Another swing and a miss from Netflix’s Anime Live Adaption of Cowboy Bebop
It’s almost sad in a way. Great properties are being brought back to life and getting a good homage ala Ben Dun’s Warrior Nun, the CG Enhanced Voltron, and or the Live Action Lupin while others are given a cigar and a blindfold like Death Note and Dragonball Evolution. The original Cowboy Bebop was an artifact of anime for it’s time Sci-Fi with bounty hunters and quirky characters. It’s “Live Action” version suffers from a modern case of the “Get woke go woke” variety.
Because of this various modern-day issues are being projected into a show that, for all intended purposes, should not be part of the show and various contributor opinions have changed character designs to make them “Less sexy” or “Less Appealing” to suit a narrative. Included in these changes is a less feminine Faye, a less masculine Spike, and a more feminine Ed for the main cast while less futuristic representations of supporting cast have been changed too.
After a few minutes of the first episode I knew there was going to be an issue or two. After the end of the first episode I was pretty sure things were only going to get worse. Second episode and another viewing of the first told me I was right. If you’re ready to torture yourself – feel free to try but it’s not worth picking up a Netflix Subscription.
Teela and He-Man have more character than the first Season
Kevin Smith’s first season of Masters of the Universe: Revelation was heavy handed with monologuing. So heavy you could feel the social commentary in almost every scene. However, because there was a lot of fan-backlash from the first season it would seem they took a little more formulaic approach to the property.
While the narrative moved more towards empowerment and “Equity of character” rather than diminishing the character’s history from the old series. Without spoiling the show – the actual dynamic character arcs are worth the watch. If you’ve weathered the first season we can assure you the second is a breath of fresh air.
Soon, more people will be exposed to the concept of The Matrix for Actualization among other things…
While The Matrix was a great film trilogy + MMORPG + Animation Anthology Project in the 90s and early 2000s we have not had media that pushes the ideas of self actualization for a while. Lots of topical things like Free Guy, Inception, the Truman Show, and other films have touched the surface but The Matrix pulled the façade from the Social Veneer.
Because of this many people brush it off as “High Sci Fi” or “Science Fantasy Power Fantasies” but there is deeper meaning. For the Siblings Wachowski it was a far more than just “Exposing the 1% of the machines for establishing money as a social construct to retain a modernized machine of slavery and castes which broke people into The poor (Humanity plugged in), the Middle Class(Programs operating within the Matrix), and the Rich (The Machines benefitting from Humanities sacrifice) but a realization of how one should be true to how they feel.
The question is not: “Will it be as good?” because the answer is “No”. The Matrix Resurrections is made to evoke both nostalgia and a sense of progression without diminishing the past of what was and what currently is. We won’t spoil the story because the trailer IS out but we will say it’s something to see and will have something for you to learn.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation 2021 misses mark with “Tone Deft” Kevin Smith’s “Spiritual Successor
No morals to be taught by Teelah while Prince Adam putters around the netherworld in He-Man’s latest animation…
As a child of the 80s and 90s, He-Man was an installment of modern mythos. It was created by hard working animators to sell toys and give a moral in every episode back when it first aired. This would place He-Man in the zeitgeist of 80s culture and carry it ahead. Sadly, the modern incarnation lacks the soul, pacing, and teachable moments the old show had. So much so that MOST of the “Lessons” this “Spiritual Successor” didn’t carry over in the least.
The Voice Acting of the show was a competent cast. Mark Hamill, Sarah Michelle Geller, Lena Headey, Liam Cunningham, and the rest of the crew nailed most of their characters. However, Chris Wood who played He-Man had made a few missteps before release such as not knowing anything about the show or really the depth of the character with the alter ego. This may be due to the fact the showrunner, Kevin Smith, was more interested in matching the visual tone and arranging action scenes to force viewer engagement over actual “substance”.
It all begins with Episode 1 and the introduction of the characters. However, the jarring tone-shift and pacing makes for a disgusting “tonal whiplash” as our characters are placed center-stage. The Chess Board was set, so to speak, and the characters resumed their “Epic Fantasy Battles” as all children of the 80s would have loved to see. The forces of good and evil on a battlefield portrayed in a very “Lord of the Rings” wide-angle shot from above scene. Combat ensues, the big animated scene fades to a battle between named characters. Enter the Skeletor and He-Man crescendo and as Kevin Smith put it “He-Man is like Jesus Christ and sacrifices himself to save everyone” oh boy!
At that moment I turned the show off and walked away for about an hour. Skeletor and He-Man were GONE so there was no reason to watch right? WRONG! So, the next 6 episodes are basically a slow-crawl redemption arc for Teelah to be later revealed that she “has power within her” by the “Devil” of Eternia. We get it, Teelah is a strong female character but the entire cast of characters lack agency. Man-At-Arms, Teelah’s adopted father whom is supposed to be what we call a “Cornerstone Character” huddles in a shack. Even old-show antagonists that are given flashback scenes lack any resolve beyond “Gotta do my thing now…” ala Triclopse. At least Beast-Man decides to help Evil Lyn whom gets a redemption arc only to blunder it at the last moment after pretty much cheerleading for Orko whom they pretty much kill off while they’re in Hell? Wait how does the Netherworld work again?
