The Official Princess Viola Ask/Blog Thread of Something or Other

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Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
Y'all can ask me stuff in this thread if y'all want.

Other than that, I guess this thread will be used for ramblings/blogging about dumb stuff I'm doing/watching/buying because of my weird refusal to get an actual blog or something. Mostly stuff I enjoy like Pretty Cure, Doctor Who, and Thomas & Friends (don't judge me).

So uh, I might as well ramble or whatever about those three things, starting with the longest topic, Doctor Who:
I've been watching some of the Loose Cannon reconstructions of missing/incomplete Doctor Who serials recently and, so far, I've seen their reconstructions of The Massacre, The Highlanders, and The Wheel in Space and they're all pretty good for different reasons.

The Massacre, which is about the 1572 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France, is genuinely a goddamn masterpiece of a serial and feels more like it's a standard historical drama about the event than a Doctor Who story. The reconstruction is also amazingly impressive too, especially because The Massacre is one of only three Doctor Who stories (along with The Myth Makers and the single episode Mission to the Unknown) to have literally nothing surviving of its original broadcast outside of the audio (and a few brief 8mm clips someone took of their TV screen for The Myth Makers). All that exists of The Massacre besides the audio is promotional photographs. So Loose Cannon pretty much had to photoshop everything in the serial so you could, you know, see what the hell is going on and it's genuinely impressive because you pretty much can't tell that these are photoshops and other edits and not actual images of the story.

The Highlanders is honestly the most middling of the three reconstructions I watched. It's not a bad story, just a pretty average one (the Doctor, Ben, and Polly end up in the Scottish Highlands after the Battle of Culloden), but at least the acting of the cast is really well-done and it introduces the series longest-lasting companion, Jamie. This story at least has tele-snaps and some footage from episode 1 exists (thank you Aussie/Kiwi censorship requirements), but (at least the recon I found) is a pretty basic one that is just the tele-snaps (and surviving footage when appropriate) with occasional scrolling text to detail what's happening that isn't relayed in the snaps. (So it's still better than the official reconstruction of The Underwater Menace, that's just awful)

The Wheel in Space is...an interesting one It's the worst of the three serials (it's a pretty slow and overlong base under siege story [in a season that was mostly full of them] that's really only worth watching for introducing one of my top 5 companions to the series, Zoe), but the reconstruction is actually really good. Loose Cannon used tele-snaps for the most but sometimes edited them to add things like animation for certain scenes. Sure, sometimes you can tell that these images were edited (like several shots of a sliding door opening where you can tell where they cut out the door on the image and can see that the characters behind the door were edited in), but who cares? This was made by fans. There was also CGI scenes of the Cybermen attacking which was just *chef's kiss*. Oh and two episodes of The Wheel in Space actually survive (episodes 3 and 6), so you can at least see some of what the original broadcast would've been like.

Now onto Precure:
Tropical Rogue is still just 'OK' to me. This week's episode was pretty damn good (although I'm not sold on the power up designs) though and seems to be hinting at a greater scope (there having been a Precure in the past and implying that the Witch of Delays wasn't always evil with the past Precure telling the Tropical Rouge Precure to save the witch who became the Witch of Delays) Villains (and Kururun) remain the best characters and I still want Numeri to ******* squish me under her gotdamn sea slug lower half on god.. I should get a Kururun plush to go with my other plushies tbh, they have like two different big Kururun plushies that look really nice.

Thomas & Friends:
WOODEN RAILWAY IS BACK BAYBEE (even tho it hasn't been officially announced yet and it's all people finding Amazon listings) hell yes it's something good considering everything else in this goddamn franchise right now. (I am non-ironically 100% excited for Wooden Railway's return considering that Wooden Railway was basically my childhood and how god awful the replacement for Wooden Railway was and I never even bought any of those except one)
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
So I watched The Invasion, a 1968 Doctor Who serial from season 6. It's a pretty notable serial because it introduced UNIT, brought back Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart from The Web of Fear (now in his famous rank of Brigadier), and basically serves as a trial for the then-upcoming format change of having all the serials being Earth-based for the next few seasons. (It was actually meant to show that Earth-based stories could be made cheaply and effectively, ironically it ended up being the most expensive Doctor Who serial made at that point).

