a brief recap on ‘Discovery’ to catch a new fan up on what’s going on.

Spock Romance Scene: This was just kind of awkward. Also, a good chunk of fans couldn’t care less about T’Pring, especially when so many of them are busy shipping Spock with other characters (Mostly Kirk). I just don’t see what purpose this scene served.

La’an Noonien-Singh: She isn’t the most likable character when she’s introduced, but then again I’m not sure she’s supposed to be. She kicks ass, sure, but she’s standoffish and rude to pretty much everyone. On top of that, she does the very performative looking “I don’t need the sedative for this painful procedure” move, which doesn’t really impress me. But give her the same last name as Khan and I’m thoroughly intrigued. We’ll see where this goes!

Episode 2, ‘Children of the Comet’:

Uhura: I am so happy we got an Uhura episode so early on in the season. This episode was absolutely brilliant. I like the emphasis on how young she is here. She’s a prodigy in language studies, which means she’s the newest on the crew and the youngest by quite a bit. Given her young age, I really liked how the show displayed her uncertainty about her future. We don’t see that often in ‘Star Trek’. Most of the time we’re led to believe that everyone who joins Starfleet is 100% certain about their choice because they’ve trained to get on a star ship for so long. But Uhura ran away to Starfleet after the death of her family, and now that she’s gotten some distance from that tragic event, she’s starting to second guess that split-second decision. As a young person who’s experienced a lot of uncertainty over my future because of unforeseen circumstances, I relate to her so much. I also loved how the show emphasized the importance that her heritage plays in her love of, and immense skill in, languages. When it comes down to the meat of the episode, where Uhura is sent on her first away mission, we get to see a completely new side of the character. For the first time in her life she faces a life-threatening danger where her abilities are the only thing stopping her and the landing party from dying. And she begins to freak out. I adored this side of Uhura. It was so refreshing to see such a confident character buckle under pressure, as anyone would do on their first away mission, and begin to succumb to all of the negative thoughts she’s had about herself. It made the subsequent scenes, where she picks herself up, breaks through to the alien force she’s communicating with (By singing because it’s Uhura), and saves the day, that much more inspiring. Uhura’s already my favorite character in this series.

Spock: Spock gets even more in this episode than he got in the last episode. It’s all perfection. From the first part of the episode where he takes part in hazing Uhura only to admit moments later that her angry reaction made him respect her, to the complete lack of understanding over laughing at misfortune, everything he did in this episode had so much personality. I loved how much he grew as a character just by attempting to keep a watchful eye over Uhura. After the crew dinner he goes after her to speak with her as a result of the way she impressed him, but in the process he makes her feel unwelcome by suggesting that she leave if she’s uncertain about Starfleet. In reality he’s only trying to encourage her to put more work into giving Starfleet a chance, but his logical approach to this winds up coming back to haunt him when Uhura loses faith in her abilities on her first away mission. In coming to terms with Uhura’s uncertainties and encouraging her to focus on the present rather than on “what ifs”, he finally gets through to her and gives her the encouragement to save the day. He even supports her attempts to communicate in the alien’s language, which means we get to hear Spock’s adorably monotoned singing voice! I know that there’s a lot of talk over whether or not Spock and Uhura should be a couple, especially because there’s evidence to suggest Gene Roddenberry might have put them together in TOS if not for the rampant racism of the time, but I liked this approach to their relationship. Nichelle Nichols has always described Spock and Uhura’s relationship as a more mentor/student sort of dynamic, and it really works here.

The Pike Storyline: Pike’s part of this story isn’t as interesting as Spock and Uhura’s, but it’s still enjoyable to watch. I really like when we get episodes where the Starfleet crew is the one misunderstanding the alien species they’re talking to and not the other way around. I think it’s important in shows like this to shine a light on all of the things humans don’t know, even in a possible future where we’re far more advanced. Pike goes from thinking that the aliens they encounter in this episode are crazy and have no concern for sentient life, to realizing that they’re correct and while the Enterprise crew is needed to solve the issue at hand, there isn’t need to offend the aliens they encountered in the process. I also really loved the idea of Pike holding social dinners with the bridge crew in his quarters. It felt very much like when Sisko would cook his crew a meal on his off time and offer cooking lessons to anyone who wanted to help out. It makes the whole crew feel like a big family and it’s so comforting to see.

I don’t have any negatives to discuss for episode two so I’m going to end this here! As you can probably tell, I’m really enjoying myself with ‘Strange New Worlds’. I love all of the characters so far and the character development we’ve seen is inane for only two episodes. In general, I like the return to the regular ‘Star Trek’ formula. I like seeing a captain and their crew work together to solve planetary issues as they make contact with new worlds and new species. Sometimes it’s nice to turn things on their head and explore different storylines, but ‘Star Trek’ seems to be struggling a bit with these types of stories at the moment, so it’s nice to see the perfected original formula working at its best. They won me over after episode one, so I’m so excited to see what each new episode brings!

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

Comfort Entertainment: My Sailor Scout Ranking

‘Sailor Moon’ characters. Copyright goes to Toei Animation.

Hi! It’s Annie!

Lately I’ve been getting really into ‘Sailor Moon’ and pretty much all of the Sailor Senshi, so after watching all of their individual episodes in ‘Sailor Moon: Crystal’ plus more original series footage, I have finally formed an opinion on which ones are my favorites and which ones seem the most powerful to me. This is a really difficult list for me to make considering how much I’ve really started to love everything about this anime and the characters. I only have one exception to that statement, which you’ll see very early on. Though I didn’t grow up with ‘Sailor Moon’, I’m so incredibly happy that this show influenced so many and helped pave the way for other female superheroes. Before I really get into it, this is your SPOILER WARNING! I will be talking about some spoilers but they shouldn’t be too major. Especially since so many are already so familiar with all of these stories! So with that, I’ll just get right into it.

10. Sailor Chibi Moon

She’s probably the most hated Sailor Senshi and I think that’s for a reason. Though I don’t hate Chibi Moon as much as some (she is just a little kid after all), I still don’t like her. Let’s all be honest, her crush on Mamoru is really creepy. That’s her Dad! And she knows that’s her Dad! Why??? But her constantly trying to separate Mamoru from Usagi is always annoying and it happens far too often. It also often makes Mamoru look stupid because he’s so clueless to everything happening with the animosity between Usagi and Chibi Moon. I’ve also found that Chibi Moon is pretty useless to the plot. She often takes screen time that even feels like it was originally meant for Usagi. She even sometimes transforms with Usagi in a joint sequence that always feels just a little cluttered. Her presence didn’t feel like it added much to me and I could have probably done without the future travel and the weird incestuous crush on Tuxedo Mask. None of her powers really seem to be unique or fleshed out either, so she doesn’t strike me as very powerful.

9. Sailor Venus

We’ve now gotten to a point where it’s weird for me to put any of the characters this low down. But I think if I had to pick a least favorite of the Inner Senshi, it might have to be Minako even though I do really like her. Minako is the first to wake up of the Senshi, so we are automatically deprived of seeing that journey for her in the same way that we are introduced to the other four. On top of that, I personally find that her hobbies aren’t as fleshed out as some of the others and the ones that she does have seem to be a bit stereotypical and shallow. Whenever the other four are implied to be enjoying something intelligent, there’s this implication that Minako is incapable of enjoying it. And while she is pretty powerful, she doesn’t really have an element to make her powers look visually interesting. She’s responsible, but sometimes it can come off more negatively such as when she demands Chibi Moon take them into the future. I like her, but I prefer the other Senshi. I love her friendship with Artemis though!

8. Sailor Moon

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Usagi when I first started to watch ‘Sailor Moon’, but she has grown on me very quickly in a very short amount of time. She’s often one of the most powerful of the Senshi, especially in her Super Sailor form, and she has an amazing capacity for empathy. I think one of the things that sold me on her the most was the way she completely understood Haruka, even when her friends were against her spending any more time with them. Usagi does have a little bit of a problem with her possessiveness over Mamoru that can often turn into something almost like obsession. I would love to see more of Usagi that doesn’t revolve as much around Mamoru, as much as I like him too. But Usagi is a fun main character and definitely a great lighthearted lead with an amazing emotional capacity. I have much more respect for her now than I did before, I just like the other Senshi a little more and find some of their traits a bit more interesting.

