Monday, November 11, 2013

this weekend's "Te Busque" playlist & Fooly Cooly (Episode 3)

First things first,
[Scroll down if you wanna skip more fictional brainstorming to get to my Fooly Cooly discussion]

this project has blossomed quite a bit over the past couple months. I thought of it as a series of stages. In musical terms, "acts" and "scenes".

Because my iPod didn't have Britney Spears' "Circus" album or any relevant Daughtry tracks, I mostly stuck with Nelly Furtado, threw in a little Green Day and sprinkled in some Gaga, Karmin, Maroon 5 and Carrie Underwood.

  1. Afraid
  2. Maneater
  3. Promiscuous (still not entirely sure how Talia and J.P. come to do a karaoke duet, but she gives everyone a great show- problem is he doesn't know that's all it is) 
  4. Glow (the 4th track from "Loose" I'd previously omitted but I needed something fresh at that point)
  5. No Hay Iqual
  6. Extraordinary Girl- Green Day
at this point, I'm going blank about what I did next, but I know I didn't go back to Nelly Furtado for a while. I started to brainstorm more about Amber and how it made no sense for her to meddle in Talia's relationship with J.P.
all she wants is Alejandro... what puts revenge back on the menu is when she shows him a routine and he thinks she's coming on too strong... the next couple songs were from Gaga's first album "The Fame"...

Money Honey, Starstruck, Poker Face and Love Game... one of the first two, I see her getting into, showing it to him as a brand new routine she'd been working on, and she's put off by the fact he didn't like it.
"I'm just sayin'" comes in right after this incident.

"Paper Gangsta" then comes about as the backdrop for Vanessa having dinner with J.P. as her way of "checking him out" for Talia at her specific request.

"Wait for you," I recently figured to be a good way to convince Talia to fully give into her suspicions because the lyrics sound like words J.P. could have said to her, saying how he'd wait for her forever.
"Say it right" is when she comes by his place and completely gives into him. In other words, more than just the act or a simple lap dance.

I played another track in between... might have been "Just Dance" but I'm not positive... then "Paparazzi" which would be Amber's fantasy number, kinda like a mirror image of "Say it right" because I thought the two songs sounded kinda similar.

The worst part is that I can't help but feel this relationship will be short-lived. One little instance of dissention and Talia ends things... the key is finding sense in the right song.
"All good things come to an end" is her saying goodbye to him... then "whatshername" by Green Day is his version.
Amber has the last laugh with "Told you so"... though I'm not sure if she's the reason the two of them break up.

The songs start to pile on, several just to describe one scene.
Maroon 5 has "Ladykiller" and "Tickets" as words people around Amber are saying about her. Yet while I listen, I picture her being in charge of her own brothel with the UV lighting and such... which is weird because she's totally against having this lifestyle as her first so-called "career" choice.
The important thing to note is her degree of intensity as to how she handles her business.

this progresses to their night... from the "Born this way" album...
Govt hooker, Bad Kids (which Amber hopes to use to convince Alejandro to give her a second chance... but she loses it when Ruby tops it off with "Heavy Metal Lover"... after which she doesn't think Alejandro will give her a second glance. So she throws Emilia under the bus.

what happens happens. Back to "The Fame Monster" for Monster, Bad Romance (which I'd been contemplating whether or not to include) and Alejandro...

the confrontation scene happens, the truth comes out, and the idea comes about for everyone to do a number showcasing their past.

Amber gets "Comin' up strong" by Karmin
Scarlet & Ruby get "two black cadillacs"... Ruby insists on a solo with "Blown Away" where she reveals the extent of her journey through hell...
Vanessa, I played "Bloody Mary" and "Electric Chapel" (heck, the latter could refer to her running away from an arranged marriage, I'm still figuring her out)
Talia gets "Princess of China" by Coldplay & Rihanna (impressing why she hates being called 'princess')

she and J.P. make up with a couple tracks. The most notable is the title track... which has me thinking there'll be a scene early in the story where Vanessa (who's her roommate) hears her crying at night, unhappy about the life she's chosen, but too set in her way to change.
then to add on a positive note, "Hello" by Karmin for a big ol' dance number with the whole cast.

So the project has extended to even more stages:

  1. Introductions
  2. Trusting in love
  3. the relationship
  4. Falling out of love
  5. Revenge
  6. Redemption
  7. Revelations
so the biggest questions remain:
A) how the hell does Vanessa fit into all this?
B) what are the rest of the dots I need to connect with Amber?
- lots of foreshadowing will be involved, most likely
- her true intentions aren't made known until Alejandro rejects her the first time
-yes, later on, he does get his chance to tell her how he liked the second performance
C) who is responsible for Talia breaking up with J.P.?


