Naruto Shippuden – Series Finale Review

By Joshie Jaxon

Greetings, geek fans! After years and years of watching, we’re talking over a decade if we count the original series, I’ve finally finished the Naruto series. Yes, I’m aware Boruto exists, and I may give it a chance, especially since we get to see familiar faces all grown up. For now though, I wanna talk about how this series wrapped up.

I know that the original manga was still being produced alongside the anime, and that causes a need for filler, but omfg did it feel like there was an excessive amount of it towards the end. Some of it was interesting, such as Itachi’s backstory, and the Akatsuki as a whole. While others, like the ninja ostrich, Kabuto’s history, and seeing nearly everyone’s dream when the endgame happened was almost too much. I watched on super fast forward, or skipped chunks altogether if they weren’t advancing the main story. By the end, after final confrontations were settled, it just felt like they were limping to the 500 episode mark.

There were a great many things I enjoyed about the series as a whole, especially as I never read the entire manga. The revelation about Tobi/Obito was surprising. Though looking at young Obito’s hair, and how Tobi kept his, it wasn’t much of a stretch, but it was still awesome to find out he was the mastermind of everything since before Naruto was born. Being the one to cause his master’s death, as well as his wife, wow. They even gave him a decent redemption arc there at the end. Granted, that’s cause there was worse out there.

The idea that Madara was alive was hinted at by Tobi, when he claimed that’s who he was. It wasn’t until Kabuto used the reanimation and showed Tobi just why his claim was impossible that things got good. I loved most of the reanimation fights. They were somewhat filler on their own at times, but it at least felt plot related, as opposed to just flashbacks of what people were doing while Naruto was off training. Though I will admit, I laughed way too hard at Konohamaru using the sexy jutsu to try and master the rasengan. That was more entertainment Thani thought I was going to get. Once Madara entered things, and was taking on the five great nation leaders, it was everything I wanted in a villain, and while I wasn’t rooting for him like I do most villains, a small part of me did. In particular, once he sat down to wait for the original Hokage, rather than fighting a clone. Series could’ve ended with him winning, and I’d have been kind of ok with it.

Then they had to go and add Kaguya. I get it, again, waiting for the manga to finish. Intended or not, her involvement felt tacked on, and filler-y. We had to try and want to care and I found myself checking out. They gave us backstory, and it implied she was alien or celestial, with others coming, that never did. At least with Super Gramps Sage, we’d heard the name through the series leading up to that point. She was an unknown, but was all-powerful, so her identity and such were lost to time, while the Sage of Six Paths wasn’t? I don’t buy it. Her inclusion sucked, and I see no reason that she needed to be part of anything at all. That’s just me though.

I enjoy getting to see a fully powered Naruto and Sasuke fight, but there’s still something that bothers me. When watching strictly for the main story, the great ninja war essentially takes place over two full days. Dawn of the third day, those two go have a showdown, after literally fighting for the world all night, with no food or sleep. Even Vegeta at the end of DBZ acknowledged that Goku was stronger, and put it to rest. Well, until Super. At the very least, Sasuke should’ve wanted to fight Naruto once they’d both rested, and were at full strength. Who wants to have a rivalry-defining match when they’re not their best. Raise your left hand. C’mon, Sasuke. Oh, too soon? My bad.

A final issue I had, though it was just a minor one. I don’t see why Obito couldn’t have told Naruto, Sakura or Kakashi to grab his eyes before he turned to dust. It makes no sense to me to remove such an important part of the series and character, to leave the copy ninja without the ability to still do so. Again, these things are just a few notes that the storyteller in me had reservations about. I love the series as a whole, and love the voice acting done within it. Maybe some of it got addressed in Boruto. I dunno yet. Until next time, stay geeky and keep gabbing!

Disney Dynasty – Chicken Little (1943)

By Joshie Jaxon

You may be expecting the movie with aliens, and Zach Braff, but if you caught the year, this is the short version. The one the Golden Girls were able to tell as part of an episode, though they called it Henny Penny. In either event, this is one I remember from when I was little, but watching it as an adult today gave me some unexpected dread with how relevant it still is. I’ll try not to beat y’all over the head with it, but I’m sure many of you will draw the same conclusions. Let the geeks begins!

We open in a farmyard, with classic voiceover narration, and are introduced to our characters. Cocky Locky, the head bird of the place.

Henny Penny, and the rocking chair brigade, who poke their beaks into everyone’s business, rather than sticking to their knitting. Lovely, but it gets better. We see them clucking around a table, as the voiceover tells us they sound just like people.

