Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Sonichu Episode 10 Critical Review
Descent Into The Dark Heart of CWCVille
The " Sonichu Babies " story introduces an important fixture of the Sonichu storytelling engine-- the Chaotic Combo. If Sonichu is the avatar of Christian Weston Chandler's hopes and dreams, the man ( or electric hedgehog ) he wishes he could be, then the Chaotic Combo are his circle of friends. But they're not friends so much as groupies and imitators. The members of the Chaotic Combo are transparent copies of Sonichu, with color coding and minor traits being the only distinctions. They even carry " Sonichu " and " Rosechu " as surnames-- the origin story has them spawned from the same Chaos Energy rainbow that turned a Pikachu into Sonichu, refracted clones of the original.
It's suitable that a character who is already a plagiarized copy associate with characters who are themselves copies of him-- talking xeroxes so faded that Sonichu looks better by contrast.
But Chandler still maintains the delusion that he is creating a series that will be a merchandising phenomenon, as opposed to a complex psychodrama starring his baggage with guest appearances by bored internet trolls. So we get obligatory origin stories for each of the Chaotic Combo, starting with them as " Sonees " and " Rosees " ( the infant form of the Sonichu/Rosechu species, and a merchandising hook as transparent and nauseating as the Ewoks ). The distinctions between the stories are based on the colors and " elemental " characteristics of the copies, stealing from the rock-paper-scissors combat system that drives the Pokemon games. However, each story foreshadows the psychological horrors to come, as seen with...
-- Wild Sonichu, the green Grass male. We see a page of him in his baby Sonee form, toddling around and saying " Sonee " in an infantile tone. Since CWCVille is an inherently childish setting, the super-infantilized Sonee goes past being cute and into being nauseating, and even hideous. Fortunately for us, within the next page ( following an " Eventually " caption "* )
-- Bubbles Rosechu, the blue Water female. She is adopted by a female Swampert Pokemon, and stumbles around in her Rosee form until a whale suddenly appears to drop a boulder upon her new mother. Bubbles immediately matures and rescues the Swampert. Bubbles doesn't really develop any character despite being another female and the blue part of the rainbow group, but the Boulder-Dropping Whale becomes a fan-favorite. The incidental characters in Sonichu gained a following as a means to spite Chandler and his main cast-- a webcomic called " Moon Pals " was even made to chronicle their adventures. Unfortunately, the Boulder-Dropping Whale failed in his noble mission to exterminate the Rosee spawn and her protector.
-- Angelina Rosechu, the white Flying female. She is adopted by a convent of nuns and is raised to be a devout Catholic electric hedgehog. The fact that nuns are traditionally chaste and do not approve of pre-marital sex makes her presence in the coming comics hypocritically hilarious.
-- Punchy Sonichu, the red Fighting male. He is raised in a dojo by a sensei who makes a lot of " random access humor " references. This term is what Chandler uses to refer to his style of comedy, which consists of random non sequitirs. Chandler is a huge fan of Family Guy and the Adult Swim cartoons, which are about as mature as his tastes go. While " edgier " than traditional Western Saturday morning cartoons, they still reflect an immature mindset, using cartoon characters to do shocking and random things. They tend not to have any meaningful characterization or narrative structure, and treat concepts like sex and excrement as new and shocking. Except when they do it, it can actually be funny-- Chandler's " random access " is truly random, and just comes across as forced and obnoxious.
-- Magi-Chan Sonichu, the purple Psychic male. He is raised in isolation to focus his psionic powers, observing human culture from outside media. This is an excellent approximation of the way Chandler understands the world, learning of mature concepts through scatological late-night cartoons, morality from children's hero shows, and relationships from romantic comedies and internet porn.
If I seem like I'm rushing through this, it's because the narrative structure here does the same-- we are given the supporting copies of Sonichu, we are given token backstories in the pretense that they are independent characters, and then we are forced to move on. But remaining to flesh out the Chaotic Combo would mean that this is an organic narrative that fleshes out its characters. And Sonichu isn't about trivial things such as " plot " and " characters "-- they're just the flimsy foundation of Chandler's refuge from reality. And once his infantile utopia is besieged by the outside world....well, that's when things get interesting.
* The time frame for this is ambiguous; how long did it take for these characters to mature? The original Sonichu and Rosechu evolved from mature Pokemon forms, but these characters started as infants, yet immediately matured to adulthood. Unless time flows differently in separate regions of CWCVille...