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.