It’s ok though. Teelah and crew get the Cosmic McGuffin, The Swords of Power, and fuse them together. However, not at the cost of Roboto, Man-At-Arms’ self-duplicate android. That’s right, they killed Orko and then Roboto within 2 episodes just to ramp up the emotional manipulation after they had just got Prince Adam back from the Light Netherworld and met the original “Master’s of The Universe” and the “First He-Man” after Teelah conquered her “fear of her own potential” in some strange “woke” double-talk from Space Satan.
So far: He-Man, Orko, and Robot have sacrificed themselves, “Like Jesus Christ on the Cross” -Kevin Smith, for the “Greater Good of the Universe” which actually lessens the FIRST sacrifice of He-Man in the first episode. This takes the convoluted writing to the next level. It’s ok though. We have more to go through in the next episode…
Whiplash, that’s all I can tell you that’s what happened. All those episodes. All that build up. All the Teelah angst for Adam not telling her he was He-Man… and Skeletor wins? I think I know what lesson we were taught:
No matter what you do in this show you’ll get BONED… get it? Because Skeletor stabbed him in the back and he’s SKELETOR?!
When asked about on the “woke nature”, “jarring pacing”, and given a low score on rotten tomatoes Kevin Smith had this to say to everyone on a podcaset he was a guest on:
Like, you really f***ing think Mattel Television, who hired me and paid me money, wants to do a f***ing Masters of the Universe show without He-Man?Kevin Smith, on a podcast
Grow the F*** up, man!Kevin Smith, on a podcast
F*** off!Kevin Smith, on a podcast
Let’s not forget Kevin Smith built his entire career of Pot Jokes, Fecal-Humor, and worshipping Stan Lee as his hero despite his content mirroring far more golden-age D.C. than Marvel content. When you’re entire history of videography is pretty much Drugs and Escapism while trying to prove to the world you’re hip and cool over 25 and being known for crying about sub-par star wars film releases you’ve really got to take a look at your body of work and say “Maybe going woke will make me go broke with my 236 million in the bank…” but it’s probably not going to matter and someone else will give Kevin another property to destroy.
Activision Blizzard Sued by the state of California for Sexual Abuse being Commonplace and “Frat Boy Culture” after “Tone Deaf” response by Executives
Sexual Assaults’, Rape Culture, Gender Based Pay Inequality, Drunk “Molestation” and Harassment Cultivated at the Blizzard Campus
It’s been a while since we put Activision – Blizzard under a microscope. However, our gripes about Warcraft Expansions and the nightmare that was Warcraft III Reforged or the logistics nightmare that was the modernization of Diablo II and the whiplash of thematic disparity in Diablo II all pale in comparison to what’s been covered in this legal document HERE. The abridged version is not short as many would hope but here’s a snippit of it:
In the office, women are subjected to ‘cube crawls’ in which male employees drink copious amounts of alcohol as they ‘crawl’ their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies, and joke about rape.Page 4-7 of the legally submitted documentation
While this is unacceptable anywhere you’d think the Companies that banned someone demanding “Freedom for Hong Kong” and fired the interviewing E-Sports Streamers would actually step forward to protect those oppressed, beaten down, and otherwise considered “Second Class”. However, the disparity in pay for female workers and their treatment shows the company with the “Rainbow Logo” isn’t really that progressive. This doesn’t bode well for the fleeing former ex President Mike Morhaime.
I failed (women) at Blizzard.Mike Morhaime
It’s not NEW News by any means. We have had a dozen former and current female employees that have spoke on the matter. The writer of the ARTICLE even encountered hiring bias due to “Being too innovative” but we’re going to use 3rd party quotes rather than personal experience until the end.
The early 2000s had the “guys” treating the office like a boys club. HR didn’t do anything when I reported being groped or verbally abused. Not a single “Write up” happened and I had left and came back twice in the two decades since I had first been there. I was actually told “not to stir up trouble. When I got a chance to “Work at Blizzcon” I wasn’t paid and I was treated like meat for working some insane 41 hours over the weekend. I’ve moved on but I can’t imagine going back a third time.Former Employee
Ok, like, please don’t name me and don’t be specific. I worked in three different departments at an average of 35 hours a week just slightly above “Industry minimum wage” and found I could make more at In-And-Out after 2 years of having to live in a house with 6 other women and I wasn’t the only one doing it. I had to do Uber on the side JUST to have enough money to make ends meet and pay for the gas from -redacted- to Irvine every day and that’s another thing I wasn’t alone in. Later, months in, I found it wasn’t just the other girls but there were guys living at the house of -redacted- in Tustin just to have enough money to come in and say they “Worked on Warcraft” while they were sharing rooms because the cost of living per person was about nineteen hundred a month and they were only making twelve.Former Employee
I was made fun of for my condition. The world “Bullied” doesn’t describe it. I’d get to my cubicle with hotdogs sliced in half on a plate with katchup mounded on top. Human Resources said on multiple incidents “Plenty of people bring food to their desks and you’re just overreacting” but I know what’s what. My three years there was something I wish I could cherish but it was Hell. Two Production Managers made sure my name was not on two of the three products I worked on while I was pulling 40+ hours a week so I had given my three week notice after seeing my name left out at the end of a release. There are dozens if not hundreds of names “Left out because the contributions are not significant”. The payment was utter trash too.Former Employee
I’m not worried but leave my name out. They’ll know me when I testify and bring in the copies of the text messages but I’ll leave their names out too. I worked at Blizzard long enough to have the Shield and the Ring. I was a a fresh “Token Girl” hire in the earlier years of WoW and I worked various roles and departments. I dealt with it all – Chair jousting where someone poked me so hard on my gluteal while they were “drunk playing around” that they were sent home (for a day) and I was given unpaid time off to heal because I couldn’t sit down where I got a contusion from someone trying to practically shove a broomstick up my behind. I’ve had to drive multiple “coworkers” home after they get stoned and drunk circa 2004 and up while they would reach over and fondle and grab me without consent. They moved me around to keep me away from people that “Had issues with me” which was HR’s way of saying “(they)were permitted to treat other women like that without repercussion but when it came to me I made too big of a deal out of it”. Blizzcon was a whole new level of weird because it started exposing folks in the esports communities to some of the drama. The company room parties were just as bad as the ones held in Asia minus the sex workers and I saw other ladies make the mistake of coming dressed in dresses and skirts only to get abused in front of everyone. When I left it was on “Fair Terms” but let me tell you – others didn’t. Some took the only way out they could and their blood is on the hands of HR and all of the executives and middle management that stood by for years and did nothing.Former Employee
Ok so I want to make this quick because I was only there for a few months before they moved everyone I knew to Texas before firing them with the GM Automation. We had big sexy nelfs painted on the wall. -redacted- ran a pretty tight shift but that didn’t stop people from other parts of the building from coming in and poking us or inviting us to their place or section and whatnot. I spoke to a nice guy GM and he told me how much he was making an hour after 4 months and it was four dollars more than me per hour and my ticket resolution rate per hour was up there where his was something like half what I did. When I took it to Head GM -redacted- he basically told me “He’s been here for longer and handles more account-centered tickets” which I knew was a lie. I moved to Squaresoft later and mentioned I worked at Blizzard and they started me at the very amount the guy had after working at blizzard as long as he did.Former Employee
I’ve reported what has happened to me to HR and my division lead multiple times. Usually, someone got lectured. However, my job was on the line for the contributions I made. They had a phone line you could call for legal but it only ever got ME moved.Current Employee
“Speak up” was this gimmick they had to “reduce backlash against those whom report abuse” but that’s just a dodge for liability. This started before Diablo. They even harassed the voice actors “playfully” during recordings for Warcraft: Orcs Vs Humans. The “Beer Culture” has ALWAYS been there since Chaos Storms Studios or whatever it was named before Blizzard with people drunk under their desk and puking in their trash cans while screaming for their lady co-workers to clean it up. The culture is there. My personal life and professional life do NOT mix but I know if I started acting the way I feel inside and showing it outwardly I’d probably leave within a few months of doing so.Current Employee
We banned people using slurs. Racial slurs, Gender Slurs, Preferential Slurs… anything spicy. However, it flew through the air everywhere in the office. Why do you think they shoehorned in the “Gay Romance” with Flynn and Shaw with the Golden Novellas? To cater to the LGBTQAL+ Minority while games like Guild Wars 2 have an open lesbian relationship between a hero and a villain as primary content reflected on the players even if they are “sexy plant ladies” as the writers were clucking about when design meetings were had over what Christie Golden could put in her novel.Former Employee
The Digital Picket Line and Employee Solidarity Walk out of 7-28-2021
After Activision – Blizzard department heads insisted that “People join the walk out in sign of support” the “Fire Control” and “Legal Department” were in full swing to wrangle the narrative by “Removing Problematic NPCs from the game” (which will only be a symptom and reminder – not the CAUSE of the sexual misconduct and inequality) and having a “Third Party team review all contracts and protocols to then put solutions in action” as it were. The only issue with all of this: The Damage has been done. A woman committed suicide after a “Business Trip” with her supervisor after he passed images of her genitalia around at a party. Dozens of men and women have reported to HR the harassment and disparities over a two decade time line with zero change. People lost their jobs over crunch time while department heads were “cubicle crawling”. People’s careers began only to catch fire and end at the Blizzard offices in both Irvine and Austin a few month in. Artists at Blizzard stole none Blizzard Intellectual Property from Deviant Art accounts and even 3rd party TTRPGs only to issue automated rejection letters from the original artists and writers due to conflicts of interest. We’ve not forgotten that’s for sure.
The list goes on and on. You need to look no further than the speedrun arcade grindfest that Diablo III has become, the low quality shoddy workmanship of Warcraft 3 Reforged and the lacking in actual viable content full retail releases of World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands expansions. It’s only a matter of time before the whole truth comes out and over a dozen former employees are made to take to a stand in the eyes of justice. Justice any true Paladin would be proud of.