Next is Turkey Lurky and the smart set, who sit and discuss what’s wrong with the world. Then the jitterbirds, who are strictly there to show chickens dancing, and aside from being part of the future masses, serve no other purpose I can think of.

We then go to Goosey Poosey, Ducky Lucky and all the other gay ducks, all gathered when there’s something to drink. Going with gay being happy, not homo, their group are the drunks of the place.

Finally we meet Chicken Little, playboy and yo-yo champ. I doubt he was hanging out with a young Heff back then. It’s fun how language changes and evolves. He’s stupid, but a good egg. Uh, thanks?

The story continues with the birds all being happy, since there’s a big fence protecting them. But wait! There’s Foxy Loxey, someone very much interested in eating everyone we’ve just met. He doesn’t, because of the fence, the locks, and the farmer’s shotgun. Much like Nick Wilde though, he’s a clever foxy. He’s gonna use psychology to get them all. He pulls out his book, and reads aloud. Quote: “To influence the masses, aim first at the least intelligent”. Let the modern parallels begin.

He looks over each member of the cast to find the one that’s nice and stupid, and settles on our title character. How he knows all of their names is a question we don’t get answered. I’ll just assume it’s from casing the joint. Back to his book, “If you tell ‘em a lie, don’t tell a little one, tell a big one”. He then rips a star of a nearby wooden sign, inhales an entire cigar, and blows the smoke through a hole in the fence, surrounding Chicken Little. Then, atop the fence, he uses foley tricks to simulate thunder, and a watering can for rain, before dropping the wood right on his head. He returns to the smoke hole, and says he’s the voice of doom. The sky is falling, and a piece just hit you in the head. Stay calm. Don’t panic. Run for your life!

Chicken Little then tears through the area, stopping at Henny Penny’s to tell her that the sky is falling, and a piece of it hit him in the head. She freaks, and the two of them carry on, shouting about the sky falling as more locals hear them, look up, and start to worry. Soon, he’s gathered an entire crowd at the piece of wood, and is pointing, showing them the proof. Oh no! They’ll all be killed. Whatever will they do? Cocky Locky works his way through the crowd, asking what’s going on. Chicken Little again says how he was hit in the head by a piece of the sky. Cocky tells him that it’s just a piece of wood, and throws it back over the fence, hitting Foxy with it, and telling everyone to get back to their business.

Foxy isn’t going to be outdone that easily, and goes back to his book for help. “Undermine the faith of the masses in their leaders”. I don’t know what psychology book this is, but I don’t recall anything like this when I took the class in school. We cut to Henny and the lady birds clucking about how Cocky would know what he’s talking about. Outside what I assume is the fence, and not their building, Foxy dawns some drag to get into character, and starts saying in a more feminine voice, but what is he’s wrong? They’d all be killed. The chickens start clucking up a frenzy. Outside the turkey coop? Is that a thing? *shrug Foxy has glasses, and says very formally that Cocky is showing totalitarian tendencies, and is trying to dictate to them. After all, shouldn’t they be able to judge for themselves if the sky is falling or not? Two groups down. Now with slurred speech, he starts whispering to the waterfowl how Cocky has been hitting the mash, and that he’s full of corn. Well, the local drunks start spreading it around the whole farm. He’s a chicken chaser. Um, isn’t that what roosters do? At any rate, the gossip catches up to Cocky himself with a resounding, “he’s not the cock of the walk anymore”. He’s visually upset.

Back at his book we get another quote. “By the use of flattery, insignificant people can be made to look upon themselves as born leaders”. He whispers to Chicken Little that they’ll listen to him now. He can lead them. Chicken Little stands on a rock, declares himself their new leader, and that he’ll save their lives. Cocky says not to listen to the pipsqueak. There’s some back and forth about if the sky is falling or not, concluding with Cocky stating if it were, it would hit him in the head. Cue Foxy with a slingshot and another star. Cocky gets beaned, and that’s all the proof they need. Whatever will we do, Chicken Little? Thanks to no one else not being able to hear Foxy tell him to go to the cave, they all follow like the mindless sheep, er, birds they are.

Foxy sets up signs pointing them towards the cave, as everyone breaks down the fence door and runs. As they all pile in, the narrator tells us that it will turn out alright. Cut to a fat Foxy licking a wishbone, and placing it among all the others. The narrator is shocked, as that’s not how it ends in his book. Foxy tells him not to believe everything he reads, and starts plays with Chicken Little’s yo-yo. That’s nice and dark for a Disney ending. Then again, it was seventy years ago. Either way, it’s dark for a modern audience as well, given what’s been playing out in front of the world lately. At any rate, stay geeky, and keep gabbing!