Maybe it's because I'd seen the pilot episode way too many times... but this time around confirmed how much episode 3 of Fooly Cooly is by far my favorite :-P

All kinds of insanity goes on, as usual, but it doesn't escalate to the nth degree of insanity until the final 3-5 minutes. When the latest Medical Mechanica robot appears and there's a huge battle scene.

I meant to do an entry after each week's installment, but not much new has occurred to me so I didn't bother.
Heck, I didn't really enjoy the pilot as much as I had in the past. Maybe cuz I'd seen my favorite scenes a few too many times.

We're introduced to the main characters.
Haruko runs Naota over with her Vespa and hits him with her bass guitar. The result is a bump jutting from his forehead. She also ends up becoming her family's live-in housekeeper... only in Japanese animé do we have random strangers insinuating themselves into a family without explanation. Reminds a bit of "Sailor Moon" where Rini hypnotized Serena's family into believing she's a cousin just so she can stay there... what an annoying little brat.

I'm still seething over that... obviously.

While Naota attempts to figure out who Haruko is, he also spends the majority of the show with Mamimi, his older brother's girlfriend.
She's flirting with Naota this whole time in an almost perverted sort of way... makes no sense to me and still kinda doesn't. Then she finds out that the brother has an American girlfriend and she has a mental breakdown.
Then a giant robot comes out of Naota's head, Haruko takes it down and it goes from red to blue... also becomes a supporting character named Conti

It bothered me for a while about how the robots came out of the kid's head... makes no sense and even worse, there was ZERO explanation. You just had to take it as fact that it happened. But nobody really talks about the how and why until episode 4 or 5.

Episode 2: "Firestarter" involves Mamimi's relationship with Conti. She calls him that, believing he's a character in her favorite video game.
I still don't get what the point of "Firestarter" is... something about it being the goal to burn down a city to get the blessing of the God, Conti. There's an explanation of the game, but the voiceover is obscured by previous quotes from the show... so it's hard to follow.
There's also the mention of a school that burned down, a fires Mamimi was in and Naota's brother rescued her. She kinda sets up a ritual at the site of the ashes to call on Conti.

Then another robot comes out of Naota's head. Conti actually swallows him to turn red and destroys the enemy robot.
Naota is then "discarded" in a pretty gross way... I guess the right word might be "deprecated"...

There aren't many moments like that in the series, but I wasn't crazy about it for that reason.

Wikipedia states that Mamimi burned down the school herself because she hated it there... it's also hinted that she's bullied at school, which would explain why Naota usually sees her playing hokey.

Mainly cuz I don't pronounce, I call "Marquis de Carabas" either episode 3 or the one where Naota wears a hat to hide car ears that grew out of his head.

The focus is more on his friend, Ninamori, whose father is the mayor of the town. He's having an affair with his secretary, which is causing friction in her house. She handles it very nonchalantly, but you learn that down deep, it does bother her.
The school is doing a play where she has the lead role and Naota has been cast as "puss in boots"... very apropos, given his latest predicament.

Funny enough, Mamimi only makes one appearance in this show. She and Naota are hanging out by the river with her new cat, Ta-kun (she actually adopted him the previous show, but I forgot to bring it up, lol).

This episode probably has the best story of the whole series and it's also the funniest. I think. If you're into the messed-up sort of funny.
I mean, most of the series looks like it came from the head of someone high on drugs. This one, there are a bunch of moments that tickle my funnybone because I see them as really messed up. Heck, you feel like you're tripping on acid while you're watching it.

Little moments are made all the more hilarious cuz of it. And I'm also remembering how much people in my animé club laughed at certain moments where things looked out of place.
One of those moments is where they're in Naota's house and there's this dog... it's just sitting there in the background while dialogue going on, but it just looks so messed up.
They also spotted towards the beginning that Ninamori was a secret communist cuz she was wearing a red sweatshirt that said "USSR" on it.

Hilarity really ensues when Naota sees her after school and she finds out about his cat ears. Haruko tells her not to touch them... for whatever reason. It makes her sick to her stomach, which really doesn't get explained. It just is.
Great dialogue too.

"Don't touch it! A young girl like you shouldn't touch it with your bare hands!... yeah, I think it's an ear... cat, I think... kitty, kitty, meow."
then after she touches them and doubles over
"I told you not to touch it... is that my fault?"
Haruko says all this using a megaphone... that she randomly has with her.

Naota ends up inviting Ninamori to stay with him and his family. They have some hot curry, so hot that it looks like it kills Naota's granpa... he breathes "water" and suddenly collapses into the bowl, but he's okay.
They're talking about the scene at Ninamori's house, but she dismisses each comment with the same quote: "I don't think it's any big deal"... either that or the animators got lazy, lol

Another weirded out moment from earlier is where they're in class, Naota's friends are looking at a red magazine, which I thought was maybe a tabloid thing about Ninamori's family. But the scale of her freak-out (the series of whacked out facial expressions) has me thinking maybe it's pornographic in nature.

Meanwhile back at the house, Ninamori is staying in Naota's room. He finds out she has glasses and she asks about his cat ears. While Haruko listens in and adds her two cents.
tee-hee, always entertaining.
It's also revealed that Ninamori rigged the vote to play the lead and for Naota to be the cat. Apparently she has a bit of a crush on him.

Naota had more or less boycotted the play until this point... where he walks up and finds himself in rehearsal and everyone in costume. The secrets come spilling out, and for a MAJOR twist, the ears transfer to Ninamori's head and a gigantic robot erupts out of it...
all kinds of craziness goes on, as usual. mostly from Naota's classmates freaking out. The teacher flipping out until she gets run over by the Vespa. ("It's a hit & run!") and when the robot is destroyed by Haruko, Naota and Conti, it falls on her car ("She's still paying off the loan")...

Ninamori is released from it (before it's destroyed obviously) in a way that could be interpreted as gross... this robot must have been female...

the episode ends with them doing the play and Ninamori is wearing glasses on stage

the plot progresses in episode 4, "Full Swing" where we're introduced to more characters and hopefully more is explained.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Jonas & Nina take on "The Phantom of the Opera"

A couple years after I finished "Jonas," I had an idea for a potential sequel.
The main plot involved him trying to find his twin sister, whom he just found out he had through reoccurring dreams/nightmares.

It took place maybe 1-2 years after the original story. I think Jonas and Nina were juniors in high school, whereas they were freshmen in the original work.
At first, it was about following up with these characters, seeing where they'd gotten since the previous story.

The only huge change was that Jonas was a little more open and involved in school,
...and I ended up giving Eric a new personality, making him a better person than he was in the previous story.
Ultimately, he became the boyfriend of Cecelia, a girl Jonas met in his community service at a homeless shelter... who he later finds out to be his twin sister.

My logic in the story isn't exactly tight. Neither is the writing for that matter :-P

Long story short, it got to a point where I needed something else to return momentum to my story.
Based it was a huge thing to me at that given time, I thought of incorporating "The Phantom of the Opera"...

It just seemed poetically fitting that Jonas would play the title character in the show. Despite the lengths he'd come in participating with his peers, he didn't want the extra attention that came with his notably remarkable singing voice (like Josh Groban-quality)...
trying out for the musical was his guardian's idea, encouraging him to show his friends his special talent...

sure, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense... doing this while keeping his identity a secret...
although the trick is getting the confidence to show it off so he'll be more at ease with revealing said identity.

...considering how things turned out, I don't know how Jonas would have gone about it if it didn't go the way it did.
In other words, everyone found out accidentally during the second night of the show.

I'm going into this entry after covering the 2004 film adaptation in my movie blog:

I figured I'd go into the details here about how I covered it in one of my stories.
Obviously, because I was so in love with the movie, the musical followed some of the same routes. But I added my bit of poetic license at the end, which I think might have been the original ending in the novel... that the Phantom died of a broken heart when he sent Christine and Raoul away.

Hmm... I wonder how this would have panned out in other circumstances.... if the musical took place in the original story, that Nina played Christine and Jonas was the Phantom, and they hadn't officially met yet...

That'd be an interesting side-project... and somehow I get the feeling Jonas's extraordinary circumstances might not have a place... all of the stuff that eventually unfolds might make things a little too convoluted... perhaps one day I'll take this even further and see what works in the story and what doesn't.
Things probably would end up a lot differently... or at least play out differently.

They might have gotten to know each other a tiny bit throughout this time, but when he's unmasked, she'll make a comment like "I think I always knew"...
didn't Princess Leia say that in "Return of the Jedi?" lol

A million possibilities.

As for the version I wrote, the cast was as follows:

The Phantom (EVERY night)- Jonas
Christine- (3 nights) Cecelia, (2 nights) Erin (a girlfriend of a member of Corey & Eric's band)
Raoul- (3 nights) Eric, (2 nights) Corey
Meg- (3 nights) Nina, (2 nights) Raquel (a new character I introduced in that story with whom Jonas developed a good relationship with)
Carlotta- Mai (gave no mention to who had the other nights)

because I'm so totally lame, I sought to it that all of my main characters got parts in the show.

Jonas went through great lengths to stay in character the entire time, even "made" the costume himself...
technically, he misused his "ancient' form...  he ages and his clothes change... a pseudo-tuxedo and a cape... I'm not entirely sure what age Jonaseriah would be if he were human... I'd imagine he'd be in his 20's or 30's...

He encouraged the other cast members to be the best they could be, gave them pointers, but maintained a façade as if he really was the Opera Ghost.
He also went out of his way to make sure Cecelia was comfortable in her big role as Christine. Unfortunately, she misconstrued that as him having feelings for her.

The quality of writing, admittedly, isn't great, but all of my storylines did fit together...
either way, I'm not ready for anyone to see it unless I make some vast improvements.