7. Sailor Mercury

Ami is the smart one and the bookish one, so of course I liked the hobbies they expanded on with her! I think my issue with Ami is probably what most people run into with her. In general she seems to be the least powerful Sailor Senshi and she often doesn’t speak up in group discussions. And while I love a good introverted character, not speaking up in the group can often lead her to having very little time to talk in general. Her singular episodes are always enjoyable at least! Ami is never shy showing off her intelligence and the show isn’t shy about it either! Whether she’s studying every subject, beating the bad guys in chess games, or beating the bad guys with her water powers and science wearing her cool visor, Ami is never sidelined when it really matters. I only wish she was given a little more screen time like some of the other characters. And really, I wish she wasn’t as easily knocked out in battle.

6. Sailor Saturn

Hotaru is a complete badass and so fun to watch. And the way she’s portrayed somehow completely makes up for her being introduced so late into every series. While I’m not always the biggest fan of the cyborg plot line, the show more than makes up for it when it comes to the Saturn lore. The fact that there’s this mysterious Senshi who showed up and brought complete destruction with one movement without having done it purposefully is interesting in itself. When you then see her in battle and how calm and collected she is about being quite possibly the most powerful Sailor Senshi, you can’t help but feel stunned. She’s definitely my favorite of the Sailors to watch in battle and her gracefulness and commanding energy only makes it that much more entertaining. I only wish that we would get more personality from her that feels a bit more in depth. The lore behind her character almost completely makes up for it though!

5. Sailor Pluto

One of the most interesting and powerful of the Senshi, I always love when Setsuna’s on screen. She’s the tallest of the group and also this amazing combination of intelligent and incredibly stylish. Seriously, all of her outfits win. Sailor Jupiter probably has the most informative introduction of all of the Senshi. We meet her before she even actually wakes up in the main timeline, when she’s practically guarding time itself. One of the things I love about the Outer Senshi is that they all feel like these mysterious, mystical, powerful beings and it works in making each of these characters so much more interesting. Her connection with time and the edge of the universe, as well as her being the leader of the Outer Senshi, makes her have a feeling of importance that none of the other characters can match. I also love that she’s introduced as a scientist. Yay women in STEM!

4. Sailor Mars

Rei has some of my favorite powers and they are some of my favorite to watch as well. Her fire powers are always the most explosive of all of the other Senshi, which makes them far more noticeable in most cases. When a battle begins with Rei and a streak of fire across your screen is the signal of the beginning of the battle, you know that things are about to get at least a bit brutal. And Rei also has one of the most interesting backgrounds with her role as a Shrine Maiden. Her connection to her spirituality doesn’t just serve her personality either, it also gives her a different set of powers. One that often feels on par with the Outer Senshi. Rei has the ability to see into the future sometimes through visions; something that she often uses to help everyone else in times of trouble. I also love that she named her birds Deimos and Phobos. I can’t imagine more badass names for pets. Rei has a sense of humor that often isn’t found in the others as well and I always appreciate good sarcasm. It’s really difficult to dislike her in any way.

3. Sailor Jupiter

Makoto has always been the most eye catching of the Inner Senshi to me. I don’t know if it’s the green mixed with the matching pink bows, the ponytail, or just how she towers over the other four; but she’s always stood out among the line up. And while watching I’m happy to say that she stood out just as much to me there as well. Though it is really difficult for me to choose her over Rei, I think she wins by a slight margin partially because of the dichotomy of her personality. She’s this mix of tomboyish and girly that proves that women don’t have to be one or the other. That was something that immediately popped out to me about her as well as her diverse hobbies in cooking and taking care of plants. She even makes her own tea for crying out loud! And she’s got the power to back up her promise of leaving her opponents numb. The electricity and lightning she uses always makes for a fun effect to watch during battle. And don’t even get me started on her unwavering loyalty. Snap your fingers and she’s there in a second if you need her.

2. Sailor Uranus

Haruka is cool. They are the absolute epitome of cool and nobody can convince me otherwise. When we’re first introduced, we see this guy who’s kind of flirty and definitely confident in himself and who he is as a person. Knowing that this confidence and protective nature is part of her personality as a Senshi only makes them that much more of a deep character. Constantly worrying about the mission at hand, it feels as though Haruka may just feel that burden more than anyone else. And this is not something she ever takes lightly, even though her playful personality often makes it seem as though responsibility is not the first thing on her mind. I also always love a badass with a sword and Haruka is the only Senshi to wield one as this is the talisman they have claimed. Haruka couldn’t be a more perfect and badass Senshi, with all the power to back up her promise to defend anyone they choose to take under their wing. Which ends up being far more people than she probably originally anticipated. (If you’re wondering why I jump around with pronouns, I explain more in my other post. Haruka seems to use all of them at one point so I also use all of them.)

1. Sailor Neptune

If you saw my last ‘Sailor Moon’ post, you probably already knew that this was coming. I fell absolutely head over heels for Michiru’s design before I even watched any of the series. I’m a sucker for nautical themed anything and her wavy hair also stole me right away. But I think what really made this character for me was the introduction and badassery of the duo. You can’t have Neptune without Uranus. While Haruka was busy messing with “bun head”, the mysterious aqua haired girl set her sights on Mamoru. Which was interesting because before this moment we had never seen a main character who could be on par with Mamoru in any way. Michiru has this eternal gracefulness about her with a hint of mischief, making you just that much more excited to learn everything you possibly can about her character. And I defy you to find a character dynamic as cute as Michiru and Haruka’s. You can’t help but completely get behind this couple. But while I love Haruka, it was the quiet gracefulness and the witty nature of Michiru that eventually won me over. Not to mention that water is my favorite element, and her water attacks just look so much stronger in comparison to Ami’s. It was nice to have a little more fun watching some of the water attacks.

Well, there you have it! As always, these are only my opinions and by no means a definitive list. This involves very little facts and mostly opinions! Please understand that I really do love all of the Sailor Senshi! (Except for maybe Chibi Moon.) With the aesthetic and the female superheroes, this show is so far in my wheelhouse that I still have no idea how I didn’t consume this content in at least middle school. But I’m glad that I found it now! Now I just have to do a little more to catch up in the merchandise department. Sorry wallet!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

Sci-Fi: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ So Far

John de Lancie as Q and Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard in season 2 of ‘Star Trek: Picard’. Copyright goes to Paramount Pictures and Roddenberry Entertainment.

Hey! Hallie here!

I promised to talk about more Star Trek in past posts, but a lot of that became determinant on whether or not I could get access to Paramount+. So much of Trek disappeared off of Netflix and Amazon Prime at such a fast pace, I knew if I didn’t have access to the new streaming platform I probably wouldn’t be able to watch Trek at all. But, as you can probably tell, I have Paramount+ now! ‘Picard’ is one of the shows I dove into first. I had heard mixed reviews, especially about the second season which was releasing as I was figuring out my streaming platform situation, and I wanted to see what all the controversy was about. Plus, the promise of reuniting Patrick Stewart’s Picard with John de Lancie’s Q was just too juicy to pass up. Going into this show I didn’t have high expectations, but I was genuinely hoping I would find most reviewers were wrong about their criticisms. After having watched it I’ll say that largely the criticisms weren’t wrong, but I’m still enjoying the show much more than I thought I would. I’ll get into more below so here’s your warning that SPOILERS are ahead! Let’s get to it!