After writing this, I discovered it was supposed to be a WW2 warning, and that to drive the point home, Foxy was almost reading Mein Kampf instead of psychology. It all makes a lot more sense now. Doesn’t stop the modern parallel though. Sigh. Stay strong, America

Arrowverse Appreciation Post

Just some shirtless men from the Arrowverse. Not everything I post has to be funny or deep. 😉

Oliver Queen / Green Arrow

John Diggle / Spartan

Roy Harper / Arsenal

Malcolm Merlyn / Dark Archer

Slade Wilson / Deathstroke

Ray Palmer / The Atom

Barry Allen / The Flash

Eddie Thawne

Ronnie Raymond / Firestorm

Jay Garrick / Earth-2 Flash

Wally West / Kid Flash

Ralph Dibny / Elongated Man

Carter Hall / Hawkman

Mon-El

Clark Kent / Superman

Spider-Man Far From Home – Post Credits Questions

By Joshie Jaxon

Spoiler alert is in effect for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, or sat all the way through the credits to the house lights coming up. If you don’t care about such things being spoiled, feel free to continue. Just be really, really, really sure. K?

First things first, I shouted a rather audible “Yes!” when J.K. appeared as J. Jonah Jamison. I’m beyond happy that they got him to assume the roll again. Yes, for the first time in the MCU, but I’m not going to split hairs. If I weren’t already excited for the next movie, having JJ “back” would’ve done it.

Speaking of The Bugle, I’m rather curious to see if a certain fishbowl is the one who directly leaked that footage, or if it was one of the surviving lackies. Assuming he’s alive, the long tease of the Sinister Six, May finally make its full, and glorious, debut in the MCU.

As far as Peter’s identity being revealed, yes there’s potential, but I’m not gonna speculate how they’ll play it. Mysterio said people will believe anything. They’ll either play it off, run with it, or we could get a less-likely Back in Black style story where Aunt May is in danger. I don’t see that happening, as several players and events haven’t happened, but we’ll see.

The final question I had, that may get cleared up with multiple viewings, is how long has Fury been with the Skrulls? Assuming Talos and company all found a home between Captain Marvel and now, how did Fury get back in touch with them? Has Fury been himself this whole time? If so, again I ask when he’d have the means to switch with one. Was it Skrull-Fury that got dusted? Did Fury have Carol take him with her after Tony’s funeral? I’m excited I’m the many directions this could take. However, like not being able to see Steve return the soul stone to the Red Skull, I’ll try to keep an open mind, and hope they reveal it in the future.

Pride Post – Why Pride Matters

By Joshie Jaxon

I have a question. At what age did you learn that you could be victimized just for being who you are?

The ladies in the house will probably tell you they learned at a young age that they could be molested, kidnapped, raped, drugged, beaten, sold into slavery or sex traffic, simply because they were girls. Because they were smeller, weaker, or more delicate than men, they always had to be on guard. Keep your keys out. Park under lights at night. Don’t go out alone. Watch what you wear. Watch what you drink. What you say. Who you say it to. Do everything you can not to make yourself a victim. Such bullshit. We strip our daughters of their innocence and their authentic selves, all because someone else doesn’t recognize their rights and autonomy as equal.

A second question. This one for the homos, specifically. When did you learn that you had to hide who you were in order to fit in? I was never sat down and told not to cry, or show my feelings in order to be a man. My mom never said not to look too long in a locker room or I could be called a fag. However, I still learned to repress who I was, cause who I was was bad. Men don’t cry, and if they do, they get made fun of. You don’t discuss feelings, that makes you soft. Stare where you shouldn’t, and people will treat you differently. I didn’t get to live as my authentic self. I wasn’t raised with my dad. I know him now, and he’s wonderful( but I wonder how my personality and view of the world, and masculinity, would be different if I’d had him in my life sooner. Would I have learned that it was alright to cry when I was sad, or happy? Would I have felt comfortable discussing my attraction to the boys my age rather than girls? I’ll never know for sure. My adolescence was one of repression and fear. Hearing Barry Manilow referred to as “barely man enough”, coupled with not seeing any strong gay representation in the media at the time, I was alone and cutoff from finding myself and my tribe.

