Now, as an American Winx fan, I haven’t gotten the most chances to blog about S6, but after hearing that Winx is ending its hiatus on Nick and finally coming back, I thought I’d celebrate the opportunity by returning as well! Unfortunately, this blog has been somewhat decaying over time, and I’m not quite sure if anyone still actively reads it, but if you do, please know that I am still out there. I may have been doing other things, I may have been distracted with other things during the long Winx hiatus, but know that my heart has come back to this show. I will do what I can to improve this blog and balance it with my burgeoning fanfic career. I don’t know if it will ever go back to where its prime was.
But what I can do is make sure I can update it once every two weeks or so. I’m going in blind to most of the S6 stuff, so my blogs about it will be that much more interesting. All I know is that there may be a bit of controversy with a certain Specialist not being on, and even that’s something I just now found out. (And if it turns out to be anything like what happened with Nabu, you know I’m going to have an uncharacteristically negative opinion towards it.) I’ll probably end up doing one big post for every two episodes I watch so I can catch up even more. I really want to rejoin this fandom and I apologize to all of you for having ever left.
I may sound like a broken record at this point with all my hiatuses, but please know that this time, I have the motivation to return. This blog will not go dead near this easily. Just stick with me and I’ll stay for good.
On a less serious note, however, is S6 stuff still relevant for a lot of you or should I move straight to S7? Of course, I’m going to finish S6 so I can say that I’ve watched all the episodes ever released, but should I move straight to S7 for the opinion pieces? I’d like to vent about the things I see that I like or don’t like, but I’m not sure if you guys want to put up with things that for all I know could be out of style.
So, Season Six is more than halfway underway, and it’s clearly making several different impressions upon its audience. Some hail it as Winx’s renaissance, others see it as yet another watered-down version of the childhood nostalgia we know and love. Still other unlucky Americans still haven’t even seen it past the Alexandria mini-arc. (But I’m not bitter…nope, not at all…just very, very desperate.) Regardless, it opens up a whole new forum full of opinions. Now that the season has progressed far enough, this is when the true speculation, plot or otherwise, begins. Seasons 4 and 5 have shown that the real fun kicks in around this stage, when the stakes are sufficiently high for Winx to become much more than the stereotypical “light child’s fare” that non-fans accuse it of being. No one could’ve seen Nabu dying, or possibly even Stella’s intense character development in S5, coming, as Winx has 1.) never killed off a hero before then and 2.) completely derailed Stella’s S5 character to the point fans feared it would be permanent. What will S6 bring in this crucial moment?
This is where you come in. Fan speculation only happens to come true once in a blue moon, but it’s one of the best ways to get a ‘base excited and pumped up when they need it most. With Winx no longer airing in America, I hope that this will allow fans to continue to have it in their minds. Winx is a fandom that really needs to be pumped up right now, as even I was about to quit on it once Nick made their final decision. However, the show is still very much alive, and by openly discussing it, we are acknowledging that it is far from dead. Even if our theories may be wrong, the memories will stay and continue to attach us to the show.
This will also be a forum for fans to recommend potential sites for watching the remaining episodes. Many have still not been able to keep up on series events because of the cancelling, making it easy for people to lose interest. If you are one of the lucky ones who have found episodes, please include links in your post. (This is by no means begging on my part so I can continue with my reviews, ‘kay? xD)
So, for my part: since I’m not yet caught up, right now, I’m going to post an observation I’ve made about S6 and how it bears some uncanny similarities to a particular other source of media. When Season 6 was first released, The Oblivious Prattler of UnaDiNoiWinx did a side-by-side comparison of the trailer and several anime and K-Pop acts, which can be found as follows. However, one anime appears to line up very, very significantly with S6’s plot: Fushigi Yuugi, whose title translates in English as “Mysterious Play.” During the various hiatuses, it became one of my guilty pleasures, despite it being technically released way back in the ’90s. (Yes, I’m behind on the power curve.) I’ve read all 18 volumes of the manga now and made it through about a fourth of the anime. But when I first started the anime, I couldn’t help but notice the way the characters were introduced in the opening theme:
and noticed how much it lines up with this:
Neat, huh? All those who complain that anime references are something that just S6 has done, this is way back from S4. Now, this could be a coincidence, but as for the actual anime’s plot? An extremely boiled-down version of the series is that it is a story about two girls who come into a rivalry situation partially incited by a magical book. It doesn’t exactly work like the Legendarium: it sucks people in rather than bringing creatures out. But nevertheless, similarities can still be found.
The two main characters, the former friends, also resemble Bloom and Selina in some ways. Just like Bloom, the main character in the conflict, Miaka, is far from a fan favorite; some consider her to be one of the worst heroines created in shojo manga. (I really don’t have an opinion on this.) Both are caring to the point of almost being considered Mary Sues. And, like Selina taking orders from Acheron, the resentful friend Yui also does a lot of what she does to aid a general by the name of Nakago, whom she thinks saved her from an…interesting situation. (This is an all-ages blog, so can’t really mention it here. *sweatdrop*).
What does this mean for the course of S6? For one, if the writers really are looking to this manga for inspiration, I will be expecting a lot from Acheron. Though some of the things Nakago does (read: 50% or so) cannot be done in a Y7-rated program, there are so many strong traits from his character that even a toned-down/watered-down likeness of him could have potential. I’d like to see Acheron be really sadistic and power-hungry with no regard to Selina except as a pawn, while still claiming that he really cares. I by no means am encouraging them to copy, but I think that borrowing from a serious and ruthless anime villain while still differentiating him from Valtor and the other Winx villain ilk could do wonders. (Especially if the Trix join him not out of romance, but because his type of evil is just their vibe.)
But let’s just hope Bloom doesn’t get a harem of crushes like the main in Fushigi Yuugi does. That’s where I hope the similarities never get to.
Rainbowdustwinx is back, baby! After a few weeks of deliberating on whether or not I should even keep this site going with all the Winx debacle in America (plus the fact that I’m not as up to speed on the new episodes as I’d like to be), I’ve finally decided to end this hiatus once and for all and to try my best to give everyone on here original content again. Honestly, I’m surprised you’ve stuck with me this long, considering the fact that I’ve barely been on and this has been off-and-on dormant since about this time last year. That really makes me feel good, but I’m sorry. The confession I’m about to make is one that’s stuck in my head for a while, that I’ve never quite been able to get out. I hope now, you all can finally know the truth.
