Chapter 6: Akira (The Chronicles of Time)
Natsumi paced up and down the stairs, pausing every few moments, expecting to hear returning footsteps only to be disappointed.
‘Where did Yuu go?’ She pondered, then looked out the window. The wind pounded against the glass, and wailed along with its concomitant forces. Heavy rain crashed down, and the streets were vacant besides of the large streams of water tumbling down. With such terrible weather, just where on earth could Yuu have gone? And it wasn’t just him, but Koru has suddenly, and magically, gone missing as well!
“Don’t worry, Natsumi.” Sora assured her, sipping on his freshly made hot cocoa from the kitchen. He carried a tray with two other cups with such balance, that he looked like the perfect quintessence of a waiter. Currently, they were supposed to be watching a horror movie (Himari came up with the idea since it was the perfect weather), but Yuu disappeared halfway - leaving Natsumi to fret over his vacancy. The only one that was actually enjoying themselves was nonetheless: Himari.
He handed her a cup, then headed back to the living room where Himari resided with another hot cocoa.
She continued to be restless until she heard a large slam and a muffled quarrel at the entrance.
“Yuu where have you - !” She stopped short and gaped at the sight of an unfamiliar identity.
“Uwah!” The boy with snow-like colored hair jumped in surprise the second his eyes met hers. “I-I….”
“What are you acting so shy about?” Yuu said in a disapproving tone. The other boy glared at him, but his attention returned back to Natsumi’s perceptive stare.
“Who is that boy?” She set down her cup on a nearby table.
“Oh, him?” Yuu elbowed him, and pushed him forward. “He’s - “
“Don’t tell me, could that be…your brother?” Natsumi gasped loudly. It didn’t take long for the others to join them after hearing her exclamation without giving Yuu a chance to speak properly.
“Whoa!” Himari said, peering over the new boy. “Who’s this? He’s so pretty! He looks like a doll!”
It also didn’t take long for the girls to start fawning over the new addition, and for the boys to ignore their squeals and head to the living room.
“What have you guys been up to since I was gone for a bit?” Yuu asked, taking over the bowl of popcorn that used to belong to Himari. He completely blocked out the irritating noises the girls made from his ears.
Sora took a seat beside him on the couch. “Nothing really. We’ve just been continuing the movie without Natsumi and you.”
“Without Natsumi?” Yuu tilted his head in confusion. “But I was the only one who left?”
The girls let out another excited squeal as they adorned the new boy’s hair with ribbons.
“Oh yeah, but after you left, she started to worry about where you’ve gone off and loitered around the stairs.” Sora replied casually, pressing the play button.
“What’s with your old fashioned clothes?” Himari lifted up his sleeves. Flustered by the amount of attention he’s receiving, he didn’t answer.
“Hey, what’s your name?” Natsumi asked, filled with curiosity. He flinched at the sudden question and mumbled something underneath his breath. “Hm?”
“I-it’s…” he glanced at Yuu for assistance only to be briefly ignored which hit his sore spot. “Hey! You brought me here in this form, a-and you’re going to neglect me like that?”
The change in attitude made the girls blink and think that they must’ve heard his tone wrong.
“Huh?” Yuu slowly diverted his attention away from the movie and looked back at them from the couch. “Who said that I have to tend to your every need, and lend a hand? If anything, shouldn’t you be talking to your master about that?”
“Master?” That word piqued Himari’s curiosity. “What?”
“It’ll be easier to explain this way,” Yuu snapped his fingers and with a poof! - white fluffy ears sprouted out of the boy’s head and a luxuriously soft tail.
“Wow!” The girls both blurted out simultaneously. Natsumi groped his tail while Himari took over his ears, both of them captured by how insanely silky and satisfying it felt. The boy blushed, and his ears twitched whenever Himari’s fingers got too possessive.
“He’s so sensitive!” Himari teased, looking at his red face.
“S-stop!” He whined. Blinding white light surrounded him, forcing the others to cover their eyes. When they regained their senses after the abrupt dazzle, instead of a boy, they found a white large dog instead.
“Koru? So this is where you’ve been!” Natsumi said, astonished.
“Is that what you really got from all of that?” Yuu said, dumbfounded. “Even an idiot can tell exactly what occurred just now.”
“What are you - ?” A belated realization smacked her in the head. “Oh! Koru is that boy!”
“Yay! She got it!” He replied sarcastically. “What a genius idea! Who would’ve thought?”
Natsumi bit her bottom lip. “You can stop now. No need for the unnecessary rude remarks.”
“But who really would’ve thought that Koru was actually a human in disguise?” Himari questioned, glancing at the dog who hid underneath his paws. “If you didn’t come along, just how long would he have hid his true identity from us?”
“Who knows,” Yuu shrugged nonchalantly. “And also, he isn’t a human. He’s known as an ‘Okami’.”
“‘Okami’?” Sora said, puzzled. “Hold on, what's with all this unrealistic stuff happening?”
“Oh right! We haven’t told Sora yet!” Himari smacked her forehead. “So you see, Yuu is actually a magician! Ta-dah! Big surprise there!”
“Are you really?” Sora turned to him skeptically. Yuu snapped his fingers and the empty bowl of popcorn became full within seconds. That flipped his attitude. “Are you kidding me? A real magician? I thought that they only belonged in fictional stories!”
“Yeah, well that’s what Natsumi thought too in the beginning, and now look how wrong she is.” Yuu grinned.
“Oi!” Natsumi snapped. “Well who would even believe you to begin with? If it was anyone else, they would deem you as a lunatic and ship you off to the mental hospital!”
“...anyway, back to the ‘Okami’ thing,” Himari cleared her throat, and the mood became serious, “did he choose to protect Natsumi or destroy her?”
“Protect her, duh!” Yuu said. “Anyway, it seems that it has made a contract with you since you were young, so it's practically bound to you. It also seems that your parents also were conscious of that fact and continued to let the dog stay.”
The room became silent, and Sora shut off the television, intrigued by Yuu’s words. Koru whimpered and looked up at them with a questioning gaze.
“Oh…I see.” Natsumi said quietly. “So the whole time, I really didn’t know anything, huh? It felt as if…my parents were hiding everything from me for some reason; was it because I was too naive back then?”
Koru quickly reverted back to his human form frantically. “N-no! It wasn’t like that, master! Your parents were just worried about your safety, that’s all! It wasn’t like that so don’t cry - “
“Aww!” Natsumi shrieked, filled with adoration. “Do you think I didn’t know that? Were you trying to console me? So cute!”
