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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sonichu Episode 15 Critical Review Part Two: Compulsory Monogamy


Let's Do The Time Warp Again

As if the Family Guy "Skitch" wasn't terrible enough, here we have Christian Weston Chandler's adventure through the "glory days" of high school, joined by his "sweet friend" Megan and his plagiarism prototype Bionic the Hedgehog. And if there's one thing that comes of this voyage through time and space, it's Chris-Chan's ability to play matchmaker for his forgotten electric hedgehog, while lamenting his own isolation.

At the opening of the chapter, Bionic has been on a date with Megan's furry companion, Megagi La Skunk. Megagi, a creation of the real Megan Schroeder, is distinct from any of Chandler's hedgehogs; not only is she a different species, but she has a punk-influenced look that sets her apart from Chandler's hyper-feminized Rosechus. Of course, the pink stripes and spiked bracelets don't keep her from being dragged into Chandler's interpretation of adult relationships, where things progress in a linear fashion that invariably results in sex on the third date. Megagi ends up just as obsequious as the other Rosechus, with any potential for individually stripped away so none of Chandler's hedgehogs "feel"* alone.

But this mechanically depraved form of cartoon animal sex is what Chris-Chan desires, and he whines over the fact that he can't get with Megan. She sees him about to cry and offers some moral support, which immediately perks up his mood. Megan is impressed by Chris-Chan's 180 degree mood shift, even thinking to herself that he has a "Goku-get-'em" attitude. Yes, she actually says that under Chandler's pen.

You know how many great writers recommend that aspiring authors listen to real people's conversations? Christian Weston Chandler's dialogue proves the merits to this statement. Because of Chandler's infamous contempt for anything outside his own experience, he gives everyone the same awkwardly melodramatic and childish lines. They make references that come out of nowhere and often don't fit the character-- even if Megan is an anime fan, it's highly unlikely she'd make a DBZ reference in her inner monologue about her feelings (however made up) for a man. Humor is infused so randomly that it doesn't even reflect what people might actually find funny. And nothing is ever dishonest or understated, because every character wears their heart (at whatever level of shattering) on their sleeve.

If we were to consider Sonichu as an intentionally terrible work, though, this would fit into the world's magical realism. This is a voyage into the mind of a depraved man-child, raised almost exclusively by television and video games. Everyone, even the designated antagonists, speaks in his over-the-top, reference-saturated vernacular. And if Sonichu is intentionally terrible, then it's a masterpiece on the level of anything to come from Alan Moore's wooly head.

Oh, and there's some plot about time travel and making sure that history stays on track, but clearly Chandler didn't care enough about it to have the plot make sense. So why should we?

* And it's documented that Chandler actually believes that these characters are real people, albeit in an alternate dimension a la Roger Rabbit. His concern for their welfare overrides any interest in making them interesting to the audience.

1 comment:

  1. I know I'm kind of late with this, but for your next entry I'd suggest you review Chris's narcissism as it manifests in Sonichu. In particular, he depicts himself as managing the varsity basketball team (when in actuality he was just the waterboy), and as the would-be star of a video game that he thinks people would actually want to pay money to play.

    Like Narcissus, Chris is so wrapped up in his own self-importance that he cuts himself off from the rest of the world around him, to the point where he exists as a cautionary tale for other people in similar situations...but then at least Narcissus never made death threats, sexually harassed his female friends or picked fights with security guards at local malls.

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