It's also notable for being the first Doctor Who serial that recreated missing episodes (in this case, episodes 1 and 4) with animation for the DVD release. The animation is serviceable, I'm not going to criticize it too much because it was their first time doing this sort of thing (and The Invasion has no telesnaps of the missing episodes, so it's not like there would've been anything to base the animation off of other than production photos). Although I have to say the goddamn panty shot in episode four was really unnecessary, this is Doctor Who, not some goddamn cringeworthy anime. (I can somewhat forgive the panty shot in episode five because I doubt they were going 'OK yeah and we'll get to see the actress's underwear in this shot' for that instance)

The serial itself is honestly really damn good and is probably one of the best stories of its era. It's not without its flaws, however, most of which have to do with the serial's length (it's eight episodes long, the only longer serials are The War Games, The Daleks' Master Plan, and The Trial of a Time Lord), so you've got padding and things like 'Oh one group of characters has gone to this location to meet up with another group, but the other group just left!' throughout the serial.

Also depending on one's POV, the usage (or lack thereof) of the Cybermen could be viewed as a flaw, since they're supposed to be the main villains in the story and yet they don't debut until episode four (!!!) and ultimately play a minor role compared to the human villain of Tobias Vaughn. I personally don't mind it, the Second Doctor's era had four serials featuring the Cybermen and there's only so much of the emotionless cyborgs I can handle before I get burnt out on them, so it was refreshing that they're not really the focus villains this time. (And the goddamn scene where the Cybermen emerge from the sewers and march through London, with several of them marching down the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral at the end of episode six is goddamn iconic)

Also, while I've mentioned it already in the Transformers thread, I went to the mall yesterday and I bought all this stuff:
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- Loose Transformers Energon Starscream
- Transformers RID Ironhide and Mirage two-pack and W.A.R.S. Tiny Tin
- Two Popin Cookin tanoshii ramen kits
- My Melody bracelets (one has three bracelets and the other is just one)
- Hello Kitty plush
- My Melody plush
- Revolutionary Girl Utena After the Revolution manga
- Tokyo Mew Mew Omnibus 1, 2, and 3 (there's also a fourth omnibus, but it's just an omnibus edition of the two-volume Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode manga, the first three omnibuses are entirety of the original seven-voume manga)

I actually only found and bought the My Melody plush by happenstance. My plan when I went to the mall was to visit Newbury Comics (where I bought the manga), The Toy Vault (where I bought the Transformers and Hello Kitty), and Hot Topic (where I bought the Popin Cookin kits and the My Melody jewelry). But as I was heading back to the entrance to meet up with my grandpa (who was waiting for me to be done with my shopping), I saw one of those mall kiosks that they often have in the middle of the walkways and I saw it had a bunch of Nintendo plushies from a distance.

I didn't really plan on looking at what they were selling, but as I passed it, I noticed there were a bunch of Sanrio plushies, so I quickly looked at what they had and figured I didn't need to get any of them since it was mostly Hello Kitty (and I'd already bought my Hello Kitty plush) and Cinnamoroll (I don't hate him, but not really my fave character). Then I saw the My Melody plush and basically went 'Oh hell yeah, My Melo' (I'd actually been hoping to find a My Melody plush while I was there, so this was good luck) and bought her.

I'm actually planning on going back to the mall one more time before my grandpa and I leave because I really wanna get a proper look at what that kiosk was selling, if they're still there the next time I go. Seems that they were mostly selling plushies and figurines, I noticed a Kuromi plush and a Sailor Venus figurine as I was paying for My Melody. Since the My Melody plush was actually a UFO catcher prize, I'm assuming that most of their goods are either UFO catcher prizes or at least Japanese import plushies and figurines.

And hey, maybe (just maybe) I'll find a Precure thing there. It could happen, I know Precure is somewhat obscure in the USA, but I've got a friend who's found Precure goods at her local import store, so it's not an impossibility.
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
So a week ago, I went back to the mall and I picked this shit up:
IMG20211014182335157.jpg

- Phantom Thief Jeanne Volumes 2 - 5 (I had already bought volume 1 at the Barnes & Noble next to the mall and I forgot to check the comic shop to see if they had other volumes the last time I was there. Highly recommend it, btw. I won't spoil it but it's basically a prototype deconstruction of the magical girl genre but one that doesn't forget to still be a shoujo magical girl series. Seriously I ended up reading the entire series in one day because I was that engrossed in the story. Must watch the anime one day, I heard the anime adaption removes a few bits from the manga because they'd be inappropriate in a kid's show but it should still be good)
- SH Figuarts Sailor Mercury Animation Color Edition - I've been meaning to pick up a Sailor Mercury Figuarts for some time now and, hey, that was as good as any time.
- STAR TWINKLE PRECURE FUWA PLUSH!!! - Unfortunately, there is a very important thing to note about this plush: she's a bootleg :( She's at least somewhat of a unique bootleg because they took the design of the electronic talking Fuwa plush, removed the electronics, and made it smaller. Also her tag identifies her as being a My Melody plush. She's still really good quality, even for a bootleg, and (ignoring the goddamn tag) the only thing that really says 'she might be fake' is her wings being a little wonky (and even then I've seen actual pictures of this plush with wings that are a little wonky too, so it might just be a manufacturing thing). And hey, she was only $10. (Of course now I'm wondering if my My Melody plush I got from the same stall is a bootleg too, but I'm going to say she isn't because she's also really high quality and looks exactly like the pics I've found online, so she's either legit or a nigh-identical bootleg)

Anyways, since I've decided to be done buying stuff while I'm still here at my summer place (since we're planning on leaving sometime next week or so), here's the list of stuff I bought using my birthday/vacation money while I was up here:
- Moto G Stylus (2021)
-- A case for my Moto G Stylus
- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet
- Doctor Who: The Invasion DVD
- Doctor Who: The Compete Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant DVD set (20 goddamn bucks at Target for the entirety of series 1-4 of Doctor Who and the 2008 - 2010 specials)
- Porco Rosso Steelbook BD and DVD
- Urusei Yatsura manga volumes 1, 2, and 3
- Himitsu Sentai Goranger manga
- Tokyo Mew Mew manga
- Phantom Thief Jeanne manga
- Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution manga
- Transformers Kingdom Rattrap
- Transformers Kingdom Huffer
- Transformers Kingdom Optimus Primal
- Transformers Vintage Beast Wars Megatron
- Transformers Studio Series 86 Jazz
- Transformers Energon Starscream
- Transformers RID Ironhide and Mirage
- Transformers RID WARS
- My Melody x Naruto plush (I don't care about Naruto but it was MY MELODY so I had to buy)
- My Melody plush
- Hello Kitty plush
- Kirby plush
- Isabelle plush
- Pompompurin plush keychain
- Hangyodon plush keychain
- SH Figuarts Sailor Mercury
- Sailor Mercury hand sanitizer (Yes)
- Luna backpack hanger
- Sailor Moon ramen bowl and chopsticks set
- Popin Cookin Tanoshii Ramen kits
- Thomas & Friends Push Along Henry
- Thomas & Friends Push Along Edward
- Thomas & Friends Motorized Duchess
- Thomas & Friends Motorized Rebecca

And if you've read all that shit, I would like share the following screenshots from this week's Precure episode, which is easily the greatest goddamn episode of the entire franchise:
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CURE KURURUN
sadly, was just a dream she had :( but I wish it was REAL

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That's right, tremble before the might of the Precure's ultimate attack: Jugemu Jugemu Gokou-no Surikiire Ultimate Marine Splash Megawave Dragon Tropical Mango Kiwi Limbo Dance Dondoko Dondoko Crash Niagara Shower Flying Phoenix Large Serving Supersize Back Fat Extra Extra Beauty Legend Passing Shot Laura Apollodoros Hyginus La Mer #1 Cutest and Most Beautiful and Wonderful in Gran Ocean Queen of Queens Bubble Bomber Floral Pink & Purple Shadow Fall Cosmetics Product Line Ponpoko-Pii to the Ponpoko Punch Kururun Kururun Kururun Ru~n Shuuringan-no Guurindai Guurindai Land Beat Dynamic.

This week's episode was 10 (actually 11) short comedic vignettes which included, among other things: them coming up with alternative names for their new finisher Land Beat Dynamic and deciding to just use all the names they came up for the attack; a bodyswap that starts with Asuka and Sango switching bodies and ending with Asuka in Minori's body, Minori in Kururun's body, Kururun in Manatsu's body, Manatsu in Asuka's body, Sango in Chongiire's body, Chongiire in Sango's body, Laura in the Yaraneeda's body, and the Yaraneeda in Laura's body; Minori finding information about the legendary Precure by searching 'Precure densetsu' and finding a video on not-YouTube that is literally the ******* Heartcatch transformation sequence and then it turns out that the Heartcatch Precure are literally on the roof of the Tropical Club and Marine is offended when Minori says that these legendary Precure might be old grannies by now, except then it's revealed that entire short was Tsubomi just dreaming it and Erika comes up with ideas for tropical Precure: Cure Hibiscus, Cure Palm Tree, and Cure Limbo Dance; and Manatsu imagining what the villains are like when they're not doing villainous stuff and coming to the horrific realization: all of the villains are the dumb one and they don't have a straight man amongst them, so they can't do manzai properly.

Yes it was that kind of episode.
 

MEDdMI

Nonstop Baaka
Citizen
Even though it was filler, I love it when they just have fun with it.
They put waaaaay too much effort into the Kururun transformation sequence XD
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
It says something about how crazy crossovers in japanese kids' media can get when it took me a moment to realize this wasn't real.
The funny thing is Thomas & Friends doesn't even do crossovers with other franchises in Japan. As far as I know, the closest it gets to crossovers are promotional tie-ins with actual railways. There's like one railway that has some of their engines made to look like Thomas and a few other characters and other railways will do promotions where they'll just decorate their engines with pictures of T&F characters. And obviously 'series about a railway doing promotions with actual railways' isn't exactly crazy.

I like to hope it's because the Japanese rightsholders actually respect the legacy and history of Thomas & Friends.
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
I recently bought the game Trainz: A New Era. I got the game for totally normal virtual railway purposes and in absolutely no way have I installed/attempted to install over 10 gigabytes worth of Thomas & Friends mods into the game.

Anyways here's a screenshot I took that is absolutely not meant to be a representation of a scene from The Sad Story of Henry, the third story in The Three Railway Engines.
20211108053441.jpg
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
This week's Tropical Rouge revealed some dark stuff about Grand Ocean (where Laura) is from.

The episode was part 2 of a two-parter and, to quickly summarize part 1, the Precure are invited to Grand Ocean by the Mermaid Queen but, oh no, it turns out that it was a trap by the villains who used the memories of all the inhabitants to create this Grand Ocean and they turn a living creature into a Yaraneeda and steal the Marine Heart Kuru Ring.

So in this episode, the Precure are trying to find the Queen and the other inhabitants of Grand Ocean and, as they explore, they find a room full of shells, which Laura is unfamiliar with. Whenever one of them touches a shell, it does a flashback scene to mermaids interacting with humans, with it being clear that these incidents occurred some time in the past (talking like late 19th-early 20th centuries based on the buildings).

Then Laura finds a shell which she acts surprised when she touches, but insists that it's nothing.

Later on, the Precure find the Queen (who it turns out is named Melusine Muses Mnemosyne) and it seems all nice and happy, but then Laura brings up the shell that she found.

What flashback do we get when Laura touches the shell that made her all surprised?

We get this:
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Laura and Manatsu had met as children and, while Manatsu remembers this meeting (although she had no idea it was Laura because she never asked her name), Laura didn't and it wasn't just a case of 'Oh wow, I forgot I met you', she literally had no memory of doing any of this at all.

And why doesn't Laura remember this?

Because it turns out that, under the laws of the Mermaid Kingdom, the mermaid world and the human world mustn't associate with each other and that all mermaids who interact with humans have their memories erased.

And the Queen acts completely uncaring about this, simply stating as a matter of fact that she and Laura will have their memories erased once all of this is over with.

(Naturally, Laura angrily tells the Queen that she won't agree to this)

ALSO

ALSO

883SerenaeTropicalRouge.png


there are OTHER kururuns...
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
This thread died because I couldn't be bothered to actively post long posts about Precure episodes, but check this shit out:
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I now own every engine that was part of the Steam Team in Thomas & Friends in my Push Along collection.

Granted, it wasn't particularly that hard to acquire them since I started my collection by buying a gift pack that already included the entirety of the current Steam Team in it (Thomas, Percy, Gordon, James, Emily, Rebecca, and Nia) but I really wanted to get Edward, Henry, and Toby since they had also been part of the team and they're classic and iconic characters, I'd be nuts to not get them.

Anyways, I got Henry and Edward this past summer as I said some months back in this thread but I got Toby yesterday at Walmart.

Also picked up Diesel as well yesterday:
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But let me do a quick rant about this toy (or rather about toys of Diesel in general): I do not understand why they stopped letting Diesel look 'mean' on his toys. His entire personality is that he's devious, malicious, a bully, and thinks of himself (and all diesel engines) as superior and revolutionary compared to steam engines. All of his toys until around 2011-2012 reflected this in their face sculpts, but then starting in 2011-2012, all new Diesel toys have faces like this one where he just has a regular happy smile.

And honestly this effected every toy of a character who is supposed to be 'mean', they all got friendly happy smiles on their merchandise. It's like they didn't want kids to think these characters aren't supposed to be 'friendly' or something.

(Well at least the 2022 Wooden Railway Diesel toy doesn't have a generic friendly smile on him, he has an expression that's reads as more 'he's plotting someone and looking around to make sure no one hears him', which is definitely an improvement to me).
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
*looks up*
View attachment 4012
this is the face of Evil
I gotta be 100% honest - while I do have some little nitpicks with the new Wooden Railway designs (I'm not a big fan of how the wheels look and, while I can see the appeal of the varied facial expressions, I'd prefer the standard release engines just having more 'neutral' expressions), it's all still 100% better than basically every other Thomas & Friends toyline out right now.

Cause every other toyline has pivoted towards being based off of the designs for All Engines Go, the reboot series and umm:
MV5BYzYzMmFhNTUtZDZkYy00YThjLTk0ZjYtZWQwYTliNGMzYjhjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTU0MTE4NjY@._V1_FMjpg_UX1...jpg

Yeah, if Wooden Railway was using these designs, I'd be highly disappointed to say the least. (And I'll be somewhat fair here - I don't actually hate the AEG designs in a vacuum [well outside of Thomas and Diesel, I don't like those] and if these designs were used specifically as a stylized take on the characters for something like short cartoons on YouTube or whatever, I'd be fine with them and I'd even call them kinda cute. But as a replacement for the original show and its designs? No thank you.)

It's honestly a shame, really. Thomas & Friends has become nothing more than a generic preschooler show. It's like what the Reverend W. Awdry said about the failed 1970s TV adaption of the original books, 'Once the Americans get hold of it, the whole series will be vulgarized and ruined'.
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
I will say that AEG has made me understand why some people in the Thomas fandom will basically attack anyone who criticizes the fandom or the show itself.

It's because so many conversations with non-fans will go like this:
Non-fan: Why are you people complaining about this? It's a show for preschoolers about talking trains.
Fan: Yes, it's a show for children. But the original books were written by a railway enthusiast who either directly based the stories off of real events that occurred on railways or made sure that they were something that could have likely happened on a railway somewhere.
Non-fan: But it's about talking trains! It's already unrealistic because trains don't talk!
Fan: I literally just explained that the books the TV show is based on (and the TV show itself for most of its run) tried to generally maintain a sense of realism to the characters despite them being alive and able to talk. This is why most people in the fandom remained attached to the show all these years later, it never was a 'whacky goofy cartoon of talking choo choos doing things choo choo trains don't do' until the new series began.

And eventually the conversation will either end with the non-fan just no longer responding or (luckily) going away with more of an understanding on why people are critical of the way the show is nowadays.

So like while I can't agree with the fans who act aggressive towards critics (and luckily most fans will criticize the ones who act like this for being immature), I can totally get why they do it when so often trying to engage with a non-fan who already has it in their head that 'this is a show for preschoolers and all the adult fans are weirdos complaining about a cartoon for 4 year olds' is incredibly frustrating.

Of course, the funniest part about this is how we literally have reports from actual goddamn parents of children who watch Thomas & Friends criticizing the reboot and talking about how their kids hate it, are disappointed by it, were almost brought to tears by it, and just generally do not like it. So it really isn't just older fans who dislike the new series, it's the kids and parents too.
 

Princess Viola

Dumbass Asexual
Citizen
Magical girl update:
It took me slightly over four years to do it, but I am finished. I have watched every single episode of Precure, all 878 of them. I am completely caught up until Delicious Party returns from its hiatus due to Toei Animation being hacked. All I still need to watch are the movies for Precure 5 and Precure 5 GoGo and the first eight All Stars movies (I've seen the ninth through thirteenth ones because those are the ones [minus All Stars Memories] where they just do 'current team + two previous teams').

But now that I've finished watching Precure, I've decided to start something a bit more vintage:
[Tess] Cutie Honey - 01 [DVD 720x480 AVC AC3][08400C69].mkv_snapshot_00.00.667.png
Yeah that's right, I've started watching the original magical girl warrior.

This is good shit btw
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