The reason this site hasn’t been as active as it should’ve been isn’t just because of my busy life or because Nick isn’t really airing Winx. It’s because I was scared. In a lapse of judgement, I promised my viewers that I would give them a philosophical look at how to earn Enchantix and how it ties into multiple existing theories, including some Enlightenment thinking. I was taking a class about it at the time and was pretty confident I could do it.
But, for some reason, I just couldn’t.
To this day, Enchantix Theory is nothing more than a draft on my WordPress account. Every time I tried to write it, the task was just so daunting and intimidating. I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the high standards you would have for it. I pushed back other article ideas because of the huge demand for Enchantix Theory and kept up hope that I could eventually shake these feelings off and finish it. But I still haven’t been able to, and I wasn’t able to face myself because of that. Eventually, I ended up just thinking that leaving this site would be easier than having to face the questions about when it would be released.
To tell you the truth, every blog post I’ve written on here, I have written with immense worries about how it would be seen. My site got too popular too fast, looking back on it. If it hadn’t started out with so many people within the first week, maybe I wouldn’t have been as scared about everything. But being a rising star came with high standards, ones I wasn’t sure I could live up to. When I would look at amazing sites like Una Di Noi that updated almost every day and had nice graphics, I felt I could never compete. I felt inferior and even jealous of places like that.
But not anymore.
I’m gaining sight once again of what I really started this thing for, and it’s to deliver my own take on Winx Club, no matter what others think. I do want to release Enchantix Theory someday so you will finally be able to see it, but for now, I’ll take it slow. I’ll do other types of articles I’m more comfortable with before trying for the big one again. If any of you know where I can find the episodes released on the online marathon, I’d love to review them. But know that I’m back now, and I won’t leave you behind again if I can help it.
I just hope you all can forgive me if I let you down.
I’ll tell you what happens if it takes you more than three tries to solve my riddle. I’ll *gasp* dock you picarats! (You really don’t need to understand this reference to read this post, but I figured at least someone would get this.)
Hello again, and sorry for the long hiatus! When I was trying to think about what to post, I decided on a whim that I might as well get out my old Quest for the Codex Winx DS game and give it a try. You see, while this might sound rather embarrassing, I had been unable to finish it for eight years, even on the Beginner mode. (What can I say, I’m no genius gamer!) Anyway, I finally cleared it, so I’d like to tell you some of my thoughts about it. (If you were looking forward to the Enchantix Theory article, I assure you, it will come next and will show up within a couple of weeks tops, so don’t worry!)
The weird thing is, I tried playing it on normal today and guess what? I’m already halfway through the game! I thought it’d take sixteen years to do that, but I guess once you get used to the basic structure, the other levels aren’t as hard? But to get back on topic, I’ve seen people review old video games on online articles, so I figured it’d be fun to do that with this one.
The Quest for the Codex game was available way back during the 4kids era of Winx, and it basically covers S2. I also have the S1 video game for the Game Boy Advance (though I would always play it on a DS), and I think it’d be pretty cool to come across the S3 one as well. I saw it advertised on the 4kids block back when I was about a fifth grader, and I basically bought it right away. I recall that I would always get tripped up on some of the minigames and basically ragequitted more than I should have, hence why it took so darn long to finish the thing!
First things first, though, I love the title. The name itself is enough to sound like a hardcore RPG if you’re unfamiliar with the Winx context and are just told the name itself. (If someone asks you what you’re playing, just call it that. You don’t have to say that it’s a Winx game if doing so embarrasses you. Just tell them it’s an obscure title, and people will likely have respect for you then. *chuckles*)
The gameplay itself isn’t so bad: the animation is good, and the Winx actually look like themselves. Not only that, but you get to see some familiar attacks, like the Solar Flare or that one trick that Darcy does where she splits herself, which always reminds me of that one time Nabu trolled her by doing the same. (I didn’t think I’d be able to cram Nabu into an S2 post, and I’m not sure whether to be impressed or scared about the fact I was able to do so.) There’s even a subtle jab at Icy’s trademark Ice Coffin, as the only way to beat her as a boss is to throw it back at her! (If there’s one thing I really like about 4kids, it’s the fact that they’re able to poke fun at how Icy basically used the same attack strategy every time!)
The one thing I really like about the attacks is the Supershot, which makes a fairy able to emit one of those crazy animesque giant attacks. If I had the power to do so, I’d like to see one of the Winx do that in-show. Or, better yet, one crazy Convergence shot of those. Giant magical beams are definitely something we need to see more of on Winx.
And for all those still doubting this could be done on a girls’ show, Twilight Sparkle would like to refute you with a magical rebuttal.
Don’t be fooled by how easy it might be to defeat, say, Stormy as a boss: this game still has some pretty tough ones. Surprisingly enough, when Darkar goes into his final phoenix form in this universe, it takes a lot more than that one neat Convergence to beat him. You could easily burn about a half hour doing that same act in this game. So, for all the other faults this game may have, at least the final boss gameplay is at least hard enough for a softcore gamer like me to really wrestle with. Now, let’s get to some of the critiques I have about this.
First off, this game uses the ever-proven, highbrow form of exposition known affectionately as the infodump. The Codex itself is brought up mainly in passing, and multiple episodes are skipped over with only a mention to their name. (For instance, it’d be really cool to see Dark Bloom’s first appearance as a boss situation, as I’d love to see the sort of special attacks she’d have, whether or not they differ from regular Bloom’s, and the like, but all anyone ever does is talk about the incident. Seeing as I am a Shadows in Bloom/Spy in the Shadows fanatic, even going so far as to declare it as my favorite episode of the entire show, I was understandably disappointed by the coverage it received. And basically any part of the Winx’s non-magical life is just covered in tedious dialogue. It’d be nice to play as the normal-form Winx, as that’s as much a part of the magical girl life as the actual fight scenes. The S1 video game did a nice job at this (if only from Bloom’s perspective), so I’ll have to give that one a slight edge.
