Ruby Nation

Ruby Nation
Ruby Nation: The Webcomic

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sonichu Episode 7 Critical Review




Click here for the strip

One of the most important points I want to make in this series is that Christian Weston Chandler isn't just an isolated freak. All of his bizarre theories and hang-ups can be found in other people, both neurotypical and autistic, and especially in internet fandoms. Chandler is just a special case because he's cut himself so completely off from everything BUT his hobbies and his neuroses, so they inbreed and mutate into the compelling train wreck that is Sonichu.

Case in point: The Anchuent* Prophecy introduced in Episode 7. This is where Sonichu is literally replaced by Chris-Chan as the star of the comic, and where Chris-Chan's grand purpose within CWCVille is revealed. Chris-Chan is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, a Mary Sue character, an author avatar created in an idealized image. And he has all the typical traits of a Mary Sue. The story is devoted to proving that Christian Weston Chandler is a very special flower.

The plot involves Sonichu finding an ancient tomb in the CWCVille woods guarded by a mysterious old man. He brings it to Chris-Chan's attention, and while reading the heiroglyphics, Chris-Chan meets the ghost of his Cherokee ancestor. Chris is granted the power of Chris-Chan Sonichu-- this is the origin of his transformation in Sub-Episode 1, where he renders his flagship character completely and utterly irrelevant.

You can practically use Chris-Chan Sonichu as a textbook case for the Mary Sue, a character found in awful writing everywhere. Let's use the ;TVTropes checklist of Common Mary Sue Traits

-- Chris-Chan is portrayed as pure and incorruptible. All of the denizens of CWCVille, human or hedgehog, love their mayor. His only weakness is his inability to get a girlfriend, but Chandler presents his avatar's romantic woes as the result of the cruel world in which he lives. Hanna toyed with him because she was a bitch, and his attempts to find a mate at the mall were only hindered by the Jerkop conspiracy.

-- Chris-Chan is all-powerful. The Anchuent Power that his ancestor bestows upon him isn't defined, so he's basically in God Mode. The Curse-Ye-Ha-Me-Ha is powerful enough to warp reality against someone's welfare. Like the Scarlet Witch in recent years of Avengers comics, Chris-Chan's power can do anything except get him the kind of relationship he wants, which causes his descent into madness. Except that the Scarlet Witch wants her dead children back instead of just getting laid, and is actually treated as criminally insane. Perhaps the next Sonichu issue will have Chris-Chan declare " No More Boyfriends " and make himself the only male on Earth. Even then it wouldn't do him any good.

-- Chris-Chan is striking and uniquely handsome in his appearance. Granted, this is entirely in the context of the comic, where everyone's proportions warp and weft based on how much or how little time Chandler spent on the panel. But he's got a unique wadrobe, gaudy jewelry, and special eyes. In real life, Chandler has mild heterochromia, with one eye colored slightly differently than the other. But in the comic they're sapphire blue and emerald green, further proof that Chris-Chan is a Very Special Flower.

-- Chris-Chan is the hero of the story thanks to the powers of destiny. In fact, the Cherokee heritage that empowers Chris-Chan makes him so important that he can retroactively change the entire culture to suit his own whims. In Sonichu, the " Cherokian Clan " consists of Caucasians in gold armor and purple silk, who have recorded their Empire in ancient tombs with Heiroglyphics. Plenty of Americans claim that the slight sliver of Cherokee heritage in their genetics makes them special, allowing them to identify as Native American as much or as little as they want-- and it invariably becomes " as little " when it's dealing with the circumstances forced upon actual Cherokees. Chris-Chan takes it even further, identifying fully with his Cherokee heritage by completely disregarding any and all traits of actual Cherokee culture. He doesn't even use common Native American stereotypes, like feathered head-dresses or communion with nature ( unless you count deformed hedgehogs as nature ).

The upside to this is that Chris-Chan's identification with Native American culture isn't stereotypical, so much as just outright stupid. The only people who should be offended by the Ancient Chief of the Cherokian Clan are fans of Yu-Gi-Oh, since Chris-Chan basically stole the Ancient Egypitan backstory, and thus people who watch Yu-Gi-Oh or play the card game will forever have the image of Christian Weston Chandler tainting their fandom.

-- Chris-Chan is literally modelled after his creator. The literal aspect makes what is strongly implied by other fanfic insert characters a direct statement. And since people from Chandler's real life will be introduced next chapter, it gets even more of a ridiculous attempt to skew the world to the author's whims...

* Pronounced " An- CHU- Ent Prophecy ", though most people assumed it was just a misspelling, like 90% of other words Chandler types.

1 comment:

  1. I'm evidently unclear on this, since I was under the impression that a "mary sue" character had to be a "perfect" character that's belatedly inserted into an existing saga, only to become the star and completely take it over, while the term is getting used a lot for characters who are around from Day One of something, for the lesser sin of being "flawless protagonist who was the star from the beginning". In this case, though, it's also more "idealised self-insert character", I'd have thought.

    As for Our Hero's ancestry, he's hardly alone amongst people who focus and fixate on identifying with some distant ancestor who was in some way "different" because it makes them feel "special", but his way of doing so is just absolutely hilarious.

    Being An Evil Foreigner, I'll admit that virtually all my knowledge of the Cherokee comes from this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTJkH_DGCA4&ob=av2e , and any historical innacuracy there is totally compensated for by "OMG that keyboard solo!", but that still appears to be more than he knows of his own "ancestry". Why he didn't just make up an Egyptian ancestor for himself to justify his Yugio fan-fiction, I don't know, but the sheer level of not caring about doing any research at all, the audacity of it is almost endearing.

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