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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sonichu Sub-Episode 4 Critical Review: Childish Idolatry Just The Way You Like It

Happy Thanksgiving, Hope You Like Crap

Christian Weston Chandler's famed inability-- nay, unwillingness*-- to grow up is best symbolized by his avatar's power sources. In the augmented reality of CWCVille, Chandler's toys, games, and dress-up accessories aren't just creature comforts**-- they actually give him the strength to defeat his enemies. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase " Security Blanket ", because the security provided to Chandler by his in-universe playthings is the equivalent of the most dangerous private military contractor.

Sub-Episode 4 has Chris-Chan demonstrate the power of his Peter Pan mentality upon more villains ( i.e. people who don't want to see a creepy little man soliciting his body in a public place ). We open to see Chris-Chan sitting in the Mal-Wart region's food court ( a.k.a. the real world Wal Mart, because that's where all the eligible young singles congregate ), musing upon how the world is against his Love Quest. He is confronted by the B-Manajerk and his partner " Merried Senior Comic "***, who tell him that love is forbidden in the Mal-Wart region. They call him a solicitor, an accurate assessment that sends Chris-Chan into a self-righteous fury. Fortunately, Chris-Chan is joined by his latest electric hedgehog creation, Darkbind Sonichu ( a mixture of Sonic, Pikachu, Darkwing Duck, and Link from Legend of Zelda**** ).

In the fight, Chandler uses all of his childish playthings with deadly results. Not only does his Sonichu medallion allow him to once again become Chris-Chan Sonichu, but it turns the anime wing hairclips on his head from a girl's cosplay accessory to actual flight-capable wings sprouting from his skull. In the battle, Chris-Chan also accesses his Pixelblocks to create a duplicate of himself that throws off the B-Manajerk-- because the 8-bit video game construction toy is now apparently capable of creating a lifelike copy of an organic lifeform.

It's a common theme in hero stories to demonstrate that super-powers can't solve personal problems-- that being Spider-Man won't help Peter Parker keep a job or a girlfriend, that Iron Man tech won't solve Tony Stark's fear of intimacy, that Green Lantern's ring can't stop bigoted thugs from beating up his gay assistant, and so on. This is not much different in Sonichu, except for the fact that this is how Christian Weston Chandler honestly sees his life. He believes that Sonichu is advantageous for him as a potential mate. The security he feels with the trappings of his TV-Y7 fandoms is where he feels empowered, and he doesn't listen to anyone who would tell him otherwise.

But if CWCVille makes Chandler's comfort zone into a super-power, then it also makes the people who tell him what he doesn't want to hear into one-dimensional villains. It's not enough that Wal-Mart not be a place where soliciting for a mate is acceptable, it has to be a fascist regime with anti-love laws written into its constitution. And it's not enough that Chris-Chan simply wants a mate but can't find one due to him being Chris-Chan, he has to be a tragic hero fighting on against the " infinitely-high boyfriend factor ".

* The disturbingly extensive documentation we have about Chandler's life is plenty of reason not to show him sympathy; the people who try to defend him need only read the CWCiki to learn that nobody trolls Chris worse than Chris.
** I'm not really one to criticize adult men for having toys, given my three-figure collection of Transformers. But like with his other quirks, Chandler's problem isn't that he has interests below his appropriate age range-- it's that he doesn't want to bother with anything else, and doesn't feel like he should have to.
*** Nobody has figured out what that string of misspelled words means. Probably not even Chandler himself.
**** The latter because he wields a sword and is on a quest to rescue his princess, Zelina Rosechu. Ironically, the Legend of Zelda games never suggest that Link's desire to save Zelda is anything more than his platonic heroism.


  1. My favorite Transformers are the Combaticons. I know this is incredibly tangential to your main post, but I thought I'd bring that up instead of commenting on the content because the subject of said content is actually starting to bother me a bit. At first Sonichu was funny, then it was sad, and's kind of getting scary. I'm having flashbacks to that episode of the Superman cartoon where Toyman stalks a supermodel.

  2. What's really funny about this page is the wall of text speech Chris gives to basically tell people to leave him alone in his "love quest".

    I could actually sympathize somewhat with Chris in that most of the girls *I* have had crushes on also typically had boyfriends, if he wasn't such a pissy douchebag about it. Chris's mouthy attitude is more likely to be what gets him punched in the face than simply having a crush on a girl who already has a boyfriend, not to mention the fact that there's no indication he'd be willing to take "no" for an answer. Frankly, I'm amazed somebody hasn't flattened him already. Spouting off about how you don't respect "rules", or any other man besides yourself and your father, won't exactly endear you to anyone.

    And then there's what he's saying about the girls themselves. He claims that they mostly have "shopping" on their minds, and this makes it difficult to notice him. Chances are they notice him all right, what with his foul odor, childish attire and obnoxious behavior, but they just try and ignore him. This goes back to what Nitz was saying about his depiction of Rosechu, namely that she's a mindless shopaholic that's not interested in anything besides clothes or shoes. I admit that in my Ultimate Marvel fanfiction I'll send my female characters on the occasional shopping trip and have them gush over a new pair of shoes, but I like to think that I've developed them far more than that. Chris...doesn't.

    Regarding E. Wilson's comments on Sonichu being scary, what I personally find more frightening is the fact that Chris's parents are both pretty old, and his mother is apparently in poor health. The reason this is so scary is because, when they die, Chris will be all alone in the world and responsible for looking after his own well-being.

    Think about that for a moment.


  3. At least he's no longer laying life-destroying curses on blue-collar workers merely for stopping him from being a public nuisance/borderline sex offender.

    With the Pixelblocks and all, this might also be seen as an unintentional, unfunny, avant-la-lettre parody of Joe the Barbarian. The suburban setting becomes an arena for heroic storytelling in which a young male character's toys and games become allies and weapons. Only instead of a diabetic boy confronting his everyday anxieties and his mortality while having a near-death hypoglycemia-induced hallucination, this is a willfully delusional creepy man-child insisting on his infantile preoccupations in the face of a reality that only seems hostile because he refuses to engage with it.

  4. Heh. I love how you guys are referencing better works to further disparage Chris-Chan.

    And yes, he totally is the Toyman, down to the striped clown shirt.

  5. Hi there! I'm somewhat late to the party (almost five years too late, actually), but I thought I'd drop in and offer my two cents.

    First, let me say that I am a fan of many, many things, including the music of Pink Floyd in general and _The Wall_ in particular.

    I would love to see the album reimagined as a new movie at some point in my lifetime (the 1982 original, while above-average, is deficient in many ways), and I've been mulling over a few ideas for what that could be.

    ....I've been at this for a few years, in fact, going on and off to see what sticks, and the one constant that's on my list is "the world behind the wall"--what his subconscious would look like if it were mapped onto a real-world setting.

    It's a dumping-ground for unexamined years, unrealized potential, unexplored ideas ("half a page of scribbled lines), and raw human emotion.

    Flash forward to earlier in 2015, when I started getting into _Sonichu_ and all the expanded-universe stuff.

    At some point, I realized that, whenever I started going into all this "world behind the wall" stuff, I was really talking about Cwcville!

    Try reading _Sonichu_ with the "dumping-ground" idea in mind.