The minigames come in at the strangest of times and are very hit-and-miss. For instance, for as long as I have been a Winx fan, this image has been enough to give me nightmares:
Please, for the love of all things good, not this game! Not only does Bloom seem to be completely misinterpreting her dream (the image of Dark Bloom appearing when Bloom catches up with her is about as subtle as a ton of bricks), but the game itself is notably picky. No matter how many points you receive or the amount of time you’re able to catch up with the “mysterious figure” (ha!), it won’t let you go on with the plotline until you fill the bar above up to an unbelievably high amount. Not only that, but if you use your magic, it depletes that same bar and takes you right back to square one! I hate Dragon Flight so much. I swear, this alone is the entire reason it took eight years to finish this. If you don’t believe me, be lucky you haven’t lost your sanity already trying to make sense of this. It’s not too late to escape it. Go, save yourselves!
Anyway, it seems a large amount of these games involve Darkar being able to control bug minions known oh-so-cleverly as “Shadow Bugs.” I don’t believe this has ever been used in-show. But that isn’t exactly my point; the first thing I thought upon really mulling this through was as follows:
Dark, corrupted noble from a girls’ cartoon with the power to make bug-like creatures do your bidding, meet fellow dark, corrupted noble from a girls’ cartoon with the power to make bug-like creatures do your bidding. If this is anything to go by, I know just the character to make Darkar’s day perfect, if you get what I mean. *raises eyebrows* In other news, these two are now my OTP, and I have no shame when it comes to shipping. xD
Also, some of the dialogue is notably humorous for all the wrong reasons. For instance, apparently all the Winx’s magic is represented by the minigames. Which doesn’t seem that weird until it results in lines like Aisha (sorry, I just can’t tell her Layla anymore) saying that she’ll free the pixies using her “dance magic.”
Um, Faragonda…considering that Musa has music magic and Aisha apparently has dance magic…would you let me switch to shopping magic? Don’t get me wrong, I like the whole “sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake” thing, but it isn’t really my passion in life, you know?
Also, another example of one of these lines is one of the Winx asking Stormy if she should still be in rehab. Though this is canon, my adult mind had something completely different in mind and spent a few moments wondering just what drug she was on, and if it had any impact on why she’s so evil…
There’s also a part of the game in which Bloom states that she’s patrolling Alfea, but then the scene segways into the infamous Dragon Flight minigame, which takes place in Shadowhaunt. That in itself just made me wonder if Darkar secretly has dimension-warping powers and somehow transported Alfea to Shadowhaunt. Someone needs to write a fanfic about this sort of thing. I would, but I’m too busy with other fanfics, not to mention a real-world novel.
So basically, the moral of the story: Darkar is really a reality-warping villain who, just as Amore says, is acting completely out of love. He used to live in Equestria as the MLP villain King Sombra and fell in love with Queen Chrysalis, but got sent to the Winx world. The entire reason he’s looking for the Codex is so he can go to Realix, which would allow him to go back to that other world and find his star-crossed lover so they can then conquer the cartoon dimension and disprove the Girl Show Ghetto once and for all. When he does return, he finds that she’s been defeated, he loses all will and eventually lets down his guard, allowing an MLP artifact to finally kill him.
This is what happens when you let my imagination get out of hand. If you like me doing this to the S2 video game, please say so and I’ll allow my mind to go crazy with the S1 equivalent as well.
One of my latest posters made a remark saying that they’d like to hear more things about my interpretation of Season Five, so I’ve got a new theory that’s been on my mind for a while. Any Winx fan can tell you that, as great as the show is, it isn’t necessarily the best at transferring plots from season to season. Characters suddenly become forgotten, plot devices seem to disappear, and the like. But one thing that struck me as odd is the fact that not once in Season Six has a particularly important element been mentioned. Namely, Tritannus.
Now, this isn’t much of a problem, and if anything, quite a few fans would like it if we never heard his name ever again. Probably the most universally hated villain in Winx history, part of the fun of joining the community during S5 was watching people pan and roast him over and over again for even his slightest of mannerisms. It was part of what made S5 be (at least a little, for some) tolerable. But normally, Winx villains tend to be mentioned again in some way, shape or form. The Trix, for instance, have a permanent mark on the show. Heck, just look at the literal “rogues gallery” from the first episode of S4, where all the villains even have paintings of themselves. A lot of people thought that Icy would at least have some feelings of loss towards him, no matter how violently he had rejected her. When she just went back to being her old, S1-3 self, something just seemed off. And that’s when the gears in my brain began to turn about what exactly the Gate of Oblivion does and how it could be a lot more intimidating than just some convenient plot device written in at the last minute.
In order to investigate this possibility, we must first gain an understanding of what “oblivion” really means. Sometimes, though we know deep inside what a word may mean, we’re overcome with societal associations that have been programmed into the word, and the interpretation can be a bit off. In literary theory, these are called “connotations,” and it’s a lesson commonly taught in secondary-level education.
Why is this important? It’s simple: the connotation programmed into the word “oblivion” simplifies it to a mere meaning of death or loss. It’s used in this context all the time. However, if we look at the denotation, or its dictionary definition, it actually means “the state of being completely forgotten or unknown.” Even with its other definitions, there is no implication of death in the actual denotation. That concept is merely something people tend to infer about the word.
Through my “research” (does it even count as this?) of the magical girl genre, I can say that the state of magic-induced oblivion is something that has been touched on a few times. The example that comes instantly to mind for me is the Clow Book in one of my favorite works of the genre, Cardcaptor Sakura. If an aspiring sorcerer or sorceress attempts to use the book and its magical cards and fails its final test, that person loses all memories of the one they love most. For those more interested in more modern approaches and subversions of the genre, a similar event occurs in what is probably the most popular of the newer entries, Madoka Magica. Winx has already been proven to draw upon many elements of the Japanese magical girl storytelling style, and this is where we can begin to conjecture on what the Gate of Oblivion actually does.
First off, notice how the Winx seem to be aware that they have earned Sirenix and saved Daphne? If Tritannus was completely forgotten, then how anwould that have been possible? Simply put, Tritannus stayed within the timeline, but when characters try to remember why these things happened, there’s a blank space. All they know is that there was somebody who caused some threat to the Infinite Ocean, and who had to be defeated. Their memories on the matter itself are very general and vague. Therefore, it’s possible to remember everything about the events of S5 except Tritannus. (At least, the fans probably wish it was that way.)
My theory also states that the Gate of Oblivion was a recent creation. Think about it: we haven’t seen much of the Omega Dimension since S3 other than the last episode of S4. S3 pretty much pounded into our heads how ineffective it was when said villains could easily use spells to break out of their frozen chambers. Was it torturous? Yes, but it was only temporary, and escape was somewhat probable. Unless you know of a way to somehow alter history to put yourself back in it, you’re pretty much stuck with the effects of the Gate. (And I presume that’d take an almost godlike amount of magic to achieve, to the point where not even Faragonda or Griffin would be able to do so.) Since the Omega Dimension was still up and running during S4, it can be deduced that, while everyone hadn’t been transferred into the Gate yet, wizards still could have been in the middle of building it and possibly even doing some “beta testing” on the really notorious villains to see if it would work.
The one question that remains, then, is this: Does anyone still remember Tritannus? The possibility of that, assuming these things about how the Gate works, is pretty iffy. For one thing, Icy, who was established in S5 as having a relationship with him closer than she ever did with Darkar or Valtor, doesn’t mention him at all in S5, not even when she brings up her Dark Sirenix powers. This is where it starts getting similar to the mechanisms of the Clow Book: even those most important to him seem to be suffering from the symptoms of magical-induced oblivion. As for the one person who may remember all of this? Aisha would be my best guess, seeing that the magic needed to make someone forget about their own flesh and blood would likely be much harder to cast. Yet, even she might not remember all of the more negative aspects about him. From the way she’s acting this season, I’m guessing that fate might have decided to take it easy on her and have her remember the good memories she had with him, but create fake ones in the place of the havoc he caused. She would remember him in this case, but likely assume him to be dead.
Now that all this heavy discussion is over, I’d like to say that this February marks Rainbow Dust’s first birthday! And with that, I’d like to create an initiative to update this site more. I was pretty good about it when it first started, but let me just tell you bluntly: I’m a college student, and the stress that accompanies that began to take its toll on the site. Now, I’m trying to balance all these things while still providing you with quality content! (However, it might take a bit longer for updates to rainbow FICTION, because I’m trying to branch out in the writing world and currently have some commitments with FiMFiction, the My Little Pony fanfiction website. (My account on there is Quillamore, so if you’re interested, check it out.)
As a way of thanking you for all the time you’ve spent on this website in this past year, I’d like you to help me pick what the next article will cover. I have various ideas about concepts to address, and you can comment on which one you’d most like to read.
1.) The Enchantix Theory: Compared to some of my previous material, this one is pretty heavy and actually tries to apply philosophy to Winx. Basically, there are various theories of how self-sacrifice works, and in this article, I’ll be explaining them and using them to rank which character’s Enchantix was gained with the “purest” methods in mind.
2.) Suspension of Believix: A companion to To Believix or Not to Believix in which we look at how Nick continues to use Believix in promotional materials even two seasons after the fact. This is one of the more controversial issues with Winx right now.
3.) Title TBA: A look at how S5 and S6 have their connections in manga and anime. It has a particular focus on linking S6 to the magical manga/anime Fushigi Yuugi and its similar concepts of magical books and childhood friend betrayal.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to S6 Episode 6, “Vortex of Flames, or, In Which Bloom Pulls a Sailor Moon ‘Sorry Guys, I’m Not Really Dead’ Trick.” Here are just a few of my thoughts on this last episode (which was pretty good):
Diaspro having a ticket to a Domino gathering? You’d think Oritel and Marion would play the protective parent role and not let her in at all and increase security, right? Something tells me she didn’t obtain that thing legally…(either through stealing or the Magix equivalent of ticket scalpers)
It’s interesting to see the impacts of the Dragon Flame sharing on Bloom. I almost thought they wouldn’t show that and just have Bloom be as powerful as usual. Nice touch. I’m impressed.
Wait, are they actually making fun of the overly-high heels they have to wear? If it were me, that would’ve happened first episode! Long trains just do not go well with those types of shoes. Learn your lesson and get some fancy flats instead or, at the absolute least, the type of teeny wedges I wear to fancy gatherings to try to get out of displays of clumsiness.
Bloom, if you’re that weak, you really shouldn’t be wearing heels. I’ve never fainted while wearing heels (heck, never fainted period), but that doesn’t sound like fun at all.
I can’t help but think that the ‘wings’ were added in so that JAKKS dolls can now say that they’re actually show-accurate. *facepalm*
But regardless, I really do love the dresses. I love how they’re trying to mess with the color schemes a bit. However, Musa and Aisha should’ve switched dresses. Yellow would bring out the contrasts in Musa’s design and would especially compliment her light skin, while sunset orange fits really well with Aisha’s water/beachy theme, not to mention that she looked really, really good in red before.
Wait, where did all this sudden fashion talk come from? I never thought I was this into it to the point where I could start waxing on about compliments and certain shades of color, lengths…*blushes and giggles awkwardly*
Thorin is too honest for his own good! I was cracking up the entire time he was talking with Sky in the beginning. (His awkward lack of beating around the bush is actually rather cute.)
Is it bad that I ship DiasproxThorin over DaphnexThorin? For some odd reason, I can see those two together. Hey, at least it’s not like the dream that I had last night about Nabu coming back to life and breaking up with Aisha to date Roxy. As much as I like both of those characters, I wanted to whack him for being so darn insensitive! But thank goodness that isn’t canon…unless Rainbow sees this, which hopefully they don’t.
Diaspro? Not her again?
Thank you, Lockette, for basically summing up what a lot of Winx fans actually think right now.
I honestly thought Cherie was going to throw Piff on top of Diaspro to make her go to sleep. That actually would’ve been a better plan. Let’s hope you’re a heavy sleeper, Diaspro!
Wait, if Diaspro is a Yandere on a “good” day, what does she do on a bad day? *shudders*
So the Vortex of Flames has a spiritual beast like the Omega Dimension? Fascinating…
Requisite Beauty and the Beast-esque ballroom scene.
Even on Daphne’s coronation, Bloom still manages to steal attention away.
Kiko’s little dress actually did look rather cute.
Bloom’s Bloomix, however redundant it is, looks amazing. Hers and Aisha’s are probably my favorites right now.
Is it just me, or does Aisha look a lot like her mother in Bloomix?
I squeed as soon as I heard they were going to Alexandria, Egypt, and not just because I’m a history buff. I told you guys before that I wouldn’t give out my real name on here, but now’s an opportune time: “Alexandria” is actually my name. I’d still prefer to go by Ophira on here, but I thought it was an interesting connection to the plot. The actual city has a very vivid history that I love, including a legendary lost library and one of the world’s first lighthouses. But, more importantly, my name will actually be mentioned on Winx! Simply amazing! ❤
Once upon a time, not too long ago in fact, things were not quite sunshine and rainbows over at the Rainbow/Nick headquarters. As a matter of fact, fandom morale was, arguably, at its all-time low. Complaints dappled screens all across the Winx blogs for one reason in particular: Season Five. *insert lightning flash, thunder, and ominous music here* These were the dark ages of Winx fandom in which the plot line was struggling, the writing was struggling, and most importantly: the ratings were struggling. No matter how hard Winx Club had tried to escape this fate, it had entered that dark vortex we know as the Magical Girl Slump, infamous for feeding on childhood memories.
But, if you recall, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in this situation. If a magical girl show tries hard enough and pulls the right moves, the slump could convert into something known as growing the beard or rebounding depending on which circle you’re in. However, since I’ve coined a term specifically for magical girl programs about jumping the shark, it makes sense for the rebound to be named for the most successful franchise not only to escape the slump, but the most successful period. And, to many fans, Sailor Moon did precisely that with its Stars season, sequel to the maligned-to-this-day SuperS. Not every show can regain that luster, though. Tokyo Mew Mew: ended with only two manga series (“only” being a relative term, of course) due to beloved main character being replaced with a Mary-Sue. Shugo Chara: only three anime seasons; ended prematurely due to a futile attempt to create a variety show to appeal to a younger audience. Winx Club at this point:five seasons, more than both of these ever got and the same amount as Sailor Moon; was inflicted with the slump in much the same way as Shugo Chara was. Still ongoing. Fate unknown.
Until Season Six.
See, the thing about anything remotely related to the magical girl genre has problems getting past the slump; for some odd reason, that’s the way they’re made. Deconstructions, reconstructions, spin-offs, animals with magic, people with magic–all reach the slump at some point. No matter how well-made these shows are, there will always be some point where the fans feel that the creators do not have the best intentions in mind. I hate to do this because it’s so current, popular, and hasn’t really had criticism like Winx is used to but…yes, it is necessary to pull the Rebellion card. To sum up a very complicated issue (that I have knowledge of only as an observer as I’ve only read the manga and detailed synopses of the film and therefore have no right to go too deep into it), Rebellion is a Madoka Magica movie that, according to some sources, may end up being nominated for a foreign-language Oscar, yet has a beloved character acting so out of character that some fans are calling foul and claiming that it was only done to rake more money out of the franchise. (Sound familiar? *cough*some Winx fans perceptions of post-S3 seasons*cough*) Now, please keep in mind that my intention is to show that no franchise, even one as well-done as Madoka, can fall prey to the slump, NOT “Ophira wants us to go mock Madoka fans!” (Those with opinions on the franchise’s future may comment on their opinions, as both are series that are somewhat “on the fence” with fans.)
But what might make a fan think that Winx is starting to get over the slump? Here are some items of interest to discuss:
Lack of Bloom/Sky drama FIVE EPISODES INTO THE SEASON!
Oh my, this isn’t something that happens often, is it? At around this time in S5, there was already the whole necklace debacle and Sky had amnesia (which is honestly in running for “cliched ideas we should totally put in a vault for 10+ years and not use at all”). Rather, more effort is being put into giving the plot time to develop and mature into its own story, which is relieving considering recent patterns. (There has been a little Musa/Riven, though, but something tells me it’ll be mostly throwaway and be resolved quickly.) It’s to the point where I’m not even worried about Diaspro coming back in, as at least she’ll be out fighting and actually doing something plot-relevant. Also, ever notice how Diaspro tends to shoehorn an annoying sub-plot into seasons? (Basically the entire reason the Sovereigns’ Council was thought up.) This way, as long as she’s with the Trix, she’s involved in the main plot, meaning that for once, she won’t interfere with focus, so it might be more like her role in S3. Mind…blown.
Engaging new characters.
Now, a lot of the problem with S5 was that the new characters were largely pretty boring, to be blunt about it. Krystal didn’t get much development other than to get Flora jealous, Nereus was more of a plot device than an actual character, and let’s not even start on the travesty that was Tritannus. On the other hand, I’m really starting to enjoy some of the new characters. For one: Selina. I knew I’d love her just from seeing the trailer, but the thing that attracts me to her isn’t just her cockiness or her eagerness to prove herself, but rather her mystery. While Tritannus’s backstory came to us second episode (and first in some countries!), there’s still a lot we don’t know about her. Where did she get the Legendarium on a place like Earth? What are her motivations as a witch or her backstory? Come to think of it, Valtor, the Wizards of the Black Circle, and Darkar all were pretty easy to read, as at least someone in the show knew their story from legends, histories, or personal experience. Selina might be a character type that’s never been tried on Winx before, and it’s working. Acheron only further peaks my interest. So keep being the way you are, Selina. For a show littered with recent “failures,” you’re doing things right and raising the bar a little.
The return of forgotten characters.
Now this might just be a gimmick for the 10th anniversary celebration, but it’s one that has potential. I like to think that Rainbow began to realize how sad people were about Roxy and the pixies leaving and decided to change that. Idealistic, but that’s a hopeful way to think about it. Sure, both have had only minimal roles (and the pixies might just be comic relief at this point), but that could change. Notice, for instance, that Roxy’s yellow hair tips are back from the failed attempt to make her an easy-to-animate background character. Therefore, it could be stated as follows: As long as they’re present, she’ll be plot-important. I have a feeling that caring for Griffin will ease her back into the regular plot, if even for a little while. (And even if it doesn’t, having a crow companion is still awesome! Gives me definite Sailor Mars vibes.)
And with even less significant details and characters, such as Miele and Diaspro’s fairy form, coming back, who knows what cameos could come next? For me, I’d like to see another mini-adventure episode like “The Pixies’ Charge” in S3. The pixies discovering something plot-relevant would be really cool. And I’m still carrying out hope that Tune and Digit were late somehow and got sucked into the Legendarium. What else would I like for this concept of bringing old characters back? Well…let’s just say that my answer is “biased and predictable.”