I’ve since found where I belong, and try to live my life as I am. I don’t retreat to the closet, at work or in public. However, I’m still very much aware that as an out gay man that I could be assaulted one day, for no good reason other than who I love. I’m one who parks near lights at night, and keeps my keys out, because even though I’m a fully grown man, that fear has very deep roots. I’m always aware of my surroundings, as well as exits when I go somewhere new. I don’t want to be a victim, but I’m the back of my mind I’m always aware that I could be. Is it fair to me? To my sister? Hell, to anyone? No, it isn’t, but it’s the reality we live in.

My final question is to the straight men. When were you taught that you were better than the rest of us? Short answer, you weren’t. Until or unless you’ve lived with the decades of persecution and fear, simply for being a straight man, the worry that you’ll wind up in the hospital, that your family will disown you, that you could lose your job, that you could be beaten and left for dead, you don’t need or deserve a straight pride anything. Sit your ass down and let us have our once a year event where we can feel 100% accepted. The thing you take for granted, Every. Single. Day.

Top Ten Tuesday – Witches

By Joshie Jaxon

Halleloo, I’m back bitches! I know I haven’t provided a lot a of new content lately, but those who follow our Facebook page know I’ve discovered the joy of memes. I try to at least provide some entertainment for my nerdy gay community. Life has been fun, but time has been limited. Gonna work on getting new entries added. Gotta do what feeds the soul, after all. Speaking of souls, today’s entry features some poor unfortunate souls. I realize that I usually do Top 5 Tuesday, but this list I couldn’t narrow down to five, so you’re getting ten. Without further ado, let the geeks begin!

Witches have been a staple in modern media since it’s inception. Ever since Margaret Hamilton brought the Wicked Witch of the West to life in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, there have always been some magical misunderstood ladies that just want things to go their way. I know that witches go even further back, I’m looking at you, Salem, but for a friend of Dorothy, I’d much rather be friends with Elphie. Those who’ve followed my past entries know I have an affinity for villains. Such an affinity caused me to leave the “good” witches like the Charmed Ones, Glinda, and Sabrina off my list. While it’s hard to rank them, I’ll do my best. Even as I type this, I’m not certain what my deciding factors will be.

Honorable Mention – Witch Marge

Treehouse of Horror VIII (1997)

Marge is usually a killjoy, but on Halloween episodes she gets to be a little more fun; when she’s not warning the audience about how scary the special will be. Goodie Simpson was thrown to an honorable Christian death in Salem, only to be revealed for the witch she really was. She gets an honorable mention for eating children, turning the chief into a gopher, and for getting a nod to another classic witch by correcting her sisters that his name is Homer, not Derwood.

10 – Endora

Bewitched (1964)

Speaking of Derwood, I’ll start the official list with Endora from Bewitched. She’s fabulous, shady, passive aggressive, powerful, and wears blue eyeshadow. She treats hers son-in-law with the contempt he deserves, at least with modern eyes. For the Sixties, his repression of his wife’s true self was to be expected, as was the cliché hatred of Endora as the meddling mother-in-law. She constantly kept him in his place, as best she could. Her fierceness for her time is what inspired me to name my black cat after her. Witches honor.

9- Magica DeSpell

Duck Tales (1987)

I adored Magica as a kid. No one should’ve been surprised when I came out. Oh wait, almost no one was. This diva duck is always after Scrooge’s number one dime. It’s an ingredient/focus for some of her powerful spells. We know this cause she gets her hands on it now and then. Her crow companion, and total disregard for the Beagle Boys make her a fabulous entry on my list. I plan on dusting off my Duck Tales dvds and giving her another visit soon.

8- Witch Hazel

Bewitched Bunny (1954)

Oh, Witch Hazel. How I adore thee. She’s only in a handful of cartoons, but she’s a delight in each one. That’s why Broomstick Bunny was one of my first Looney Legacy posts. Everything from June Foray’s exceptional voice talents, to her bobby pins when she leaves a room. I can’t think of a better villainess for their world. Well, Bugs in drag could qualify, but he’s far too entertaining. Plus, he’s more hero than villain. Unless you’re a fan of Elmer.

7- Dark Willow

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Seeing Red (2002)

I didn’t like them doing the whole, you’re addicted to magic, thing to Willow. I would’ve loved it if they’d had her doing what she was doing cause she wanted to, as opposed to a lousy drug metaphor. I kind of got what I wanted when Dark Willow came calling. Granted, her lesbian lover had to be killed to do it, but it freed the beast, and allowed her to revel in it for a bit. Now, to be fair, flaying Warren alive was a little darker than I was hoping, but from her added confidence, to her callback to Vamp Willow’s “Bored Now”, to threatening to kick every square inch of Buffy’s ass, I loved her short time on screen. So much so, I went as her for Halloween one year. Gender-bent version, of course.