The shift in her mood left him speechless. “Eh?”
“Well, well! You really could’ve just shown yourself earlier you know?” She put her hands to her hips with a huff. “I would’ve been super surprised as well as grateful! You’re really cute after all! And you’re some sort of deity as well! I couldn’t feel more honored! In fact, I feel super elated!”
They all grinned broadly besides Yuu who had a faint smile on his face.
‘Really, just how foolish can she even be? She hasn’t changed…at all.’
“He’ll sleep with me!”
“Huh?” Yuu choked on his spit at her bold declaration. “W-what are you - but Himari is already sleeping with you!”
“Oh, we can squeeze in another person, it’s fine.” She shook him off lightly.
“Yesh’ ples.” Sora said as he brushed his teeth. He spat out the toothpaste then reattempted to repeat what he meant to say. “Yes please. I really don’t want to share a room with someone else.”
“I-I will do my best, master!” Koru said obsequiously. His eagerness made him shine so much that Natsumi just couldn’t help but pet his head.
“So cute! So dedicated!” She purred with satisfaction. For some reason, it made Yuu uncomfortable seeing how much affection she poured to another male.
“But still - !” His mind jumbled up, and he became more perplexed. “Ah, whatever! Do what you want!”
He stormed off to his room in an annoyed manner.
“Geez, why is he so mad?” Natsumi said, racking her brain for a plausible reason. “Oh well, whatever.”
“Should we also apply Koru - I mean, Akira to the same school as us?” Natsumi suggested. It was a Saturday morning, and there weren't any classes. Recently, Koru came out of his shell, and started to speak more. But the name ‘Koru’ - which he was granted when he was a dog - didn’t suit a human boy. Although it sounded as cute and as lovely as the boy himself, it didn’t match. So the others gathered together and voted on a suitable name for him resulting in ‘Akira’.
Akira sat obediently in front of Natsumi who sat behind him, playing with his silky hair. His ears flickered sensitively, and his tail wagged behind him in pleasure. He had a new outfit and his old one was stored away. But since he didn’t want to part from his bell, it was fashioned into a mini necklace with the bell shrinked. It hung around his neck like a collar, and rang softly whenever he moved. “S-school?”
“Yup!” Himari added enthusiastically. “To put it simply, it’s like a building where all sorts of other people go and study and stuff!”
“Yeah, he knows that already,” Yuu scoffed and rolled his eyes. “Considering the amount of time that he spent stalking Natsumi - he’s just pretending to be as blank as a sheet of paper. He’s just acting ignorant!”
“You don’t really have to say it that way,” Natsumi shot back at him. “But having such an adorable stalker - well, how could I get angry?”
Yuu stared at her idignantly and sighed deeply. “There’s something wrong with your head. You call him cute, but when I was in my child form, you called me arrogant. How is that fair?”
“Mind you, you were pretty cocky back then; you still are now though.”
“Hold on, Yuu in child form?” Sora butted in, inquisitively. “I wanna see what he looks like!”
“He had really long hair back then,” Natsumi nodded as she recalled the memory.
“Yeah, I was really handsome and cute.” Yuu added.
“I wanna see!” Sora said, interested.
“I told you before, Sora really favors kids.” Natsumi said, shrugging.
“Then how come he doesn’t fawn over Akira like that?” Himari blurted out.
“That’s because we’ve been hogging Akira, of course!” Natsumi answered. That fact was quite conspicuous. Ever since Akira broke away from his disguise, he’s been the center of attention for the girls. “That, and I bet he’s into how Yuu will look like as a child, aren’t you? After all, Yuu is pretty standoffish, so literally anyone would like to see how he looks when he’s small and innocent - not that he even was innocent in his mini form.”
“Come to think of it, I never saw you in your child form either!” Himari realized, and automatically turned to Yuu sharply. “C’mon! Show us!”
In the end, he escaped from the persistent requests, and teleported out of the house for a breath of fresh air.
Harry Situation Reviews: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the newest MCU film and the third film in the MCU/Sony Spider-Man series. It features the return of Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, and Marisa Tomei all reprise their roles as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, MJ, Doctor Strange, Happy Hogan, Ned Leeds, and Aunt May. It also features the return of Alfred Molina, William Dafoe, Jamie Foxx, Rhys Ifans, and Thomas Haden Church as villains of Spider-Man movies past Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Electro, Lizard, and Sandman respectively.
After his secret identity as Spider-Man has been revealed, Peter Parker seeks the help from the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Doctor Stephen Strange, Unfortunately, a spell that was meant to reverse the world's memory of Spider-Man's identity goes awry, villains from other universes are brought into their reality, all seeking vengeance on the friendly neighborhood webslinger.
Hot damn, this movie was fucking awesome! Honestly, one of Marvel's best movies to date.
First off, the acting is outstanding. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, does an amazing job. Holland, Cumberbatch, Zendaya, everyone. They're all amazing. And I will admit, MJ was actually... tolerable in this one. Sorta. I'm still not a fan of this character or her personality but she got me to tolerate her a little more than the previous movies.
All the villains are great in this movie. I could talk about all of them but really I just want to highlight three of them. I'll start with my favorite, Doc Ock. It's still awesome. Alfred Molina once again does an amazing job. I still consider this is best role ever. Although it is a shame that his robotic tentacles are all CGI versus being a combination of CGI and puppetry like in Spider-Man 2 but it still looks very impressive.
The other villain I want to discuss is Electro. Jamie Foxx was amazing as Electro. I always felt that Amazing Spider-Man 2 did him dirty. He never had time to shine. But in this movie he's extremely entertaining with a ton of personality and good one-liners. I also dig is updated look too. He looks much more like the comics.
But I think the one villain that was a big highlight is the Green Goblin. Major props to William Dafoe in this movie. I was so happy that he returned as Green Goblin. It's been over a decade since he put on the Goblin suit and he's still got it. He pretty much reminds you why Green Goblin has been Spider-Man's greatest enemy. There's a moment when Spider-Man is beating the hell out of him and he's just smiling and cackling through all that. When I saw that I was like that was it. The Goblin has returned. He's definitely one of the MCU's best villains, and he didn't even start off in the MCU.