Season 1:

What I Liked: I’ll say right off the bat, season 1 was quite a bit better than season 2. Firstly, I thought the return of the character of Picard was perfect. Picard didn’t feel out of character, but he also didn’t feel like the same Picard we saw in ‘The Next Generation’ or the subsequent movies. This was an older Picard who wanted to retire but didn’t quite have the temperament for it, and who was obviously still suffering from the trauma his time in Starfleet caused. I feel like the most controversial thing about the characterization of Picard in this show is his disenchantment with Starfleet, but I personally thought it made sense. Star Trek was built around the idea that Starfleet represents the best of humanity, representing an Earth where prejudices against others no longer exist. But Star Trek has challenged this idea multiple times, partly due to concepts from early episodes that haven’t aged well. Because of this I didn’t find it surprising that Picard lost faith in Starfleet due to xenophobia aimed at the Romulans. But despite this disenchantment, they completely avoid making Picard gritty. He’s just as hopeful, kind, and inspirational as he has always been.

I also really loved the use of Data in this show. Data represents a lot of the trauma Picard holds due to survivors guilt. I loved how his conversations with Data, especially the one in the last episode, allowed him to let go and grow over the course of the series. Picard finally letting Data rest felt like a fix to the rather sudden death fans were left to mourn over for years. I also really liked a majority of the characters added to the show. Santiago Cabrera is always charming, and Rios was instantly likable from his first appearance (Cabrera gets extra points for playing all of the delightful holograms on the ship as well). Michelle Hurd’s Raffi is one of the most badass women we’ve seen on Trek. Elnor struck the perfect balance between adorable and intimidating, and I loved his father/son relationship with Picard. Soji was a very intriguing character to follow, and her Data-esque mannerisms were always tastefully sprinkled in. Seven of Nine wasn’t in this season as much as I thought she’d be, but I really loved the exploration of both the good and the bad pieces of her humanity that she was trying to rediscover. This was a really good ensemble cast, only made better by the cameo appearances done by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis. The episodes with these two were so much fun, and I think they also did a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to endearing the audience to Soji. Season 1 really succeeds at telling a story about what it means to be human, and that’s entirely due to a cast of characters that are easy to get attached to.

What I Disliked: Android Picard? Really? Anyways, there’s one member of the main cast I very obviously didn’t mention in the previous section. That would be Dr. Agnes Jurati. I really don’t like this character, and there’s a lot of season 2 criticisms later in this review as well. Agnes seems really nice at first, but then we get to witness her murder an innocent person. This murder is mostly brushed off after its discovered by the characters. And granted, it’s only brushed off because she poisons herself in order to stop the Romulans from tracking Picard, but it’s still brushed off regardless. I understand that the visions the Romulans had about Soji were traumatizing, but casually killing someone doesn’t seem like a good response. And her reluctance to do pretty much anything, often portrayed as insecurity, got to a point where it became annoying. I did like how her character was progressing and becoming more confident at the end of the season, but season 2 put a sharp end to that. Also, her romantic relationship with Rios came out of nowhere and lacked any sort of chemistry at all.

Going back to the murder though, I didn’t like how this show handled the misdeeds of its characters in general. Agnes wasn’t the only person to suffer from a brushed off murder. Rios was revealed to have killed his captain, and while he did so because he witnessed his captain kill two androids in cold blood, it still wasn’t like it was self defense. Seven of Nine also kills people in this series, even after Picard tries to warn her that revenge solves nothing. Neither of them face repercussions for their actions. Some characters even treat these things as natural, human responses to the things they endured. I just felt that more nuance was needed if they wanted to pull more morally gray characters into Star Trek instead of attempting to convince the audience that these characters aren’t actually morally gray. Finally, all of the villains are forgettable in this season. Sutra and Narek weren’t very interesting. Sutra felt like an easy way to remove Soji from her position as the bringer of the apocalypse, all the Romulans needed a better motive for what they did than just “visions that drive people crazy”, and Soong (Who was a villain for part of the time and then joined Picard afterwards) felt like a bonus Brent Spiner thrown in rather than a complex, interesting character. I’ve seen other shows thrive without interesting villains though, so I wouldn’t say this diminished my enjoyment of ‘Picard’. And a bonus Brent Spiner is hard to complain about.

Season 2:

What I Liked: This is where things get messy but I definitely didn’t dislike this season in its entirety. Picard is another stand-out this season. His ability to keep cool in difficult situations, and spread his hope for humanity even when things look bleakest, is at its best here. I also enjoyed the full exploration of Picard’s difficulty being emotionally intimate with those he loves. That’s Q’s whole point when messing with Picard in this season. All of us who’ve seen ‘The Next Generation’ know that Picard gets painfully awkward when he approaches emotional conversations with people he cares for, and at the beginning of the season we’re shown that he still has a habit of pushing people away. Q doesn’t want this for Picard. Which leads into the things I liked about Q this season. Most of them have to do with his final conversations with Picard at the end of the season, because really, those conversations were standouts of the entire series. It was so fascinating to see Q look back on his life, see that he was so busy messing around with people that he rarely formed any sort of meaningful relationships, and regret it. I started crying when Q revealed to Picard that all of his plans were purely for the purpose of making Picard’s life better, not because of the universe at large. He even went so far as to confess how much he’s always cared for Picard. Their hug was so rewarding to watch. I also liked the use of Guinan in this season. Whoopi Goldberg was a welcoming comforting presence when she appeared, but Ito Aghayere blew me away with her version of young Guinan. Her jaded personality wasn’t overused, her snark was so much fun, and the wisdom we got to see shine through during the interrogation scenes was perfectly Guinan. This season also seriously benefitted from more Seven of Nine and the Seven/Raffi team up that FINALLY led to a kiss. I really love these two.

What I Disliked: Ooof. Let’s start with that time skip that happened between season 1 and season 2. Instead of actually exploring some of the things they built up at the end of season 1, the writers decided that they would skip past all of it to get to the things they’d rather write about. So Seven and Raffi are going through a rough patch instead of developing their relationship. Soji and Elnor are already successful in their new roles in society instead of struggling with a life different from the ones they had known. Rios and Agnes’ relationship met a messy end offscreen. And look, I didn’t like Agnes and Rios together, but this still feels like lazy writing. Then, once the series gets going, we get several disjointed storylines that don’t connect very well. It’s revealed that Q is specifically attempting to help Picard get over his mother’s suicide, but the storyline where all of this unfolds is slow and has nothing to do with the bleak alternate universe Q sends Picard to, or the time period they go to afterwards. Meanwhile, once the story does start dwelling on a past timeline, we get yet another Soong played by Brent Spiner and yet another android played by Isa Briones. Here Brent Spiner is playing another forgettable villain who doesn’t seem like much more than just an evil dude, but the show attempts to emotionally invest its audience with the shocking story of Kore and the way she discovers she’s an android. Except, once again, I don’t see what relevance this storyline has to the story at large except to give Wesley Crusher an unneeded cameo. It’s not like it adds depth to Brent Spiner’s villain.

Now to the promised Agnes-bashing. Agnes is a completely different character this season, which the writers seemed to try to justify with the time skip. But how can you justify an entire personality switch? Agnes went from sweet and insecure to snarky and reckless without any explanation at all. But that’s not all. She goes through yet another complete personality switch afterwards. This one is explained by the plot, because she accidentally merges with the Borg Queen. I found that entire storyline to be weird and mostly uninteresting, but the fact that she becomes a completely different person, again, after all is said and done makes me think the writers disliked this character in season one just as much as I disliked her. If that’s true, they really made no effort at all to make Agnes grow into a better person. And now we get to Q. Firstly, Q is immortal. He’s said so. Multiple times. How is he dying? Why did the writers think they could get by without explaining this to us? Second, why is there so little of Q in this season? He was the main selling point of every poster, trailer, and ad I saw for season two of Picard. And yet, he’s barely there. It’s pretty disappointing.