6-Elvira

Movie Macabre (1981), Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Unpleasant dreams, darlings. Cassandra Peterson is an undead living legend, and oxymoron. She’s got some huge talents, and doesn’t mind showing them off a bit. If I played for another team, I’d find them sexy, but they’re just fun bags to me. Able to twirl tassels in opposite directions, I could leave it there and justify her place on the list, as that is witchcraft. However, I include her, not for her bespelling bosoms, but for her appearance in Mistress of the Dark. Elvira thinks she’s cooking, and summons a monster. She’s not a malicious witch, but since she’s not wholesome, I’m not counting her as good either. Besides, we get the great line “how’s your head?”, “no complaints yet” from her movie. Tens across the board.

5- Rita Repulsa

Power Rangers, Day of the Dumpster (1993)

Here we are, the top 5. Rita has earned her place as the Shangela on my list, cause she just can’t seem to win no matter how hard she tries. No shade, I do love me some Shangie. Rita is a fabulous witch, imprisoned for ten thousand years, only to be freed by accident. She spends a year with bad dub, and fierce eyeshadow, trying to stop teenagers. Failing, getting banished by her boss, coming back, marrying said boss, still failing, fleeing to avoid the Machine Empire, coming back to stake her claim, and, you guessed it, failing again. Her minions give her a headache. Her wand makes things grow. Giggity. You go, space diva.

4- Ursula

The Little Mermaid (1989)

What can I say about Ursula? She’s purple. She’s got drag queen origins. She knows the art of the deal. She’s the total package. The merfolk just didn’t read the fine print, so is she really evil? As people have pointed out, she was nice enough to give Ariel human legs, rather than say, making her a satyr. Ursula just wants to help people, she’s got a whole song about it. Granted, man-stealing so that she can collect her prize is a little low, but again, Ariel didn’t tell her she couldn’t. Ursula is just a victim of bad press, and a broken pole to the abdomen. To be fair, who knows what sort of ruler she’d be? Benevolent? Standard? Metric? The world will never know.

3- Wicked Witch of the West

Wizard of Oz (1939)

I was conflicted on putting Elphie here or the number two spot. Although she did get her own musical, is played by the legendary Idina, not to mention Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch just couldn’t be put at number two. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a fierce diva who only wanted her dead sister’s property back, but she’s just not the icon in my eyes like the top picks are. Now, I love the use of minions, and doing whatever it takes to get what she wants. I’ll even over look the whole “I’m melting… melting…” bit. I just wasn’t a fan of Zelena and how whiny she was portrayed on Once Upon a Time. Unlike my next pick…

2- The Evil Queen

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1939)

The second queen to appear in the late 1930’s. Certainly one of the first villains I recall from my youth. Clad in purple, regal, dignified, friends with a crow, obsessed with being number one; how could I not like her? Ok, there’s the heart-carving thing, but what majesty hasn’t abused her power on a whim? I know, I know, most people root for the good guys, but I’m not one of those people. There are rare exceptions. The reason I’ve got her at first runner up is her magnificent display on Once Upon a Time, by Lana Parilla. Loses the love of her life, wants to make the whole kingdom suffer like she has, and lets nothing stand in her way. Again, I know I’m supposed to be on Snow’s side, but I just can’t. We’ve all had that loss that consumed us so deeply we couldn’t help taking it out on others. Regina is the embodiment of that. She’s also redeemed in her arc, but that’s more Lana’s input on her character than how they may have wanted to keep her. In either event, I love the evil queen. Long live Regina!

1- Winifred Sanderson

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Was there any doubt that Winnie would be the top slot, grand diva of the list? She’s been an annual tradition for 25 years. She put a spell on me. She’s got the sarcasm and eye rolls that have become a part of my very being. She takes care of her sisters, since they can’t seem to manage on their own. She just wants to be young and beautiful. So a few kids have to go. They weren’t gonna live past 30 anyways. She was just ending their pre-midlife crisis. Saved them from disease, or being put to work as child labor. She’s a humanitarian. Really, she eats human. Well, their essence, but that’s splitting hairs. She gets a great catchy song to curse the town. She’s played by the divine Bette Midler. Hell, if she hadn’t been bent on revenge against Dani, she wouldn’t have lost. But, it’s Disney, and we can’t have bad guys win for whatever reason. Winnie will always be the witch I root for, even when she’s tricked time and again. Woo hoo, witchy woman.

There you have it, my favorite bad girls. Well, of the magical variety. Did I mention your favorite? Did I miss any one? Feel free to leave a comment. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing!