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I know I said I was going to keep Sentai/PR off this – but this is possibly my favourite scene out of the whole series (perhaps, even franchise, from the scant little that I’ve watched) so far! It finally addresses the moral dilemma that permeates Power Rangers/Super Sentai: that a bunch of teenagers/young adults essentially have to kill in order to protect the world, and they can’t really do much about to resist this call to violence.

Episode 43 was dark af ugh love it.

Ruminate

You said, don’t hold on to the past like it’s something I can just switch off easily (and perhaps, a year ago, I would have said: yes, you’re right, I’m sorry). There’s no moving on if you constantly go back to what had happened. But your words have left pockets of memories, buried into my nervous system. My heart still races wildly at times when I’m caught off-guard by flashes of sorry I didn’t mean it that way – I wasn’t trying to – I don’t know what else to do to show you – , of reminders of misunderstandings, of curling up, trying to keep my chest from exploding and my mind from caving in (nowhere is safe).

You said it as if I’m deliberately holding onto these moments, wielding them against you in battle (or am I merely projecting these thoughts upon you?, you are, after all, a different person now – but I’m trying to stop constantly second-guessing my thoughts, qualifying my statements). As if I want to feel panicky and jittery, when adrenaline surges in my veins for no reason other than because I’ve glimpsed something which surfaces a memory. As if I want to feel constantly on the edge, ready to flee from nothing more than the firing of neurons. As if I want to literally feel nauseous when confronted with fictional depictions of fictional people locked in fictional arguments, thinking you’re such a joke for reacting this way.

We said this was the only way to stay friends, before things escalated to beyond repair. I apologised – said I was selfish for wanting to end things, that I was doing so just because I wanted to protect myself. I just – I don’t think this is very healthy for me. Like I failed you, somehow, by giving up like that. Maybe we just needed a month more – a year, just a little more time to work past everything.

You said before, you’re a friend of my mind. But I didn’t have the courage to extend the same courtesy to myself. Feeling this way is silly, it’s been more than half a year and you’re still on old thoughts, I say to myself. Just let it go already. And I am – trying to purge the bad and leave the good, to find a balance somewhere in the maelstrom of moments and leave behind only what is golden.

I say, you’re not a bad person, that’s just a side of you that’s perhaps slightly rougher, you just didn’t realise how deeply you’ve left your mark  – running reasons and excuses, just like many months before. I say, forgive and forget like a good, kind person would. It’s easy enough to do so, after all, merely a simple exercise in mental dexterity. As easy as breathing in and breathing out – expelling these bad (I’m being unfair to you for holding onto these moments – the present you who’s undoubtedly changed and hopefully has grown) thoughts and memories (they’re in the past, they’re over now, we turn the other cheek).

I once heard, the opposite of love is apathy. It’s easy, I think, to block out the bad. It’s not the first time you’ve done so, you’re only stronger now after this.

But the inexplicable surges of anxious energy that have peppered the past few months testify otherwise. And in these moments, you were weak then and you’re still weak now telegraphs itself in my mind – emotions are inescapable no matter how far you run.

But no – I say, I refuse. I refuse to let you have any more power over me. I refuse to give you space into my head. I’m standing my ground, this time, no matter how hard it may be.

I exorcise you.

Dead Girl Walking

1. Created a separate Tumblr so that I can fangirl over Sentai/Power Rangers there instead of crowding up space here. For the 0 of y’all who are interested: http://tangerinetales.tumblr.com. My current obsession is シンケンジャー and the adorableness of which is Chiaki/Kotoha and the (insert relevant adjective here) of which is Takeru.

2. Everything’s slowly gearing up towards c – c – crunch time, and I’m left wondering how the heck is it already Week 9 (???).

3. If what Dot said was true (and I’m sure it is!), I guess it’s about time I left this guilt go.

4. The next thing in line to be exorcised is my anger – which is ironic, no?

5. Maybe I ship Chiaki/Kotoha because I identify with her a bit too much. :/

Important things to keep in mind whenever guilt surfaces: THIS

Because the truth was, despite it all, I loved him – and that love was not enough.

We need to let go of this notion that it’s harrowingly romantic to work through a relationship that doesn’t feel good, that we should stick with someone who doesn’t serve our higher selves.”

I want to talk about toxic relationships – so called because instead of nourishing your growth, as a relationship should, they slowly wither you away like poison in your system.

Because I think that sometimes we get stuck in circles in our minds asking ourselves whether or not a partner is abusive, when really, we should be asking ourselves whether or not they’re healthy for us.”

Because we have a really damaging cultural understanding (that you can hire me to talk about endlessly) about love: It’s supposed to be confusing and painful, and it’s working through that which makes it worthwhile and romantic.

But I want to let you in on a little secret: Relationships aren’t easy –and they aren’t always fun – but they’re not supposed to hurt.

Baby Raptor

Spent the day alternating between doing my KDS essay and reading fanfiction on AO3. In my defense, I did need some mental relief from the torture which is phenomenology. Have came to the conclusion that AO3 is essentially fanfiction.net but with only Tumblr community members, judging by the amount of terribad fluff/bordering on crack fics there are.

Even so, this ship sails itself:

CAFNVD5WwAALqhk

Tho also v v v disturbed by some of the AO3 fics because they’re so terribly out of character, it’s a horror. Which goes back to AO3 essentially being tumblr because #fangirls.