And those are my thoughts on ‘Picard’ so far. ‘Picard’ isn’t the best Trek ever written. I would really only recommend it to fans of ‘The Next Generation’. But it isn’t bad by any means. Every time it exasperates me, it manages to win me back. There are scenes in this series I will never forget. I didn’t realize how much I liked Q as a character until I was crying over his final scenes knowing it was the last time I’d probably ever see him. Seven and Raffi are now one of my favorite couples in all of Star Trek. I would protect Elnor with my life, no joke. And they really do justice to Jean-Luc Picard and all of the ‘Next Generation’ cameos that show up. But this series is very messy, and I think you have to know that going in in order to enjoy it to its fullest.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

BTS: ‘PROOF’ Track List

Promotional image of (from left) Kim Seokjin, Kim Namjoon, Jung Hoseok, Min Yoongi, Jeon Jungkook, Kim Taehyung, and Park Jimin. Copyright goes to BTS and HYBE.

Hi! It’s Annie!

Over the past three days we have gotten the complete track list for the brand new anthology album! And to say that I am excited would be a gross understatement. Along with the classic BTS songs, we’ve gotten a whole host of songs that I would cry if I ever saw live. Three CDs full of songs and more content than we had ever been expecting should be more than enough to keep everyone happy. Just as I said, any disappointment any of us may have originally felt about the hype surrounding this anthology album, wouldn’t stick around for long. There is only one tiny complaint that I have about this album, but I’ll get to that later and it once again doesn’t have anything to do with the boys. But that’s neither here nor there in the grand scheme of all of these amazing announcements involved with the album. So I’m just going to jump right into it!

CD 1:

The track list for CD 1 is pretty much comprised of all of the classic greatest hits we all expected from this album. Songs like ‘No More Dream’, ‘N.O’, ‘Boy in Luv’, ‘Danger’, ‘I NEED U’, ‘Run’, ‘Fire,’ ‘Blood Sweat and Tears’, ‘Spring Day’, ‘DNA’, ‘Fake Love’, ‘Idol’, ‘Boy with Luv (feat. Halsey)’, ‘ON’, ‘Dynamite’, ‘Life Goes On’, and ‘Butter’ are included here. These include much of the popular songs from each album including all the main tracks that have had MVs to go with them for the most part. All of these songs have been more or less performed recently between the several online and live concerts that BTS has done, revisiting the songs that they had missed. ‘Danger’ is the only one that really sticks out to me as one we haven’t seen performed in quite a while and I would love to see this one live if they were to do it! But there are two tracks specifically here that stick out as being a bit different from the rest. This CD opens with ‘Born Singer’. I am one hundred percent preparing to cry my eyes out when I hear it on this CD. While the song is not on many of their other albums, and honestly not on much when it comes to media to begin with, this song means a lot to the members. I think many of us remember their first tours where they performed this song and cried almost every single time they did. It is packed with emotion and I can’t even describe how incredibly happy I am to see it here. On top of this, the album will end with ‘Yet To Come’. This is the main new solo track on the album and the song that will get the brand new MV. I absolutely can’t wait to hear what this song is like! And a new MV announcement will always make me beyond excited!

CD 2:

This is the second CD of this new anthology album, and this is where I started to get really excited with the possibilities of live performances. Part of this is because this is the CD that largely holds the anthology of paired off tracks and solo tracks. And I’ve never seen any of those live, so I’m hoping that I’ll possibly be able to soon! Let’s cross our fingers! This CD opens with ‘Run, BTS’ which is another brand new song. Usually songs with their name in the title are pretty lighthearted and badass at the same time and just sound like so much fun. I can’t imagine this one would be much different! This could possibly be a new theme song for their variety show of the same name as well, which does make me wonder if it’ll be coming back soon. But that’s probably looking too far into it. Especially because they’ve taken a well needed break from the show. But I do wonder if the name of the song is coincidental. The rest of the album includes solo tracks such as ‘Intro: Persona’, ‘Moon’, ‘Trivia: Seesaw’, ‘Outro: Ego’, ‘Filter’, ‘Singularity’, and ‘Euphoria’. These to me seem like they were probably handpicked by each performer as their individual favorite songs, and the variation is exciting to see in itself! All of these are absolutely favorites of mine. And then we have the divided songs; ‘Stay’, ‘Jamais Vu’, ‘Cypher Part 3: Killer’, ‘Her’, ‘Friends’, ‘Zero O’ Clock’, and ‘Dimple’. There are two rap line and vocal line songs each and then a mix of several others. ‘Jamais Vu’ is Hobi, Jungkook, and Jin while ‘Stay’ is Namjoon, Jungkook, and Jin which leaves ‘Friends’ which is Jimin and Tae. The only member who is not included on these types of songs is Yoongi, but that is more than made up for on the next CD. I just want to say, if the rap line does ‘Killer’ live I will probably scream and cry at the same time. I can’t even imagine how powerful that would be.

CD 3:

This CD is one of the ones that is garnering the most excitement, and for good reason. This CD almost feels like a complete album by itself. There is nothing on this CD that we have heard before, because this is the demo CD. We are going to be hearing all new versions of many of the songs we love, many of them by individual members. We are getting complete OT7 demos of; ‘Jump’, ‘Boy In Luv’, and ‘Boyz with Fun’. I am particularly excited to hear the original Namjoon portion of ‘Boy In Luv’. On top of this we are getting solo demo songs which I can barely even wrap my head around. I have been distracted by this news all day. ‘Young Forever (RM Version)’, ‘Spring Day (V Version)’, ‘DNA (JHope Version)’, ‘Epiphany (Jin Demo)’, ‘Seesaw (Suga Demo)’, and ‘Still With You (Jungkook Acapella)’ gives each member time to shine (Except for Jimin, unfortunately). And brand new versions of songs we know and love, including many songs that are usually sung by all of the members. Having these demo versions finally in album form is something we’ve all been wanting very badly but I don’t think any of us ever dreamed that it actually could happen. I teared up just looking at this track list release! But this is not all from this CD! This one also includes ‘Young Love’, ‘Quotation Mark’ and ‘For Youth’. All of these are new songs! So instead of the three new songs we were promised, we are actually getting five! Though I’ll get back to why they said three later. This also, very importantly includes a song we have all been waiting for; ‘Tony Montana (feat. Jimin)’. We’ve only seen this live once and it hasn’t been released anywhere else! I honestly can barely believe it and I’m so happy! But this CD is where my one possible complaint comes in. Other than ‘For Youth’, which will be released digitally, this CD is all CD only. Though I understand doing this to a marketing degree, and I absolutely will be buying an album anyways, it’s pretty odd for anyone to be making CD only pieces of albums anymore. Especially because since everything went digital, many of us don’t actually have CD players anymore. I, like many ARMY, immediately panicked because I don’t think I actually have any place to play CDs anymore in my home. I’ll still have to see if I can possibly find a DVD player that will work. But I wish they could have done this a different way or just didn’t do it. I don’t doubt there will be a time very soon when nobody will have even DVD players anymore to try to play this on, never mind CD players. This decision doesn’t translate very well to the digital age, but I’m going to try my very best to listen to this CD in any way I can!

I’m so excited for this album and it still blows my mind that this isn’t it. We still have a month long of concept photos and music video hype to come! And now that we know there will be a song called ‘Question Mark’, I wonder if that gives context to the question marks that were in the schedule but I doubt it. I have a feeling that it’s surprises that they just haven’t announced yet. A month full of BTS announcements is all I want right now and my excitement for this album has once again gone through the roof! I do wonder a little bit about the tour, but BTS has to deal with a fairly indecisive government right now so I don’t think any of us should put pressure on them to do one. That aside, this album is enough in itself! Now we just have to wait for June!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

Studio Ghibli: Happy Mother’s Day!

Screenshot of Yasuko, Mei, and Satsuki from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’. Copyright goes to Studio Ghibli.

Hey! Hallie here!

To all the wonderful, hard-working mothers reading this, Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of all the mothers and mother figures in all of our lives, I want to go over some of the most prominent mothers in Ghibli movies! Because, fortunately for the Ghibli moms, they don’t generally get killed off before the movie starts (Sorry Disney moms). For this list I’m not necessarily going to keep it to just the good mothers. Sometimes the bad mothers are just as fun to roast as the good mothers are to praise. Either way, all of them are interesting characters that stick out in the minds of Ghibli fans. Let’s get started!

Yasuko Kusakabe:

Let’s start with one of the best moms Ghibli has to offer. Yasuko is the mother of Satsuki and Mei in ‘My Neighbor Totoro’. She isn’t really there for her children much throughout the movie, but that isn’t exactly her fault. She’s sick during the events of ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and is forced to stay in a hospital to watch her condition. Fortunately for all of us who at first thought Ghibli would make her illness terminal, she’s actually getting better. In fact, she has plans to return to living with her family the moment she gets better. She constantly speaks to her husband about how concerned she is that she’s absent from so much of their lives, but that only makes her more determined to get herself cleared from the hospital. And though concern for her health leads to a scare at the end of the film, the credits prove she does get better and keeps all of her promises to spend time with her daughters. Even though she isn’t always there, she’s always the ideal mother.

Moro:

Moro, from the film ‘Princess Mononoke’ is a very different kind of mom from the others on this list. As a wolf, she is very obviously not the biological mother of San. That said, she is extremely protective of her and caring towards her. She doesn’t care much for humans on principle, but San is always her exception. She even bemoans her obligations as a guardian of the forest because she feels she can’t give San everything she deserves and has doomed her to a life tied to the forest. By the end of the film, Moro risks her life and her revenge on humans for her daughter. Ultimately she dies, but not before demonstrating her undying love for her daughter.

Osono:

Osono is from ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ and she isn’t actually Kiki’s mom. Kiki’s mom is present in the first few minutes of the movie, but Osono takes the role of mother figure for the entire rest of the movie. Osono is a soon-to-be-mother who meets Kiki when she has nowhere to go and no way of knowing what to do in order to make a name for herself as a witch. Osono gives her a free place to stay with Kiki’s only payment being lending an occasional hand in Osono’s bakery. Afterwards she does everything to help Kiki. She advertises her delivery business to her customers and frequently looks for jobs for Kiki. She cares for her and cooks for her when she isn’t feeling well. She tries to make sure she has friends to spend time with. There isn’t anything Osono won’t do for Kiki, and I love that about her.

Yubaba:

Yubaba isn’t the best mother, but I’d argue ‘Spirited Away’ can’t boast amazing mother figures anyways. Chihiro’s mom isn’t the most attentive, nor does she listen to Chihiro at all. She even berates Chihiro for tripping her up when Chihiro needs comforting. Yubaba definitely carries on the bad parenting for the rest of the movie. She spoils her child, Boh, rotten without caring at all for what her baby actually needs. When Boh finally learns how to be less selfish and care for others, Yubaba is more concerned that she can’t have access to her baby in the way she used to. She’s never supportive or understanding of Boh, and then wonders why she isn’t important to him by the end of the movie. Boh deserves better.

Honey:

Honey is Sophie’s mom in ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’. She’s notorious for being one of the worst mothers in all of Ghibli. And yeah, agreed. I mean, she betrayed her own daughter near the film’s end by planting a bug in Howl’s house under the pretense that she was worried about Sophie (For once). At the beginning of the movie she also seems to be oblivious to any of Sophie’s feelings, leaving her to go to her sister whenever she needs support. Instead, Honey abandons Sophie most days in favor of going out to town without any indication of knowing how much Sophie feels like an outcast. Sorry Honey, but apologizing to Sophie when she isn’t actually present doesn’t make up for bad parenting.

Granmare and Lisa:

‘Ponyo’ has the privilege of having two absolute badass mother characters. Ponyo’s mom, Granmare, isn’t present in a lot of the film. But when she is, she makes a large impression. She’s big, gorgeous, and always supportive of her daughter. Unlike Ponyo’s overprotective father, Granmare feels Ponyo should be able to explore her interests and carve her own path. When Ponyo decides to stay with Sosuke, Granmare worries for Ponyo because of the fear that she may become sea foam, and because of her concern spends days and nights discussing with Lisa whether or not to let Ponyo do what she wishes to. But ultimately, Granmare trusts Ponyo to lead her own life, and trusts Lisa to protect her. And it makes sense for her to trust Lisa. Lisa may be a reckless driver and she may be too quick to leave Sosuke home alone, but she’s clearly a caring and attentive mother. She cares for Ponyo like she’s her own, tries to be the most she can be for Sosuke when his father isn’t there, and works constantly to provide for Sosuke. Lisa’s basically a superhero.

Dola:

Last on this list, but certainly not least, is the pirate captain from ‘Castle in the Sky’. At first Dola comes across as a villain, hunting down Sheeta for the necklace she possesses with her pirate underlings. But these underlings are actually her sons, and while she can be a harsh mother, she always demonstrates that she cares for her sons. She often doesn’t think they’re very bright, but she’s proud of them all the same. And she’s just as caring towards the other children who come into her care. Pazu and Sheeta are always treated with support and respect when they’re on her ship. Dola especially dotes over Sheeta, who reminds her of herself as a kid. Her bond with Sheeta makes her protective over her and frequently worried over her safety. Despite her initial position against Pazu and Sheeta, her concern for them turns her into a fierce ally who’s quick to embrace them at the film’s end.

Those are all of the Ghibli mothers I’m going to cover with this post! Ghibli has so many mother characters, it was hard to narrow them down for this post. I love all of the strong girls and women in Studio Ghibli films, and looking at all of the strong mother characters in their films made me appreciate the way these films portray women even more. I hope that all of you celebrating Mother’s Day had an excellent day celebrating the awesome women in your lives. They deserve to be celebrated every day!

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

BTS: ‘PROOF’ Announcement and Reaction

‘PROOF’ promotional logo image. Copyright goes to BTS and HYBE.

Hi! It’s Annie!

Well, we have more news about the BTS comeback! And there’s a lot to talk about. Not all of that is talking specifically about album information and what we know so far about what will actually be included. Though I’m going to talk about that too! Some of this will be about the reaction to this album and what’s ok to talk about and what kind of crosses a line. I know that sounds confusing right now, but I promise it’ll make more sense as I get further into the post! I was at the first weekend of the Las Vegas ‘Permission to Dance’ shows, so I wasn’t actually present when they made the big album reel reveal. But I was watching the livestream of the concert and I absolutely freaked out! I’m more than excited with every new piece of information, so I’m just going to get right into it!

What We Know:

Though this was announced originally as a full fledged comeback, it is a little up in the air how much we’ll really get in terms of comeback content. This is because this isn’t an all new album, like many were expecting. ‘PROOF’ has been confirmed to be an anthology album. Many people were pointing out all the hints that led up to the reveal of the name of the album and the fact that it will be an anthology album. Among this was Namjoon consistently using the word “proof” in his Vegas ending ments specifically and the reel of past music videos that led to the announcement of the album. If you aren’t quite sure what an anthology album is; no worries! Basically this means that this album is going to be a greatest hits album instead of having much in the way of new material. We do know that there will be some new material though. This album will have three new songs on it! There’s lots of debate as to whether these will all be full group songs or if they will split off into groups for these. Either way, I’m super excited! Any new song announcements will always excite me when it comes to any of the groups I stan! And new songs from BTS are obviously always wonderful! We don’t know much beyond these details though. There’s no word on what songs this anthology will include, if they will rerecord any songs, or what the three new songs will be like. But even so, there’s still enough news to get really excited about!

Update: I wrote this yesterday so here’s some brand new news that just got released today! We just got the information that ‘Yet To Come’ will be the main new single of the album and will get a music video to be released on the tenth of June. The full album track list is supposed to be released on the ninth of this month. So my sister and I’s birthday! Happy Birthday to us!

Disappointment:

Here’s where things get a little more touchy when it comes to the topic of this album. Many ARMY have expressed frustration or disappointment with the fact that this is an anthology album. In response, other members of ARMY are unsure as to if they should agree with the feelings of disappointment or if it is completely uncalled for to be disappointed about anything at all. Being completely honest, I was a little disappointed when they announced that this would be an anthology album. Now, if you’re disappointed and you feel that BTS is not doing enough and that they had plenty of time to work on a full album, you are completely in the wrong. Accusing BTS of having free time at all is pretty ridiculous. I think all of us should have a pretty good idea of how busy they all are right now, and pretty much always are for that matter. We know for a fact that the majority of them are working on solo projects, all of them are constantly involved in a billion other projects, and we know they are definitely working on things that haven’t even been announced yet. These men barely ever get a break! We’ve seen them work during episodes of ‘Bon Voyage’ or ‘In the SOOP’ which were technically supposed to be vacation times for them. We shouldn’t expect anything more from them than what they’re already giving, which is more than enough.