Seriously, considering how long a lot of people have been following this blog, do you really still need this picture? 😛
Didn’t you just love it when you didn’t actually know exactly how the next story arc was going to turn out? Oh, how I missed that feeling with Season Five. I presumed that S6 was going to be much the same…and then came Acheron to complicate things. And, of course, Selina herself is already plenty mysterious. (Though after reading the spoilers, I’m tempted to nickname her “Yui”…but if you’re wondering how I know so much about these sorts of stories, it’s research!) Anywho, for the first time in a long time, I’m actually pretty curious about how things will turn out. And I hear that the new episode will be a two-parter…something we haven’t seen since 4kids! Looking forward to it!
So, at the end of the day, it’s up to the writers to prove themselves and to try to overcome the dubious odds of the slump. I’d like to know how the rest of you think, and I know that some of you may not be this optimistic, but I think it has a chance! I’ve been enjoying it a lot more than S5, and besides, the important thing is that, even if S6 doesn’t live up to S1-S3, it still shows that Winx could very well be still fighting to live on in a world where its light is starting to dim. And, after all, ya can’t get much worse than Tritannus, right? *chuckles*
But on a lighter note, the participation question for this week is: if you lived in the Winx universe, who could you see yourself being? (Male fans can still choose between Specialists, paladins, or wizards.) Which realm would you live in?
After being stuck for an answer for a little while, I remembered that I had to take a lot of psychological surveys, and a good amount of them said that I belonged to the sector of the population most likely to have ESP! While it sounded odd for a personality quiz to say, I think that’d be a cool, original power that I could imagine my fairy-self having. It’d be able to involve telekinesis, precognition, general “psychic beams”…sorts of things that the Winx universe hasn’t really covered yet.
I’d really like to see the answers for both questions! And also, it’s been a while, but “Copacabana” managed to win our music video contest, but the real surprise was my Wild Card pick, “Magic,” which came in second!
Hello, and welcome back to Rainbow Dust! I’m sure you’ve all been awaiting this moment as much as I have: the voting for our Music Video Showcase is about to begin! However, before I do this, I’d like to show you one last song that I only thought of recently. I’m glad I finally remembered it, because I’d think it’d be a great theme song for Winx! This is more of an “improbable dream”-type things, though, since not only is it sung by an ’80s singer (which might not “attract young ratings”…yadda yadda yadda) and that there’s probably no way that Nick could get the singer, Olivia Newton John, to actually sing it again for a theme song. Something tells me that someone with that much star power is kind of out of Nick’s league, but you never know. (If the name isn’t ringing a bell, she’s best known for being the female lead in Grease, which is probably one of the most famous movie musicals around, if not the most. Good luck on that, Nick.) But anyway, here’s the song:
Anyway, with that out of the way, time to proceed to the other songs! These are reposted from other posts scattered throughout the summer. Also, I’m only listing the ones that people actually responded to. Look at these songs and try to decide which is your favorite. You only get one vote, and if there’s a tie, we’ll settle it in the next post, which will be my response to the new Season 6 trailer! There’s going to be a lot more information coming your way, but first, let’s settle the contest! Enjoy the extended look at these songs and stay tuned to more of what this website has to offer!
WARNING: Please understand that this title is meant to be dry humor about the reaction some well-known Winx fans might haveto the sentiments of this article: to instantaneously start flaming it. Therefore, do not take the title seriously. This is a positive Winx blog, and while reasonable disagreement is acceptable, no flaming. Every time you do that, you are pushing kindly argumentation theory teachers to spiral into increasing levels of insanity and to start crying about how no one seems to appreciate their advice in today’s world. End sarcastic public service announcement and actually start talking about the topic.
Let me set the scene for you: imagine that you’ve just come out about your Winx fandom to one of your friends. Rather than laugh at you, they ask, “Oh, was that the fairy show on Saturday mornings?” You nod your head, and then the friend starts having one of those crazy nostalgia moments, maybe even bursting into song. And if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “Why the heck doesn’t anyone know about Winx on Nickelodeon, a 24-hour television behemoth, but everyone seems to remember the tiny 4Kids adaptation that was only on Saturdays? That’s right, just when you finally began to understand the entertainment industry, wrenches like this get thrown into the mix.
So that just got me to thinking: what could 4Kids have gotten right with Winx? How did a European show become so much of the American nostalgia experience? And even more importantly, how could Nick replicate that seemingly effortless success? Finding these answers made me realize that even though 4Kids Americanized the show substantially, you can’t help but admire some of their amazing business strategies. Let’s get started:
They treated Winx Club as though it could have ratings to rival any of their other programs.
Now here’s where Nick’s success can become its greatest downfall. To elaborate, consider the fact that no one on 4Kids could possibly have had the mindset that small, Saturday morning cartoons could topple SpongeBob from its throne as the most popular kids’ animated series. Therefore, they pretty much publicized all their shows equally, meaning that there were plenty of opportunities to learn about the show while watching, say, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Yu-Gi-Oh! I always used to get really happy when they showed Bloom as a “spokesperson” for one of their promotional station commercials. The problem with Winx on Nick is that it’s still “new,” and while newer teen sitcoms can gain popularity quickly, it’s much harder for newer cartoons to gain this same momentum when the station’s been around for years. (Now, this would be a lot easier if Nick was at least half as diligent about airing reruns as 4Kids was.) “New” in this case can translate to expendable and fleeting, plus the fact that Nick has a history of trying to keep newer cartoons from getting more popular. (For instance, they rarely air “newer” shows like TUFF Puppy other than on Nicktoons Network, and scrapped Danny Phantom after only three seasons. Please ignore the fact that I’m only using Hartman cartoons as examples.) A good solution to this problem might be adding more commercials and print ads, but also the possibility of a TV special highlighting its popularity in Europe. This would be a great opportunity to show its consistency and to clear up some of the bad press that Winx is getting lately.
They pandered to the younger audience in ways that adults could at least tolerate.
4Kids Winx had camp, and it most definitely spread this to even the most serious moments. Remember the hardcore guitar riff that would always play during Valtor’s latest act of villainy, the Big Nos done by the Winx as Tecna was being sucked into the Omega portal, or the infamous Lord Darkar “talk to the hand” line? Nick, on the other hand, tries to lure younger audiences in through formulaic plot ehconstruction and simplistic plotlines. How do these two methods differ? For one thing, camp is notorious for luring huge cult fandoms. Some arguments cite this as the reason for the genesis of the comic book fandom. Additionally, its camp appeal sets it apart from average children’s programming in that it is actually memorable. People still make jokes about 4Kids Darkar’s lines even today, eight or nine years after S2 aired on the station, to the point that I actually found it jarring that Nick tried to make him into a full-blown, demonic character (complete with that voice *shudder*). Pretty much, a lot of people liked 4Kids because it came off as effortless and almost self-deprecating in some of its scripts, while Nick is simply trying too hard by comparison.
The publicity that 4Kids had was pretty awesome for its time.
Remember that this was a time before iPads, apps, and the like, and even if those would have existed, 4Kids likely wouldn’t have had the time or the resources for these methods. So they had to stick to a mixture of time-honored strategies and new innovations to get the word out. Remember how you could spend hours just searching around on winxclub.tv, looking at character descriptions and an insane amount of games? If you did this in a public place in the days before mainstream Wi-Fi, some other kid could see you, become curious, go on the site, watch the show, and bang, they’re a fan. On the other hand, the same can’t be done with the Sirenix Power app because doing so requires a certain technology and a certain amount of money. (I still haven’t played it, for instance, and I’m sure plenty of others have the same problem.) A similar advertising technique was the Winx coloring books, chapter books, and “mangas.” (And yes, I insist on putting that last one in quotations.) Nick made a wise decision in compiling the comics, if only I could find a copy. 4Kids went out of their way to ensure that Winx books could be found just about anywhere, while I still have yet to find any of Nick’s books. This is true to the extent that I can say that I became a Winx fan after seeing one of these books in a magical and heavenly paradise known as Borders. (For those unacquainted with it, don’t try to find it, as, no matter how hard you tried, your quest would always come out fruitless. If one still existed, I wouldn’t be sitting at the computer right now.)
So, as you can see, the idiosyncrasy about this complex issue is that Nick’s greatest advantage–its accessibility–can also act as its greatest weakness. Winx on Nick has never had to worry about possibilities like lack of viewership, lack of publicity, or being seen negatively; it’s like the cliche of spoiled rich kids who feel “entitled” to their relations’ success. Until now, that is. The very thing that Nick has been trying to avoid is gaining quicker and quicker onto their heels. Now, one of the few ways for Nick save that from happening is to acknowledge 4Kids’ existence, look at their strategies, learn from them, and put their own spin on them. If they’re reading this, I highly recommend for them to do so…
We’ve finally entered the home stretch, folks! That’s right–this is the last Fanfic Week entry. It’s been a lot of fun working on all of these stories, and while there were times I didn’t think I’d finish them all, I did it. This has got to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve done on this site as of late. It forced me to buckle down and think: “I don’t care if I don’t think I can write this today. I’m going to do this anyway, because I never back down on my word, and I’m not planning on changing that.” I’m loving seeing your commentary about these, and I’d really like to see how you like Black Gold. I’ve only had this idea for about a month, so it may not be as streamlined and planned as some of them yet, but I have faith in it. It takes a different look at what happened on Earth after the Black Circle attack, and shows that magic on Earth still has a long road in front of it. But Morgana, Nebula, and the new character Tristan all have guts to change things. Except the Black Circle may not have disappeared as much as the Earth fairies would like to think…don’t leave this page, because we’re in for a bumpy ride! Here’s Black Gold:
Part One: Wandering Wizard
Tristan didn’t remember much about the battle. All he knew about it, or about most things, was that it was the most brutal one he’d ever seen. It was all a blur, and he wasn’t sure if he’d even fought. The way he was brought up, or at least what he could recall of it, was about looking as normal as possible, hiding everything about yourself. All he knew was that once he’d revealed himself as a magical being, the Wizards of the Black Circle didn’t hesitate. He struggled, hoping this wouldn’t be the end, that he’d get another chance. And as a matter of fact, he did. Here he was, alive once more.
Except he didn’t remember any of it.
The first thing that he realized when he finally awoke from his coma was that he was sprawled over a rather cramped space, which he later realized was a small room with a door. He stretched himself out to regain his strength and began to mutter to himself.
“Something tells me I’ve slept in worse places before,” he sighed. “I bet this is one of those dumb hotel rooms I’ve heard about where you can barely have enough room to get a decent rest. Don’t know how long I’ve been out, or even how long I’ve been alive in the first place. I suppose I’m off to a good start.”
For some odd reason, he failed to see a huge watermelon in his way and promptly tripped on it and slammed into the door, which was now open.
“Who leaves a watermelon in a hotel room?!” he yelled after this. “Seriously?”
“Hey, what are you doing here?!” answered another man, who was quickly approaching him. “We’re closed! I bet you think you can try to steal from us, right? That’s as good a reason as any to be in here right now. I’m calling the police on you, got that?”
“I wasn’t trying to steal from you, sir,” Tristan tried to explain. “I just ended up in your backroom somehow. I don’t know how long I was in there, but somehow, I was trapped inside.”
“Yeah, yeah, likely story,” the man grumbled. “I can’t trust delinquents like you. Why should I believe anything you say?”
“Because he’s telling the truth,” answered the only other person there, a woman with long, dark hair. “The truth spell hasn’t responded yet, so therefore, he isn’t lying. Besides, this isn’t exactly the first time a wizard has ended up in Gardenia.”
Just excellent, Tristan thought. Out of all the people who could’ve saved me, it had to be a fairy, a natural enemy of wizards. I bet she’ll turn me into a punching bag by tomorrow morning.
He then decided to run away. Something just didn’t feel right about the magical aura within him. He must’ve been changed in some way before he’d woken up. So this was the only chance he had left: to live alone and bide his time until he could regain his strength. Unfortunately, he failed to remember that fairies could just teleport in front of him, which was exactly what happened.
“I’m not going to hurt you, got that?” the fairy replied in a stern voice. “And you are not going back out there to live on your own. The few Earth wizards that are still around had to have been incredibly weakened. You may not like to hear this, considering that you’re an adult and all, but if you’ve stayed quietly inside a storage closet for this long, you need help, and we have space in our house.”