*skateboards out*

Fire

Dying trying to come up with an essay topic for KDS’s mod – if only I could tell Rei to go the easier route and just take the Chemistry mod. This is perhaps the most frustrated I’ve ever felt doing a mod, though prolly it’s just at my ineptitude to do anything (lol).

And because this has unashamedly turned into a Power Rangers/Super Sentai space: caught up with Shinkenger over the weekend. Very on point, very amused by how Samurai is essentially a terrible, pirated copy of Shinkenger.

Also meh, because watching clips of Samurai has spoiled Shinkenger for me, so Takeru’s secret is no longer very exciting ~~. But decided to watch how it was carried out in Samurai (because why not? tho Samurai is truly a v v v shit season, I would say worse than Megaforce), and went to the comments section and got unnecessarily pissed off by this comment:

lame

Because:

i) “Not to be sexist” is the worst way to ever begin when you’re just about to make a sexist comment – it doesn’t automatically make you sound more objective and informed and worldy~~ right before you make your dumbass remark.

ii) There has NEVER been a female Red Ranger in the franchise – besides A-Squad Charlie, who let’s face it, doesn’t exactly count since she just shows up for 5 minutes in Endings and does nothing much but blow shit up. Even so, I was insanely excited when she appeared because ‘omg Female Red!!!’. So there’s literally 0 evidence for why having a female Red is “a terrible idea”.

iii) Um – wow good job at remembering Time Force Jen, and then retracting your statement about being wrong about “female Power Rangers as leaders”. Defo not sexist at all in initially thinking that there shouldn’t be female leaders. Let me also name a few more seasons in which female Rangers/characters were cooler than/as good as their Red Ranger team mates: Mystic Force (because what sort of shit Red Ranger turns completely to darkness when it seems like he’s losing??), Mighty Morphin’ (cheap shot because Rocky is adorable, but not a fantastic Red), would even say that Dino Charge is veering into that category since Tyler isn’t the conventional Red and isn’t a leader per se (but that’s also testament to the strength of writing this season?).

To be fair, it’s rather silly that I’m getting so annoyed by a comment made a year ago on a random YouTube video by someone I’ll never actually meet in real life. But as someone who’s followed Power Rangers for years, who was friggin’ over-joyed when there was a Female Blue (because to 12 year old Rei, that meant everything – if girls can be Blue Rangers, they can be any colour, and not just Pink or Yellow – and how amazing is that !!!), who saw how excited the fandom was about Camille Hyde playing Shelby (because how is it that there’s never been an African American Pink until Dino Charge, and how is it that I never noticed either?) – gender representation and media representation are important. And to have a fan (or I guess, an ex-fan, since Lauren as Red and Megaforce turned him/her away from the franchise) dismiss that is just disheartening.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve always thought of Power Rangers as empowering – naiive, I know, since it’s made with the intention to sell toys. But, to me, there’s a certain duty of the show to promote certain types of values and morals (in a sense). For one, Zordon’s ‘Never use your power for personal gain’ and ‘Never escalate a battle (unless Rita forces you to)’ has become enshrined as Law in the fandom. It’s hard to quantify the extent of its impact, but Power Rangers taught me that girls can be badasses and cool as fk – I remember looking up to Cassie Chan (first Asian American female Ranger!) when I was a kid, and wanting to emulate her.

A few hundred years late to the part, but I guess that’s the crux of media representation: that it shows us new ways in which we can understand our own reality and imagine ourselves, functioning like Lacan’s mirror-stage in a way. Despite being an NM student, I’ve been rather skeptical of the power of media representation and the issues surrounding it, but I guess all I needed to do was just look at my own relationship with Power Rangers and realise that it’s actually quite legit (#dumbReimoment).

And that’s why I’m pissed that there are actually people in the Ranger fandom that don’t want a female Red. Imagine how amazing it is for little kids (I was going to type ‘viewers’, but c’mon, let’s be real about Power Rangers’ demographics) to see a female Red (and not just in passing like the Lauren/Jayden arc – a legit female Red who’s there at the start, who’s led her team successfully into battle, who’s capable and strong).

That’s why I’m hoping that Toqger would be adapted. On top of it possibly being my favourite Sentai season, I also really want to see how Saban handles the colour swaps throughout the whole season: a male Pink?? a female Green?? – imagine the possibilities (literally since Toqger’s go to phrase is: IMAGINATIONNNNN).

On another note, this is a reason why it frustrates me sometimes that people laugh at Power Rangers/Super Sentai, or my interest in it. Yes, it’s a kid’s show; and yes, it’s terribly shallow and silly at times. But there’s so much to explore in the two shows that’s as legitimate as an analysis into anything else. What’s also difficult about looking at Power Rangers is that a lot of it depends on Sentai footage, which means we can’t get a female Red until Sentai gives us a female Red – and that opens a whole new can of worms.

See, cross-comparison between the two shows is legit k? All the haters can just gtfo (*side-eyes the people who judged me when I said I would have done a Power Rangers/Super Sentai cross-cultural analysis on presentation of violence for Senior Sem if it weren’t limited to Singapore*.

Life Goals

Don’t disregard what you’re feeling, nor dismiss your emotions.

(But don’t be self-indulgent either. Be articulate and use your words.)