But if you’re disappointed because you were expecting a full album and not an anthology due to the way the announcements were made and phrased, then I’m completely with you! I think there would be a lot less disappointment if HYBE has been clear about this being an anthology album from the first official announcement. Instead they made this seem like a full comeback. I’m not sure an anthology album really feels like a fully fledged comeback album to me. Which is fine, we don’t need constant comeback albums and the comeback songs are more than enough! But if they had instead focused the shock and excitement based announcements on the new songs specifically rather than the album as a whole, I think ARMY would have known better how to place their excitement. I feel that my disappointment is all due to misplaced excitement because of the marketing they’ve been doing for the album. Announcing that this album was actually an anthology album after they made an official comeback announcement was a mistake in my opinion. They should have given us that information from the get go.

‘BE’:

There’s another reaction to the announcement that this would be an anthology that I really don’t agree with at all. I think that too many of us, including myself, forget sometimes that ‘BE’ was a full album and a a full comeback. Just because it happened in quarantine and the album had a different setup because it didn’t really feature solo songs, doesn’t mean it was any less than any of the other albums. In fact, I credit ‘BE’ with helping my mental health during a time when I sorely needed the help. This album means the absolute world to me. So I don’t think you’re being at all a supportive ARMY if you’re one of the ones out there saying that ‘BE’ didn’t count. The boys put their heart and soul into that album. Every song on that album is a breathtaking work of art. Not only that, but the boys were involved in almost every part of creating it from lyric writing, to vocals, to more behind the scenes work. ‘BE’ is quite possibly one of my favorite albums from them and I will not stand for anyone acting like it somehow means less. In fact, this feels to me like one of their most meaningful works so far.

Tour:

Right now the idea of a tour is pretty up in the air. We were supposed to have a final ruling on BTS’s military service last month, but obviously that didn’t happen. Really it isn’t a surprise considering that they have done nothing but push back the decision so far. I know a lot of people are wondering if a world tour would be ‘PTD’ again or at least similar to it. After all ‘PTD’ is an anthology concert. But from what the boys said in Vegas, it didn’t seem like they were going to do that specific tour again. They could do other songs in an anthology tour, such as ‘Danger’ or ‘Boy In Love’ or even any of their solo songs from ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ which they haven’t performed in front of an audience yet. Could you imagine watching Jimin perform ‘Filter’ live? I think I would just die right there! Personally, I feel like there’s a lot they could do here if they were to do another anthology based concert for their tour if it happens. I just don’t want it to be an exact rehash of ‘PTD’ with the new three songs added in. I hope they spring for a completely new setlist. But, let’s all be honest with ourselves, it’s BTS and we all will want to go and will be more than happy with whatever they decide to do!

I just wanted to touch on some of the news and reactions because, as usual, I always have a lot of opinions on BTS! I know those of us who were kind of disappointed will not be disappointed for long at all. But I will say, you can’t often control your first reaction to something. Especially if it involves something being completely different than what you expected. But different isn’t a bad thing at all! Sometimes it’s even better than what you originally expected! It just takes a little bit longer to get used to. I still absolutely cannot wait for this album to drop in June and see what exactly they do for this one specifically and what the new songs sound like! I’m sorry if I made some of this celebratory news come off as a bit of a bummer. Especially with the military talk. But hopefully we can give the boys what they want and focus on this comeback more than we worry about that stuff!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

Star Wars: My Favorite Underrated Characters

Captain Rex as voiced by Dee Bradley Baker in season 7 of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’. Copyright goes to Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Studios.

Hey! Hallie here!

Happy Star Wars Day! (Or, if you’re reading this the day after, Happy Revenge of the 5th!) We haven’t talked a lot about Star Wars recently, which I’m sure will change once the Obi-Wan Kenobi series hits Disney+, but for now I’m really happy to return to this franchise! It’s definitely a franchise I have a lot of strong opinions on, as do many other people, but for most Star Wars fans it comes from a place of intense love for the series. That intense love is always worth celebrating every May the 4th, whether your favorite Star Wars media is ‘The Mandalorian’, or the original trilogy, or the prequels, or the sequels. There are definitely things I love about each of those things myself, but today I want to focus on characters that get less love from the general public. Primarily, Star Wars characters that come from the cartoons and haven’t seen any live action representation. These characters have decent fan-bases, but a large chunk of Star Wars fans still have no idea who they are. Some Star Wars fans even believe that the cartoons are only for children, which is just not true. So here’s a list of characters that you should definitely seek out if you haven’t yet!

Captain Rex:

We’re starting out with the most popular character on this list. Captain Rex is one of the main characters in the cartoon series ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’. For those who don’t know, ‘Clone Wars’ covers the period of time between ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’, and it mostly follows Anakin as he works to become a Jedi Master after being assigned a Padawan to train, Ahsoka Tano. I say mostly because ‘Clone Wars’ includes a large amount of characters, many of whom get solo story arcs that are completely separate from Anakin’s. Obi-Wan pops up quite a bit, Yoda has some of his own stories, and most importantly, the clone troopers storylines provide some of the best writing in the entire show. The clone that gets centered the most in these storylines is Captain Rex, the Clone Captain who works directly under Anakin in the same way Commander Cody works directly under Obi-Wan. Where Cody is all rules, Rex is willing to take risks and throw himself into a firefight right next to Anakin regardless of his non-Jedi status. But that doesn’t mean Rex is reckless. As a Captain, he often acts as a wise and comforting presence to his brothers who rank beneath him. He solves disputes, helps “shinies” discover their true talents and individuality, and protects his brothers from bigotry. Rex’s kindness reaches beyond his troopers, though. He creates a very meaningful friendship with Ahsoka and takes it upon himself to help her whenever he can, resulting in a heartwarming friendship that lasts long past Ahsoka’s defection from the Jedi Order. This friendship even helped him overcome Order 66, meaning he’s one of the only clones who remained loyal to the Jedi. He’s the perfect mix of badass and genuinely caring, and he’s long past overdue for a live action appearance.

Omega:

There are honestly so many clones I could put on this list, but I really couldn’t pass up the newest clone that stole my heart. Omega is a little girl, which is instantly strange to those who know that all of the clones were created from the DNA of Jango Fett. To the Kaminoans though, nothing is impossible especially if you have enough disregard for sentient life. Omega grew up as a medical assistant on Kamino, observing her brothers from afar but not really being allowed to converse with them much. That is, until the events of the Disney+ series ‘The Bad Batch’, where she meets the defective clones who make up Clone Force 99. Omega is quickly endearing to both the members of the Bad Batch and the audience. She’s optimistic to almost a ridiculous degree, she’s more empathetic than any other Star Wars character I’ve encountered, and she’s wise beyond her years. She’s also incredibly capable, which leads to a lot of issues within the series. Not because she’s capable of course, but because her primary caretaker, Hunter, continually underestimates her abilities even after she proves herself time and time again. But she is still a child, and it’s really sweet to see her older brothers dote over her. Her interactions with Wrecker in particular steal my heart each time I see them onscreen, not just because she’s incredibly tiny compared to his hulking figure, but also because they’re both basically just little kids whenever they interact. Omega succeeds at being the heart and soul of ‘The Bad Batch’ without ever feeling like she’s being forced into the center, and the show is better for her presence.

Kanan Jarrus:

Kanan comes from the series ‘Star Wars Rebels’, which is even more controversial than the show I mentioned above because it’s considered more lighthearted in tone. Many people feel that ‘Rebels’ is one of the cartoon series that’s aimed the most at kids, but I think it’s a mistake to write it off. ‘Rebels’ has a lot of really excellent characters and even more excellent storylines. Kanan is a major example of this. Kanan, formerly known as the Padawan Caleb Dume, is a Jedi that goes into hiding after Order 66. His master died during the attack, but luckily for Kanan, he survived long enough to join the rebellion forming against the rising Empire. For a long time he kept his identity a secret, partly to avoid being hunted down and partly because of the trauma being a Jedi brought up for him. But ‘Rebels’ introduces Kanan to a force sensitive kid names Ezra Bridger, forcing Kanan to take up the mantle of Jedi again, and even to seek out what it means to be a Jedi Master. Kanan is one of the most impressive Jedi out there. Though he initially seems too reckless or off-the-rails to be a good Master, he soon reveals himself to be very strict and disciplined. He cares so much about being a good role model that he sometimes becomes blind (sorry) to the needs of his Padawans. However, as the series goes on and he manages to start moving past his trauma, he becomes much more attentive to those around him. Kanan is sarcastic and hilariously dry, but he’s also one off the wisest Jedi in canon. Being trained by the Bendu, he knows even more about the balance of the force than some of the Masters who sat on the Jedi Council. And Kanan proves that the love he has for others is his greatest strength, even when he shows it through devastating sacrifices.

Sabine Wren:

I’m continuing on with my ‘Star Wars Rebels’ love because I genuinely believe the series doesn’t get enough of it. Sabine Wren is one of the most badass women Star Wars has to offer. Sabine marked our first female Mandalorian main character, making her super influential to all the girls who wanted to see more of characters like Bo-Katan after she popped up in ‘Clone Wars’. Sabine is another sarcastic character on the show, often proving herself more intelligent than Ezra despite his often embarrassing amount of confidence. Unlike Kanan, she’s definitely less likely to keep to the rules or worry about the safety of the group. Instead, Sabine often has a crazy plan to blow something up with her detonators, and knowing Sabine, most of the time it works. She’s extremely calculating and able to hold her own without backup. In fact, she spent a good amount of time as a bounty hunter, and it shows. She’s also proud to be herself, which is always something worth celebrating. Sabine decorates her armor, her room, her explosions, and really any available surface with her own art that boasts of vibrant colors she feels represent herself. Even without her helmet on, her colorful hair speaks to her loud and proud rebelliousness. And if all of that wasn’t awesome enough, Sabine becomes the reluctant wielder of the Darksaber at one point, showing both her humility as well as her loyalty to her people. She does hand the blade over though, paying tribute to the other badass Mandalorian woman I already mentioned, Bo-Katan. Sabine can sometimes seem standoffish, but behind her uncaring facade is a genuinely good person who wants to right all the wrongs of her past.

Grand Admiral Thrawn:

There’s a lot of rumors going around that Grand Admiral Thrawn is set to be the main villain of the upcoming live-action Ahsoka series. If you have no idea why this news makes me and many other Star Wars fans so excited, you’ll soon find out. Thrawn is another character who showed up in ‘Star Wars Rebels’, though he was decidedly not on the side of Kanan and Sabine. Thrawn is the main villain of the last portion of ‘Rebels’, and he’s a formidable one. Most of the time I’m personally drawn towards Sith Star Wars villains, but Thrawn is a major exception. Despite only being a Grand Admiral, Thrawn is calculating to a degree that makes him frightening. He can practically read the minds of the people who are unfortunate enough to be in his way. He doesn’t need inside intel to be able to tell what the Rebellion is planning next, and rather than the show writing this ability as sudden or unexplainable, you always get to watch his process of figuring everything out. Which is even more frightening because you actually get to see his immense intelligence in action. Also, Thrawn isn’t just a ‘Rebels’ character. Thrawn has been held in high esteem since long before the creation of ‘Rebels’ because of his role in the books written by Timothy Zahn. Initially, Thrawn was a character that hunted down the likes of Luke, Leia, and Han, and he was no less scary there either. In fact, it’s well established in all of his appearances that his role in the Empire is valued by Palpatine in a way no one else’s is aside from Darth Vader himself. This guy’s a big deal, and it’s chilling to watch him work.

That’s my list, but there are so many other characters I could add here! I know some of these characters are well known to some Star Wars fans, but if I introduced you to any new faces I hope you look into how amazing these additions to the Star Wars universe are! There are so many facets to Star Wars that are easy to fall in love with, and even if you don’t like one aspect of the lore, there’s other parts of the franchise to explore. I hope that as we continue to celebrate Star Wars this week, we all praise each other for our unique interests rather than tearing each other down. After all, regardless of opinion, we all share the major impact Star Wars has had on our lives.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

Books: ‘Fire’ by Kristin Cashore

Photo image of one of the covers for Kristin Cashore’s ‘Fire’. All copyright goes to Kristin Cashore and Dial Press the publisher.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I’ve mentioned this book a couple times before pretty briefly in some book compilation posts that I’ve done. And part of the reason why I’ve mentioned it, is because this has to be one of my favorite books of all time. I seriously have no idea how I have not made a full post about it before. For all the other book lovers out there; do you have a book that gets you back into reading? I can’t always focus on reading because of my attention span, so I usually go in cycles where I’m sometimes reading and sometimes not. And when I want to get back into reading, re-reading ‘Fire’ is usually what helps me when I’m feeling unmotivated. The book moves at a pretty fast pace and has so many moments in it that I love so much, that I always feel motivated to go back and revisit them. Because it usually helps me through my reading slumps, I can definitely say that it holds a special place in my heart. So, without further ado, I am going to really get into why I love this so much and give you a full book review including in depth character analysis. Because character analysis is always my favorite. But be warned, this post will have MAJOR SPOILERS. If you haven’t read this book, go read it. It’s one of my favorites for a reason. Please remember that this is a romance. It is a romance with a couple twists, but I’ll get to that in a second.

Summary: In a fantasy world where monsters are brightly colored animals that are extremely deadly and essentially hypnotize their prey, you wouldn’t expect a human to be one. Fire is named so based off of her brightly colored hair that looks like actual fire, and is the last of the only line of monster-humans. After being mysteriously targeted, Fire finds herself thrust in the middle of a war. If she helps she betrays all of her morals, but if she does not she might just lose everything that’s important to her. But how can she help a Captain who seemingly hates her guts without her having to say a word?

The Protagonist:

In fantasy books like this, I usually prefer a protagonist that kicks ass. Because usually, especially in a YA romance, if the protagonist doesn’t kick ass that means she’s pretty weak and demure. Now, do I have to see every female character kick ass for me to consider them strong? Absolutely not. I’ve said a few times that whenever I play RPGs, I usually play a healer. I don’t hit anything or hurt anything and I feel like a badass just by helping my team. Before this book, it never occurred to me that a healer in a fantasy setting could be a protagonist and not also portrayed as being pretty useless. For the most part, Fire is a pacifist. A trait that is not often seen in protagonists of any book. She knows she has the powers to be the secret weapon to either side of the war, but she doesn’t want to do that. And, surprise, her powers have nothing to do with fighting techniques. They more have to do with hypnotism, persuasion, and mind-reading. Specifically for getting information out of people. She can also use her powers to soothe, which she eventually finds the most joy doing and often uses this ability to help wounded soldiers. A healer, finally! And the book never treats her as weak or somehow other for choosing not to fight. In fact, she saves a garrison full of men by just being a decoy. I loved that she didn’t have to fight to be able to save lives and she always got herself out of tough situations anyways. She still didn’t need to be saved. Because not every strong woman has to actually kick ass to be strong.