“Hmph,” Tristan muttered. “Things have definitely changed since the last time I was here. Not that I remember much about it, but your kind have never been the most welcoming.”
“I will admit that we might’ve seemed like jerks to you in the past,” she responded, “but we didn’t realize that the Black Circle were just as bad to wizards as they were to fairies. If we would have, we could’ve been allies a lot sooner, but those times are over.” She smiled at the young man and continued, “Please forgive my husband Klaus’s conduct towards you, but ever since the whole Earth fairy incident, who could blame him? But all that’s over, and at least now I have a somewhat normal life working here. My name’s Morgana, by the way.”
“I’m Tristan, or at least, so I think,” he answered. “Ever since the attack, I haven’t been remembering much of anything these days.”
“That’s a trait typical to many of the wizards whom they attacked,” Morgana reasoned. “Most of them were about your age, which made finding help for them harder. After all, a lot of people think that they can act for themselves.”
“That doesn’t mean you should take me in or anything. I mean, I know you’re trying to foster relations between the two parties, but I don’t want to intrude—“
“You’re not intruding,” Morgana corrected. “Lately, the two of us have been lonely anyways, since our daughter just left for Alfea. We’re perfectly willing, as long as you lighten up a bit. I understand it’s natural to be a bit grumpy about all of this, but that won’t help your condition improve.”
She then slammed a smoothie cup into his face and muttered, “Hey, drink this.”
“Where did that even come from?!” he asked in complete and utter shock.
“Um, I used the blender right over there,” she answered. “You need to get something into your body. Who knows how long you were in there?”
Tristan was about to lift the straw up to his lips when Morgana interrupted, “By the way, that’ll be $4.99.”
“Really?!” he yelled. “You’re charging me?! I never wanted this!”
“See, that’s your problem,” Morgana chuckled. “You take everything too literally. I was kidding. But drink it, or else I will charge you for it.”
At this point in time, it felt as though it were really possible for a fairy and a wizard to live together. But forces were conspiring to ensure that the rivalry would never be broken.
And Tristan would be the one to incite this presence…
The next day was nowhere near what Tristan would have expected. Sure, he would have expected to Morgana to yell at him more, or even for her to change her mind about giving him a free smoothie. What he didn’t expect was having his limbs chained to a wall in the middle of nowhere. But, sure enough, that’s what had happened.
That good-for-nothing fairy betrayed me! he thought to himself. And I honestly thought she was trying to make friends with me. Times really haven’t changed one bit. Next thing I know, they’re going to execute me for no reason.
“I know that I have much to explain,” Morgana whispered as she walked past, steadily approaching him. “But this is not what it looks like.”
“Yeah, easy for you to say.”
“It’s going to be okay,” Morgana continued. “I just had an audience with the queen of the fairies, and we’ve both come to the decision that we will set you free and allow you to go back to Gardenia, as long as you promise never to kill a fairy.”
“Why would I want to do that at all?!” Tristan demanded. “I never said I wanted to kill anyone! If anything, that’s discrimination against wizards! You think that, just because I’m a wizard, I’m going to steal your powers and pluck your wings off and—“
“That isn’t the reason she wants to make this pact with you,” corrected another fairy, who had just flown over to meet the other two. “As a matter of fact, that wasn’t even her idea; it was mine. As soon as Morgana relayed a message to me last night concerning your arrival, I requested that you be brought to Tir Nan Og, which is where you are currently.”
“You used to be the queen of Tir Nan Og, though,” Tristan replied. “Surely you can still override your subjects’ requests?”
“Nebula here is the current queen,” Morgana explained. “I did not wish to strain our friendship more than it already was by the incident.
“…oh,” Tristan whispered awkwardly. “Carry on, then. Forget I said anything, Your Majesty.”
“Don’t know if I’ll ever get used to being called that,” Nebula muttered. “Especially with me having been an army leader for so long…but objection overlooked. After all, Morgana did say that you remember very little about what took place, and you were never in contact with fairy society to begin with. However…there was one observation, which I discovered last night, that cannot be ignored so easily. We chained you in order to prevent you from doing something that you would later regret.”
“What could I possibly have done in the middle of the night?!” Tristan yelled.
“Let me put this bluntly,” Nebula answered. “The Wizards of the Black Circle knew that they would someday be defeated, while it wasn’t something they liked to think about. When they attack another wizard, they normally do so for one of two reasons. More often than not, they do so because they fear that the other one will infringe on their territory or become more powerful than them. It’s a normal predatory response, but yours is a rarer case. You were exposed to high levels of dark magic, from what our research can perceive, and yet you still managed to survive.
“Consciously, you feel minimal change from the way you were before. But your entire magical core, the source of your powers, was rewritten.”
“Do I want to know what that means for my future?” Tristan questioned.
“No, but it’s something you need to be aware of,” Nebula replied. “Exposure to enough dark magic can, in fact, overload a person’s magical systems to the point that they are completely rewired to resemble those of darker beings. To put it simply, you have been so absorbed to the Black Circle’s aura that your magical composition is shifting to resemble the irregular magical structure of the Black Circle wizards. In other words…you are essentially more like them than you are like other wizards. And in most cases, this translates to unconscious urges to attack fairies.”
“Nebula believes that, if you accept our deal, you will be less likely to be a threat to our world, and to Earth’s as well,” Morgana explained. “We cannot allow another wizard to reach that level of power from that sort of source.”
“So that’s all you see me as now?” Tristan objected. “A threat?”
“No,” Morgana spoke. “We aren’t just doing this for our own safety. We’ve taken in enough wizards to realize that we cannot afford to have another Black Circle. As long as the memory of the attacks remains fresh, people cannot accept wizards for who they truly are. You are the one who can change that.
“You must choose between succumbing to your so-called ‘destiny’ as a wizard or coexisting with the other groups who have finally discovered the grave mistakes they have made by denying you as one of their own. But keep in mind that whatever decision that you make may be the only determining factor between peace and war…
To be continued…
And so, with all that wrapped up, it’s time for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the poll where you can vote on which Fanfic Week submission was best in your eyes! (Next week, we’ll vote on the music videos, so keep thinking about that song you liked most!) See you then!