Personally, I think they missed an opportunity to have a sixth villain in this movie. We could have had the Sinister Six onscreen for the first time ever. It's something fans have always wanted. It's something I always wanted to see on the big screen. And who would be that sixth villain you may ask. I don't know, it's fucking Spider-Man. He's got a rogues gallery that rivals that of Batman from DC. Pick any of them to be the sixth member. Regardless, the villains we do have are awesome and improved.
The action is fantastic. It's the kind of edge-of-your-seat, fun action you would expect from the MCU. The comedy is on point, balanced with the drama. This is by far the most emotionally charged Spider-Man film to date. There was a scene that actually got me choked up. That hasn't happened since the first Spider-Man film.
Ah hell, might as well get it over with it, since the internet has probably already spoiled it through it's dumbass leaks. But just in case you don't want any spoilers I've set this line for you to skip to the next paragraph.
Alright, spoiler time. You have been warned. Even though probably pieced it together like I did before seeing this movie.
Yes, Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire are in this movie too, reprising as their iconic roles of Spider-Man. You probably figured they'd be in the movie as a cameo, but no they serve as supportive characters to Tom Holland's Spider-Man. They actually aid him in defeating the villains. They have major roles in the third act. I'm not gonna lie, when I saw both actors appear on the screen, I lost my fucking mind. I was squealing and cheering along with the audience. It was two veteran Spider-Mans helping out a rookie Spider-Man, kinda like Into The Spider-Verse.
Okay, end of spoiler.
I believe the only thing I have to complain about is some of the ass pulls in this movie. What a mean is that there is a certain character in this franchise who suddenly has the ability to do something, even though it was never hinted or referenced until it was convenient for this movie. When I saw that I was like, "Come on. Really?" I understand what it was for, but it seemed like a half-assed thing to suddenly introduce in the third MCU Spider-Man movie. If you've already seen the movie you know what I'm talking about. I already spoiled this movie once and I refuse to do it again.
This film is ultimately a love letter to all the Spider-Man movies and their fans, much like how Into The Spider-Verse is a love letter to all that is Spider-Man. There's a reason why Spider-Man has become a household name after all these years. He's easily one of the greatest superheroes of all time, and definitely one of my favorite comic book characters. It highlights Spider-Man at his best. His heroism, his courage, his strength, his power, and his responsibility. After this film I don't know if there will be anymore MCU Spider-Man films. But the door is always open. Until then I thank the cast and crew for their tremendous work on making this one of the best Spider-Man movies of all time, going up their with Spider-Man 2 and Into The Spider-Verse. Stan would be proud.
-Great performances all around
-The Green Goblin
-That spoiler moment
-Spider-Man at his best
-A couple ass pulls
Final Grade: A+
So those are my thoughts on Spider-Man: No Way Home. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts? What is your favorite Spider-Man movie? Who is your favorite Spider-Man? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews on Prose in 2022!
Aunt May: "Listen to me. You have a gift. You have power. And with great power, there must also come great responsibility."
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Harry Situation’s 350th Review Special: High Guardian Spice Part Three: Misrepresentation
We've now come to the finale of my review of High Guardian Spice. First I want to thank you all for reading and liking my previous entries, and to thank you all for your patience. If you haven't read my previous entries to this post, feel free to read, like, and comment on those too.
My friends, I have saved the worst for last in this part of my review. But before I begin I want to make some things very clear:
1) This is part will be discussing LGBT representation, specifically trans representation and how this show chose to handle the subject.
2) This isn't a rant about transgenderism. I am not transphobic in any shape or form. Personally, I'm supportive of trans people. I have two trans friends. I feel this show misrepresents trans people and I will discuss in detail why.
3) If you view transgenderism in a negative then please leave. I will not be getting into a debate with you. This isn't the place for that kind of thing.
So going back to the topic of bad writing and lazy story development here is another big example of that. It begins in episode three. In this episode Rosemary accidentally breaks her mother's sword, after foolishly failing to slice a fly with it. She then runs into one of her professors, Professor Caraway, who instructs her to come to his office for a discussion. It is here the audience learns that Caraway was friends with Rosemary's mother, having gone on adventures together. As Rosemary is looking through old photos she notices a picture of her mother with another girl, quickly assuming that is Caraway's sister due to their resemblance. However Caraway explains that person is him and that he is transgender, *sigh* while pretty much giving Rosemary and the audience the very definition of transgenderism.
This scene has been dissected by everyone on the internet. It's been heavily made fun of and criticized for so many reasons. Here's the truth: this show handles representation poorly. It thinks it's doing a good job at representation, but the reality is it's not. This scene involving Caraway explaining what transgenderism is comes the fuck out of nowhere. What does this have to do with Rosemary? What does this have to do with her mother? What does this have to do with the sword she fucking broke? This is a lazy, ham-fisted way to explain transgenderism.
Caraway also explained that he has to take a potion once a month in order to maintain this body. So it's not even permanent. It's not even like a sex change operation. Why not make it permanent? Why not explain some of the risks of taking this potion? Why not explain how Caraway questioned if this was the right path but ultimately went along with it and he's much happier with himself? I mean this show has proven to be lazy with its expositions. I don't think this would be any different.
It's noteworthy that the series creator, Raye Rodriguez, who voices Professor Caraway, is a trans man in real life. And it's pretty clear that, judging how much alike the creator and Caraway are, this is a self insert character. Now to be clear, there's nothing wrong with that. And I get what Rodriguez was going for with his character. The issue is that we know nothing about Professor Caraway other than the fact that he's trans and that he was friends with Rosemary's mother during their childhood. He has no personality. We don't know his hobbies. We don't know his likes and dislikes. His only personality the writers pretty much established is that he's trans. If being trans is the only notable thing about this character then they didn't create a character, they created a caricature, thus making for bad representation. Not to mention the fact that the character had to explain what transgenderism is in a way that he is talking down to the character (and the audience for that matter) like they were two years old is fucking insulting. Who are you trying to preach to about this? We know about trans people. They've always been around. Why is this show acting like this is some sort of new age thing?
And this isn't the only character that's like that. From the get-go, we are also introduced to Sage's cousin Anise and her wife Aloe. Guess what? They don't have any personalities other than being gay. We don't know their likes or dislikes. We don't know what they do for a living. We don't know how they met. They're basically blank slates, just like 90% of the characters in this show.
Also, it's worth noting that there are no gay men in this series, at least none that I've noticed. For a show that's supposed to be very LGBTQ+ positive it seems to focus only on certain members of the community while neglecting others. But don't worry, the writing team is very diverse. So diverse that they're all a bunch of near-sighted white women, who look like they spend too much time on Twitter. I shit you not.
However this isn't all for nothing (although it kinda is). If there is one redeeming factor in High Guardian Spice. It is with the character of Snapdragon. So let's finally talk about Snapdragon.
Snapdragon goes through a personal arc in this series. Believe it or not this is where the show actually shines. As I mentioned in the first entry of this review Snapdragon started off as a bully character, siding with Amaryllis. Though this could be an act to make himself seem more intimidating than he actually is. When he was younger his older brother would bully him and his father would tell him to man up. Then we get to episode 8 where a Halloween festival is taking place. Snapdragon's costume of chose is a mermaid. Unfortunately, Cal mistakes him for a girl and upon realizing this he insults him. This moment lowers Snapdragon's self esteem and makes him miserable. Later in episode 11 he confides in Professor Caraway that he wants small hands and smooth skin. He wants to be a warrior like the four main leads. It leaves him questioning his gender identity.
This actually leads to a good heart to heart moment where Caraway explains his own struggles and tells Snapdragon that he has time to figure things out. It could mean that Snapdragon is trans but it could also mean he likes crossdressing. It's not a hundred percent clear and it doesn't have to be. Snapdragon is the only character who grows in this series and the show actually does a good job representing his growth. It is also here where Caraway explains how his transition helped give himself peace and is happy with who he is. This conversation is played out very well and it helps Snapdragon come to terms with his own identity. Now that is how do you do representation correctly.
SO WHY THE FUCK DID THEY WASTE THIS IN THE THIRD FUCKING EPISODE?!?!?!?!?
They have this conversation twice in the series. The difference at least with Snapdragon it holds gravity to his character. Again, how does this affect Rosemary? It doesn't! What does Rosemary do with this information? Nothing! So why have this Wikipedia definition of transgenderism between Caraway and Rosemary? Because this show is nothing more than a poorly written, unstructured mess. In recent years we've gotten amazing shows with great representation such as The Legend of Korra, The Loud House, Craig of the Creek, Steven Universe, The Owl House, and Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. Hell even fucking Arthur did representation better. So why can't High Guardian Spice sit with the cool kids? Once again, it goes back to lazy writing and terrible character development. The difference is with all those shows I listed and High Guardian Spice is that those characters that are part of the LGBT community are far better developed and don't rely on their orientation as their personality. Take lesson from those shows, not High Guardian Spice.
Now I know what you're all thinking by this point of my review: who is this made for? Who is the target audience? To tell the truth not even this show knows who is its target audience. Was it made for kids? The animation and tone certainly makes it look like it's for kids. Apparently not because each episode literally starts off with a mature content warning, recommending that kids should not watch this series. Seriously, this content warning is at the start of each episode. I cannot make this up. Trust me when I say that I've sat and watch each episode and can guarantee that content warning is a fucking joke. There is nothing really here that's considered inappropriate for kids. At least until we get to episode 7 where there's suddenly a ton of blood for no reason. Not to mention there are a few incidents where the characters drop a curse word or two, but it's nothing big. The worse you ever hear is 'shit'.
So clearly it's for adults, right? Again, there's not really "mature" about this series. Aside from the aforementioned bloody moments and the very few curse words they use this is, at best, a pretty clean PG-13.
What about anime fans? I mean the show was released on a widely distributed streaming service for anime. Clearly it's for them, right? Nope. It's not anime. Not even close. Anime inspired perhaps, but not an anime. For the LGBT+ community? From what I've gathered they don't really like this show either. I've watched YouTube videos of trans-people and they criticize the whole Professor Caraway is trans conversation.
Again, who is the target audience? Nobody knows. Not the writers, the creators, or even Crunchyroll itself. And that's what's most frustrating about this show. It has no identity. It's not sure if it wants to be for kids or adults. It's not sure if it wants to be a slice of life kind of show or be an epic fantasy adventure with a deeper plot. The bottom line is nobody wanted to watch this show to begin with and nobody is going to enjoy this show.
For a show that apparently has 50% women working as creators and cast members and a 100% writing team consisting of women, not a damn one of them is competent. High Guardian Spice is not a train wreck, but a Chernobyl explosion of a disaster. I didn't want to come off as being too harsh or brutal as other reviews I've seen on YouTube. But the more I watched each episode, the more I got frustrated with this series. I tried watching each episode more than once, but in doing so I constantly find more problems and animation errors that I didn't noticed during the first viewing.
What's sad is that I could see a ton of potential with this series. I get what the crew were trying to do. I get what creator Raye Rodriguez wanted to present. Unfortunately this show was plagued with bad writing, bad animation, bad voice acting, bland and unlikeable protagonists (except for Parsley, Amaryllis, and Snapdragon), one-dimensional male stereotypes, poor LGBT+ representation, poor worldbuilding, little to no story, and overall has no identity. I've seen far better animated shorts on YouTube that are way more competent than this show. This show had no business being on an anime streaming service. I don't believe that High Guardian Spice will be greenlit for a second season, and honestly I don't think it deserves one. Let this show be a lesson on what not to do when creating... anything.
-Bad voice acting
-Terrible writing & structure
-Bland and generic main characters
-Bad LGBT representation
-Explains too much and too little
-Portrayal of male characters
Final Grade: F
So those are my thoughts on High Guardian Spice, my 350th review. Thank you all again for reading and liking my content. If you like what you see here please be kind and check out my other reviews here on Prose. Until then, in case you don't hear from me in a while, have a happy holidays and a happy new year.
Old Triad: "Clearly writing isn't one of your strengths."
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Harry Situation’s 350th Review: High Guardian Spice Part 1: High Guardian Schlock
Hello Prose and welcome to another milestone review. This is the 350th review I've written in the past five years I've been on Prose. Now 350 may not be a sexy number like 100 or 300 but it's a helluva milestone regards.
As per usual for each milestone review I want to review something bad, which has been a while hasn't it? For my 350th review I've decided to do something different. Instead of a bad movie I wanted to review a bad show. And wouldn't you know it a new bad show has dropped online not long ago so it's ripe for criticism. Maybe you're familiar with this show already. Maybe this is the first time hearing about it. Regardless my pick for my 350th review is none other than High Guardian Spice.
High Guardian Spice is an anime-inspired original animated series by Crunchyroll, an online company who has a history of streaming and dubbing anime. It follows four girls - the pink-haired warrior Rosemary; the magically gifted Sage; the dwarven blacksmith Parsley; and the roguish elf Thyme - as they partake as students for an extreme academy called High Guardian Academy for them to fulfill their dreams in becoming guardians. They endure the typical high school drama such as fighting monsters, boy troubles, and uncovering a dark plot that may endanger the school and their fellow students. And that's pretty much it. That's all you need to know about this series. More or less it's your typical magical fantasy world where the main setting is a magical school, much like Harry Potter or Little Witch Academia. The only other detail is that apparently the creative team is 50% women and the writing team is 100% women, as a way to show how "diverse" the cast and crew are.
Believe it or not there was a ton of controversy behind this series and there was major backlash against it before its release. Most of it came from the fact that Crunchyroll was using subscription money to fund the project when they initially said they were going to fund Japanese artists. Also one of the series' lead writers (Kate Leth) has a history of writing a bunch of anti-men tweets, pretty much outing herself as a feminazi. Additionally, Crunchyroll released a promo back in 2018 that showed off how diverse the cast and crew were rather than talk about the series itself, as if they were trying to market on the diversity rather than the series plot, setting, and characters. This is something Disney has been guilty of in the past and are only starting to improve upon now, whereas High Guardian Spice unfortunately falls short.
The series was set to premiere in 2019 but I'm guessing due to all the backlash the project was shelved. I believe I remember hearing about this series years ago and I didn't have any opinions on it at the time. Well now that Crunchyroll has finally released this on their site (which you can view without a subscription I might add) does this show really deserve all the judgment and negative response back in 2018 before it's release? Honestly, I don't believe any product should be prejudged before their release. But since it's out now, yeah, everyone was right.
There's so much that needs to be unpacked that one review alone isn't enough so I'm gonna need to split this review into three parts. Been a while since I did that. Last time I had to split a review up was Cool Cat Saves the Kids, and that was 300 reviews ago.
The first negative to address is the animation. It's pretty bad. It may not look it if you watch the trailer but trust me when you watch the first episode you get an idea how bad it really is. There are so many animation errors and inconsistencies scattered throughout each episode. There are so examples where scale and shadowing don't match of to the next scene. For example, in the first episode Rosemary and Sage leave their homes to attend at High Guardian Academy. To do so they take a travel carriage where an orc or troll loads up the luggage. The orc/troll is made to look bigger than the carriage but in the next scene he's apparently shorter than the carriage door. There's also many scenes where background characters hardly ever move, almost like they were frozen in time while the main characters freely move around. It really gives the impression that none of the focus characters are really part of this world. They feel like they're slapped into this odd Deviant artist's post. Hell, there are even noticeable jpeg images plastered into the background and foreground. Seriously, there's a jpeg image of a set of Hawaiian sweet rolls on a dining table. And once again, these can all be seen in the very first episode. I mean, are the animators just incompetent? Are they lazy? Both?
Now, to be fair, I will say that one positive the show has going for it is that I do like the overall character designs. It does seem that the animators and storyboard artists put some thought in each character. Unique character designs do help make the characters stand out. However that doesn't excuse poor character traits and personalities (more on that in a bit).
Speaking of characters, let's break each of them down. As I mentioned earlier the four main characters of the show are Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, and Thyme. I guess there names are supposed to be a reference to spices, hence the name High Guardian Spice. Problem is that rosemary, sage, parsley, and thyme actually reference to herbs. How do you fuck that up? Sure they can be converted into spices but that's not the point, is it? So ultimately the title of the series doesn't make any sense. Off to a good start
Now let's talk about the characters, starting with Rosemary the warrior. Wow, I kinda feel bad now that one of my characters from my Sins of the Father stories is named Rosemary because of Rosemary from HGS. But at least her name makes sense and is a far better reference to something, unlike HGS' Rosemary. Any who, Rosemary is one of the most annoying characters in this show. She's meant to be this wide-eyed, energetic and clumsy character but she really comes off as a house fly or mosquito, just something you swat at in hopes of making it go away. I guess this character is meant to have the most motivated of the four since her reasoning is that she wants to be a guardian just like her missing mother. The problem is (and this is something I'll address more on in the second part) is that we really aren't given much history about her or her mother, and it's certainly not a reason for the audience to suddenly care.
Next is Sage, the magical mage of the group. At the very least she has the more interesting conflict where she's restrained to using old magic while everyone at High Guardian Academy is using new magic. However her personality (if you can call it that) makes her come off as a total bitch. For example, she and another magical character Amaryllis get into an argument about old magic versus new magic. She gets asked why she cares so much about old magic, to which Thyme also chimes in and seemingly agrees with Amaryllis. Apparently Sage takes offense of this for some reason, runs off to go cry, and then demands an apology from Thyme. I mean, why does Thyme have to apologize? What does she have to apologize for? Another example is when she isn't paired up with Rosemary, who is head-over-heels for some guy, and spends the whole episode going on a bitch fit on why she doesn't like Rosemary hanging out with this guy. She even tried to use the whole "guys don't talk about their feelings" bullshit argument when speaking to a guy. So yeah, she's a bitch and a sexist. But the major problem is that this attitude comes completely out of nowhere. So she's really being a bitch for no reason. Why should I root for this character?
And then we come to Thyme, the edgelord elf. She is easily the most unlikeable character this show has to offer, only second to Sage. And like Sage she comes off as a bitch too. She's always scowling, always insulting the others, and acting like your typical angsty teenager. I'd describe how edgy she is supposed to be but I'm afraid of getting cut. Like Rosemary, we're supposed to care about her situation since her forest is being corrupted by some sort of purple stuff called the Rot, and trying to remove the Rot is the sole reason she wants to be a guardian. The problem with her is her personality and bitchy attitude really makes me not like her nor care about her situation. She is also kinda stupid. In one episode she thought it would be a good idea to summon a demon in order for it to send a message to her father so he can copy the formula of healing water to save her family's forest. Do you see the problem here? That's like me summoning Cthulhu and using him to send a package to a friend on the other side of town. Why couldn't she just send a letter to her father? Why couldn't she go back to get more healing water? Why didn't her brain and common sense think of this before I did?
And finally there's Parsley the dwarven blacksmith. You know, I'll give her a pass. She might be one of the most generic but she's at least the most level-headed of the four, or at least doesn't annoy me as much as the others do. Parsley might be one of the very few reasons to watch the series.
Now that's not to say that all the characters are terrible. The exceptions really are Amaryllis and Snapdragon, two characters who are initially introduced as bullies to our protagonists. Snapdragon's character arc is one of the better highlights of this series. I know, shocking. He was raised to be more masculine and bullied for not being as such, but he's also on a path of self discovery of who he wants to be and what he wants to identify as. Seriously, this kid is probably the best written character because the audience can actually sympathize for him. Trust me, I'll address more on him later. Amaryllis is another character I like. She initially bullies Sage for using old magic. I know we're not supposed to root for the bully but since I don't like Sage as a character I'm rooting for Amaryllis. Personally, I just like how chaotic evil she can be sometimes. It's just a joy to watch. She also has a good heart, in particular when she stands up for Snapdragon. However it's a bad sign when the side characters are much more interesting and entertaining than the main characters.
What's kind of bothersome to me, as a CIS-gender straight male, is that there really aren't any good straight male characters in the show. I mean there is Snapdragon, but again we'll get to him later. There are two male characters that stick out the most in this show: Aster and Cal. In episode six (I think) we are introduced to Aster, who Rosemary develops a crush on. We learn throughout the episode that he is a blowhard, constantly showboats, and talks down to Rosemary. Basically he's the embodiment of masculinity. Someone who is dumb and useless. Now I wonder what reason the writers decided to write Aster as such. Hmm.
Then we get introduced to Cal, the other male character and basically the embodiment of toxic masculinity. This guy is nothing more than a stereotype on how feminazis view men. This character is rude, crude, creeps on women, and just an all around cunt. Also, he's apparently transphobic, as if he wasn't already an unlikeable asshole. But surely there are far better male characters the series has to offer, right? Rosemary does have a father and an older brother, but they're only seen for like two minutes in the first episode and are never referenced again. Oddly they're featured in the intro as if they mattered. Oh, what about one of the teachers from High Guardian Academy, Professor Caraway? Um, yeah, once again, I'll address him in a later part because this is something that needs to be talked about in a separate post. But wait, we do have Slime Boy (that's what they call him in the show). Oh, fucking Slime Boy. Honestly he's irrelevant to the whole plot of this show. I don't even know why he exists at all.
Ultimately, the major issue I have is that all the males in this series are portrayed as one of the four: misogynistic, villainous, incompetent, or irrelevant. Why? Because that's how the writers want to portray men. The same way they want to portray each character, solely by their personality or quirk.
I think this is enough ranting about this series for now, but just you wait. This is only the beginning. Come back next time for part two as I address the other major issue with this series: the writing and worldbuilding.
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #animation #fantasy #adventure #magicalgirls #magic #LGBT #ThisMovieSucks #PartOne
Harry Situation’s 350th Review Special: High Guardian Spice Part 2: “Is Sleep a Food?”
Continuing from the last part, if the characters are badly written at least the voice acting is good, right? Right?
Yeah, the voice acting ranges from passable to the worst my ears have ever heard. The voice actress for the main leads do a decent job, however it was clear the one who voices Rosemary didn't have much direction since she starts the series with this raspy voice and then as the series progresses she sounds normal. It's pretty clear that most of the voice actors are new at this because they sound like they're bored as hell or have no clue what to do. The worst example is a character named Slime Boy. Holy shit, this is the Tommy Wiseau of voice acting. The motherfucker that voices him mumbles so much that I can't understand a fucking word that comes out of his mouth. There is no emotion in his voice. There is no tone or pitch. Just unintelligible noise. What's worse is that he sings too. So on top of being a terrible voice actor he's also a terrible singer. Seriously, go to YouTube, search for Slime Boy and see for yourself.
The writing is really bad. I don't believe I've seen a show with writing this atrocious, and I'm not exaggerating. The very first episode has Rosemary and Sage travelling to their destination for half the episode. I'm not joking. The very first episode felt like filler with nothing happening. We don't learn anything about our main characters. We don't know anything about their families or village. We don't learn how exactly they got accepted to High Guardian Academy. Later on in the same episode Rosemary's locket gets stolen by a small rodent creature. After following the creature Rosemary and Sage watch it use the locket to attract a mate, resulting the locket getting broken. But by the end of the episode Sage's cousin said that they protected an innocent creature. Um, did we watch the same episode? They didn't do anything. When exactly did they do any such protecting? Was there a scene missing where Rosemary and Sage save the rodent from predators or something? See what I mean? There are inconsistencies like that throughout the series. Again, this is shit you notice right off the first episode.
I bring this up because the first episode throughout this review because, for any series, the first episode should be your main selling point to get audiences invested in. If the first episode has nothing to offer, doesn't establish the setting or characters, doesn't get me invested in the plot, why should I care? Why should I keep watching the series?
The dialogue in this show is honestly the worst I've ever heard. It is omega cringe. The very first thing Rosemary says is "We'll fight mermaids, explore crevices, and we'll be totally awesome dudes."
You people have no idea how hard I cringed writing all of that. Unfortunately, dialogue like that is scattered throughout the whole show. The dialogue doesn't come off as natural. It sounds like something aliens trying to pass as humans would say. There's a dream sequence where a younger Rosemary asks her mother if she likes being a guardian, and her mother responds with, "Yes, it is hard being apart from you, from my family, but my guardian vows are sacred, as will yours be someday."
What the fuck!? Where did this come from? Who talks like this?
If you want this conversation to sound natural, then it should have been written like this:
Rosemary: "Mom, do you love being a guardian?"
Mother: "Of course I do, sweetheart."
Rosemary: "More than me?"
Mother: "Wha- where in the world did you get that idea?"
Rosemary: "Because you're always gone. And I miss you when you're gone."
Mother: "I miss you too when I go. But sometimes being a guardian means having to make sacrifices. This means having to leave so I can protect other families from the dangers of this world. But know that no matter how far apart we are I will always be with you, even if you can't see me."
There! Sounds better, doesn't it? Sounds like something two humans would say to each other, right?
What pisses me off the most is that this show breaks the central rule of storytelling: show, don't tell. Much of the conversations are explained to the audience. Sage constantly goes on about how her mother hates new magic, but the question is why? Why does her mother hate new magic? Since when does she hate new magic? When was that ever established about Sage's mother? How about show us a flashback of a younger Sage wanting to explore new magic but her mother catches her and scolds her for it. That way the audience is shown her mother's attitude towards new magic and why she restricts Sage to using only old magic. Or have a flashback showing the audience Sage's mother teaching her about old magic and how it has a personal touch whereas new magic is artificial and it doesn't quite have the same effect as old magic. Hell, later on it's revealed by Sage's cousins that her mother dabbled in new magic. So what made her turn against it? Why not show why Sage's mother resents new magic?
There are many moments scattered throughout the show where the characters talk about what's happened versus showing the audience what is happening. Sage mentions to her cousins that the other students tease her or laugh behind her back because she continues to use old magic, but we're never shown this. Sure I've seen Amaryllis mock and bully her, but what about the other students? Sage specifically said everyone at school. What other students have made fun of her using old magic? I guess we just gotta take her word for it.
Or what about Rosemary's relationship with her mother? She keeps saying how awesome her mother is but we hardly get to see that. We've only been given a flashback and a dream sequence about her. And apparently her mother is a famous guardian. We don't know what she's done to be so famous. Again, we just gotta take this show's word for it. We learn that her mother was once a student at High Guardian Academy, so why not show off her accomplishments? Why not have pictures of her throughout the school of her get the best grades, or all her trophies in various sports, I don't know. Better yet have a statue of her somewhere in the school or the city or something. Have bards sing her praises with ballads of how she alone or with others took down a Lich or how she One-Punch Manned a Tarrasque or something. Show what a legend she is and why Rosemary strives to be like her.
What's frustrating, to me, about this show is the worldbuilding. Now I love worldbuilding. I get ecstatic when I'm thrust into a world so cool, so alien, and so fantastical that I wish I was apart of that universe. I want to explore and experience the world as the characters do. The worldbuilding in High Guardian Spice is unfortunately so lackluster.
Let me share with you two recent shows that do their worldbuilding quite well: Amphibia and The Owl House. Both shows are made by Disney and both have well established worlds. In the world of Amphibia the land is shaped like a giant lily pad and all the inhabitants are anthropomorphic amphibians. As the show progresses we learn that each amphibian species represents a different caste system. The frogs are viewed as simple farmers, the toads act as law enforcement and warriors, and the newts are shown as upper class nobility.
And then there's The Owl House where much of the world is enchanted yet so bizarre, since it is inspired by artwork by Hieronymus Bosch. Seriously, check out his depictions of Hell and how bizarre it all looks. This helps give the series its uniqueness compared to other fantasy shows. Hell, compared to other Disney shows for that matter. They also go into detail of how the magic system works, how witches tend to join covens and there are severe consequences if a witch doesn't join a coven.
What does High Guardian Spice have to offer in their world? Nothing. It looks like every goddamn fantasy world I've seen a hundred times. It has warriors. It has wizards. It has elves. It has dwarves. It has dragons. It has mermaids. It has magic. It has every motherfucking cliche you can think of in every motherfucking fantasy movie, book, game, whatever you think of when you hear the word fantasy.
You know what let's talk about the magic system in this series too. There's this constant debate between old magic and new magic. The problem is that we're not really given much information on what the different between the two. At most I get the gist that old magic is more connected with nature and it takes time to learn versus new magic where all you need is a staff or arcane focus to do the magic without major consequences (sorta). But this isn't explained. Even if it was it wasn't explain, or even explored, very well. Just another thing that this show seems to be vague on.
And speaking of being vague, what the fuck is a guardian exactly? Our main protagonists clearly want to be guardians and they go to a special school to become a guardian, but it's never explained what a guardian is in the context of this world. What does it mean to be a 'guardian'? Why does one want to be a 'guardian'? Is there more than one path to becoming a 'guardian'? Are they meant to protect something? If so, what? The school? The kingdom? The local bank? What does one do when they are a 'guardian'? It's amazing how a show that often explains what is happening they also explain very little.
My friends, I'm afraid it doesn't get any better than this. But I haven't addressed the worst that this show had to offer. Those who may be familiar may already know what I'm talking about and wish to know why I haven't mentioned it earlier. Simply because I've been saving it for the final part of this three part review. Please join me next time on how High Guardian Spice fucks up its own representation, and my final thoughts to the overall series.
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #animation #fantasy #adventure #magicalgirls #magic #LGBT #ThisMovieSucks #PartTwo
Excerpt from working novel , “Radio”
If we didn’t continue to train, we might lose what little advantage we have over the normies that were once our overlords. However, “loitering” around each new town or city and going to the local public school also proved to be a great way to gain information about our surroundings and the outside world, when the internet became not the best resource. We’ve discovered, with each small town we moved to, the normie townies preferred, for the most part, to gossip through word of mouth instead of directly posting it on all or any of the social media sites. Shocking, I know. In this day and age, most people post every little thing going on, whether it was a piece of gossip or not. This was just another reason as to why it was so important to integrate with the locals and more specifically those in our own age group. And we obviously didn’t want to come across as socially awkward, sheltered, or just plain idiotic freaks, regardless of the fact that we were abominations and considered second rate citizens.
Geez Louise, if I had to put a number on it, we must have changed schools at least four times within this past year alone, so you can guess how well those two efforts of blending in and integrating with the locals had worked out for us.
However, since we used ASL, also known as American Sign Language, when we were all out in public together, we still stood out regardless. During the first month, after our escape, we noticed how much we attracted weird looks and murmurs when my friends would hold full on conversations with me without signing, so we decided to buckle down and learned and practiced ASL as quickly as we could with the help of Dialect— of course. We could have easily faked because most of the locals had either never or rarely seen anybody using sign language, let alone an unknown group of six teenagers. However, we didn’t want to risk being called out on the off chance we came across somebody who was actually deaf or knew how to sign fluently. If learning and using ASL wasn’t difficult enough, while we were out in public, it was just as difficult to convince strangers that I was not deaf, using the excuse of just being mute.
But those rumors! They never changed. Never! Rumors that I was faking it would spread, and ploys to prove I wasn’t mute would always eventually follow. While I obviously was, it wasn’t as if I could exactly explain why I didn’t talk without risking the exposure of myself and my unit in the process. Though we had learned to ignore the weird looks and rumors, I still couldn’t help feeling less than human with each blow from hearing directly or indirectly. These hurtful names and rumors didn’t just come from my “peers,” but from teachers as well. If you don’t mind, I rather not go into detail of both the rumors and actions.
Yet, there were times either or both would make me so frustrated that I almost wanted to send a sonic blast at them from just a whisper causing them to become temporarily or permanently deaf without care of the consequences. I never did, but there were a few times I came close. Luckily, I always had Feather, in most of my classes, to prevent me from ever doing so.
Then there was the importance of changing our names with each move, which was almost as equally frustrating because it could be difficult to remember, at first. One time I had heard the name I had used in a previous school and turned to the person saying the name and it would take me a few seconds to remember I no longer was going by that name. It was an honest mistake, but had the name been used by an undercover Grey-M operative, it would also prove to be fatal to myself and my unit.
You may be asking yourself, regardless of the importance of integration with the local normies and the false names as a way to protect ourself from being detected by anyone linked to Grey- M Industries, how did we manage to pay for everything? Especially with none of us having a job or an adult with us to pay for things. Well— we paid for everything in cash. From the new phones with ghost chips (to prevent anyone being able to track our whereabouts, in case Surge wasn’t around to put up an electric shield around all of us) and new phone numbers to the new identities we were given by drug dealers, who dealt in many other shady dealings. Not always the most safest people to trust, but it gotten us this far without being recaptured. And cash for a new contact that would help us when we would have to inevitably move again. Initially we had used the cash that Vapor had managed to steal from Grey-M Industries’ vault during our escape, but now we used cash we had stolen from various small-town banks along the way. Always going in the middle of the night to use our abilities to turn off the cameras and the alarms, silently slip in and out of the locked vault, and, on the rare occasion, erasing the memories of anyone in or around the bank. No guns. No hostages. No trace. What we did wasn’t morally right, but the consistent need to move every four to six months didn’t leave us much of a choice.
Then my mind unexpectedly drifted to the drilled in history, during my first five years at Grey-M industries. It was the last thing I wanted to pass through my thoughts and yet there it was, like a fly that you can neither swat away or kill. It was a history I had briefly mentioned to you earlier and oh how I wished again it would have stayed in the past instead of rehashing it. Grey-M Industries had convinced to the public in the early 1950s that anyone suspected or seen with any form of “unnatural” abilities were a danger to society, giving us the name “abominations,” a mistake in the natural order. A mistake not created by God, but by Satan himself. And if we were allowed to “populate,” regardless of the law passed in 1958, it was thought that it might lead to the end of the world as the normies knew it. During the first couple of decades, until the Grey-M scientists discovered each abomination received their abilities genetically, it was well believed by normies that any close contact of us would result in “normies” to be infected with whatever made us inhuman and cause carnage and destruction.
Us? Infect others with abilities we had no control over? What were we? Zombies, werewolves, or vampires? Hardly. And were we really a threat? If only the general public or “normies” knew that we simply wanted to be treated with respect and human decency. The true threat occurred behind closed doors in Grey-M Industries’s remote base of operations would prove the threat did not come from us but from the employees of the tyrannical company. They were the true monsters as they treated and trained us as if we were wild and savage dogs, each of us implanted with a tracking device in our necks. And when they felt we were sufficiently trained, we were forced to carry out missions that most governments didn’t want their soldiers to be associated with. Associations such as capturing or execute terrorists, politicians, or whoever else the government thought to be a threat, which occasionally included celebrities. If the general normie population were aware of these things, then maybe they wouldn’t see us as something less than human. While there were a few abominations, throughout the near seventy years since Marcus Grey had made his televised speech announcing our existence, who were incredibly angry with how we were treated by normies and vengeful because of it, that was hardly the point. There were plenty of normies in history who were more of a threat than any of us abominations. One in particular shared my birthday of April 20th and was the main reason for the start of World War II.
Regardless, most of us “abominations” developed our ability around the age of five or six and on the rare occasion at three years of age. And when we reached the age of thirty, if any of us survived to live to that age, were released and declared “retired” with the understanding that we would be carefully monitored through the tracking device implanted in our necks to insure we wouldn’t release any information of what Grey-M Industries really did and that any off-spring produced would become property of the company, when and if the child showed signs of developing “unnatural” abilities.
This unwarranted history reminder, only made my desire to be a normie or the hope that all of us “abominations,” not just my unit alone, would one day be free from Grey-M Industries and free to settle into a semi-normal life. That would only become a probability, if we had a concrete game plan in bringing down Grey-M Industries. A plan we didn’t have and therefore, again, was the reason we kept on moving. Though part of the plan, were we to have or a hint of one, would most likely require us to stop running and fight back. I know this may sound like very conflicting thought processes, but I guess one could call me a “wandering dreamer of contradictions.” Yet, if I really thought about it and as much as I did want to take down Grey-M Industries, how did we expect to do so when we didn’t have their resources? We were merely six teenagers with extraordinary superhuman abilities and despite our training and the atrocious things we had done with great success according to Grey-M Industries, they still had thousands of abominations, who knows how many operatives, and military grade weaponry on their side. If only we could convince those thousands of abominations to fight back with us without fear of the tracking devices in their neck or whatever else Grey-M Industries would do to them. If only… what an impossible task that would be. Almost as impossible as having my mom come back to life.
It’s not impossible, my sweet girl, I thought I heard my mom’s voice say in my mind.
I tightly closed my eyes as I tried to tell the voice to just go away and that I was totally losing it to think it was really her.
Radio, are you okay? Dialect thought to me from the seat behind me.
Damn it! I had thought I had fully closed the doors to my unit members, while I was trying to distract myself, but I guess I hadn’t. Normally I always kept everyone’s doors open, during my waking hours. It gave me a small sense of normalcy in an odd sort of way, if only with the people I cared about the most. I suppose I figured that if normies aren’t alone when they’re speaking aloud within earshot, then I could do the same with my telepathy.
I’m fine, Dialect, I thought to her without turning my head to look at her. I wasn’t fine, but she didn’t need to worry about it.
No, you’re not. But if you need a distraction, I suppose we could ask Blank and Vapor? Maybe they’ll finally tell us, Dialect thought, the last sentence being directed at the twins in a teasing and prying tone.
“Does it really matter?” Vapor said, not liking to be talked about instead of asking directly.
“We won’t be there for another five hours.”
“Please!!!” Dialect pleaded in her most innocent and child-like voice.
Just humor us, I said in a non-mocking tone.
“Eleverson, Pennsylvania,” Vapor said with a deep exhale of annoyance. “There’s a small two bedroom house there and partially surrounded by woods. Is that enough.”
Yes, thank you, I answered for both Dialect and myself.