The Love Interest:

Brigan is one of my favorite parts of the book and also one of my favorite love interests in anything ever. The book never focuses on how handsome he ‘s supposed to be, in fact the book describes him as looking fairly plain. Because handsomeness is not what really matters here. Brigan is kind. And it’s actually three kindnesses that he shows Fire that eventually lead up to them becoming friends. I really loved the focus on these three kindnesses, namely because they weren’t anything that were supposed to be super attractive. I find with a lot of YA boyfriends, there’s a lot of focus placed on how a love interest looks, and how they look fighting, and how they look when they take off their shirt etc. etc…. That’s all well and good, but none of that makes me actually like a love interest in anything. What makes Brigan attractive is the fact that he is the first in a line of generals to allow women to join the army, how he’s kind but stern with his soldiers, how he has an almost childlike interest in horses, how he’s an attentive father to a child he had when he was rather young, and how he sends Fire a fiddle when hers breaks. This is the type of cute romance stuff I want to see in books! I want to see love interests who are reliable and heartfelt and thoughtful and not just good looking.

The Romance:

This is, admittedly, the main point of the book. Both of the other main books in the ‘Graceling’ series are more adventurous. Usually, I’m not into purely romantic YA. I usually prefer the adventure to the romance. But, this is definitely an exception because this was done so unarguably well. Again, I tend to find that a lot of YA romance is based on some sort of physicality or there has to be outright in-your-face passion for there to be passion at all. Here is your fair warning for this book; it is kind of a slow burn. I like it though and it doesn’t leave you hanging for too long. The point here is for the characters to go from hating each other to trusting each other with their lives before they get to the love bit. When you do eventually get to the actual romantic parts of the story, they often show they love each other more by supporting each other than anything else. It’s something that escalates into a feeling of being by someone else’s side no matter what because they can’t imagine being anywhere else. I have a quote that I absolutely love from this book that makes me melt every time and I’m going to include it here so you can see exactly what I mean. This is something that I’ll often flip to, even if I’m not in the middle of reading the book.

“Brigan was saying her name, and he was sending her a feeling. It was courage and strength, and something else too, as if he were standing with her, as if he’d taken her within himself, letting her rest her entire body for a moment on his backbone, her mind in his mind, her heart in the fire of his. The fire of Brigan’s heart was astounding. Fire understood, and almost could not believe, that the feeling he was sending her was love.”

If that’s not the best way a character has ever confessed to another character in a book, I have no idea what is. I almost legitimately teared up the first time reading this, because of this description of love that so obviously focused on support. Thank you Kristin Cashore. My standards just shot up even higher than they were before. If you were looking for a lot of make-out sessions, you won’t find them here. But if you’re looking for an amazingly healthy relationship, this book has got you covered.

The Adventure:

If you’re still looking for adventure, this book has that too. I will admit to you all that there is a chapter of this book that isn’t necessarily bad, but I usually skip it in my rereads. It involves Fire getting kidnapped, a character that I don’t really like as much dying, and then Fire escaping. The reason why I skip it is because the main function of this chapter is to connect it to the other books. I prefer just viewing the story as it is as a standalone, so I usually don’t read it. But it’s still a good chapter to read the first time around! This book takes place in the middle of a war, so there’s plenty of adventuring to different places, helping out other people, and fighting in general. I probably would not have read this book if it was just a romance. I promise the adventure doesn’t disappoint! Especially because Cashore is just so good at her world building. You really do feel like you’re at home with Brocker (Fire’s father figure) or walking through the splendors of the palace with Fire. It’s just as immersive as it is anything else, which is always one of the most important things to me in any fantasy novel.

I think I’ve gushed about this book enough. Just go read it if you haven’t! And yes, this book will make you feel unbearably single if you are. It certainly does have that effect on me every time I read it! (I’m ok. Am I ok?) But I will challenge you not to fall in love with the world building and the main characters as well. Fire and Brigan are just as amazing as individual characters as they are together as a couple, rest assured. It was a crime for me not to have talked about perhaps the healthiest fictional couple I have ever encountered before! I really hope this inspired you to read one of my favorite books of all time, and I sincerely hope you love it just as much as I do!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

BTS: “With You” and “That That”

Promotional image of Park Jaesang (Psy) and Min Yoongi (Suga) for the “That That” music video. Copyright goes to P NATION.

Hey! Hallie here!

Yoongi and Jimin both just came out with solo projects and we wouldn’t really be supportive ARMYs if we didn’t cover them on this blog. Especially because both songs are absolutely incredible. I love both of their solo work, but these projects rank amongst some of my favorites. I’m just so proud of Yoongi for collaborating on and producing such a large project, and I’m so proud of Jimin for completing his first drama OST! They both did such amazing jobs and deserve all the love they’re getting and more! But I need to save all my gushing until I actually talk about the songs, so let’s get started!

“With You”:

“With You” is a collaboration between Jimin and his long-time friend Ha Sungwoon, best known for his position in Wanna One. The two have been spotted supporting each other on many occasions and even have spent holidays together, so it’s really no surprise that they came together for a song. The song is part of the OST of the k-drama “Our Blues”, a series set on Jeju Island that follows multiple characters as they navigate the very different places each of them are in their lives. This song, however, was made specifically to serve as a background for a romantic storyline in the show. The song showcases both Jimin and Sungwoon’s beautiful voices, and their harmonies are possibly the best part of the song. Both of their ranges are fully explored throughout “With You”. Both start out each verse in a lower tone before building up to their higher registers, and the two switch off which parts of the verse and chorus they sing throughout the song. One verse will showcase Jimin’s deeper register and Sungwoon’s sweeter, soaring vocals, whereas the next verse will give us Jimin taking the higher harmonies and sweeter notes. It’s also performed entirely in English to show off both of their excellent English-speaking skills, though a Korean version was also made. The lyrics themselves are simple, but they’re just the right amount of adorable and longing to make you invested in the romance, whether you’re watching the drama or just listening to the song. To be honest, one of my favorite elements of this song is just its calming nature. “With You” is pretty and gentle in its quietness, which makes an anxious bean like me feel at ease. I really couldn’t love this song more if I tried. It’s the perfect fit for Jimin’s first step into OSTs.

“That That”:

I’ve seen so many ARMYs already joke about this, but playing these songs back to back is a serious shock to the system. “With You” lulls you into a false sense of ease and then “That That” suddenly pops up with an instantly addicting beat to get you on your feet and dancing. It’s kind of mandatory that you watch the MV when you listen to “That That”, especially because Psy managed to convince Yoongi to take on a huge presence in it, and for the second time in his life, convinced Yoongi to learn choreo when he was assured all he would be doing was producing. Poor Yoongi. Before I get into the MV though, let’s talk lyrics. We’re looking at some pretty simple lyrics again here, which is common with Psy songs and by no means a bad thing. The song is all about Psy’s comeback, including Yoongi’s rap which he uses to skillfully allude to the legendary status Psy has created for himself. My only real issues with the writing are the lyrics “pandemic’s over”, which I’ve seen more and more in lyrics since 2021, and which frustrates me each time because we still have work to do before the pandemic will actually be over. But I digress. The MV is filmed on a western set with Psy and his backup dancers wearing cowboy-themed outfits and lots of fringe. The dancing is the main focus of this video and the energy Psy brings to it is always impressive. The video picks up even more about halfway through though, when a figure in white jumps into frame. Hi Yoongi! Yoongi looks amazing in the white suit and leopard print shirt he’s in, which is insane of him because it’s leopard print. He’s really coming for all of our bias lists, isn’t he? Yoongi steals the rest of the MV with his rapping, his crazy dancing skills, and with melodrama in my favorite sequence where Yoongi and Psy get into a slap fight and Yoongi holds Psy in his arms as he dramatically dies. I’m so happy Yoongi agreed to be in the “That That” MV. Also, this song is so addictive and Yoongi should definitely be thanked for that.

I feel like these two projects have made me greedy to see the other solo projects the BTS members are working on. We already have several mixtapes confirmed, including J-Hope’s which seemed the closest to completion at one point. But I also don’t want to rush them. I 100% trust their judgement on when their solo projects will be ready. Whether it takes them a few more months or a few more years, I really want them to be proud of the solo songs they give us. Because, obviously, their solo work is always worth waiting for. These boys don’t even seem to know how to create a bad song and I’m fully convinced it’s because of how devoted they are to giving us something incredible each time. ARMYs are so lucky to have such hardworking members to support.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie