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April 27, 2013
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Hello, hello, hello! I’m back for our weekly review, with the second episode of the series—Sisters. It’s a relatively different episode. The plot has been used before but they do it in such a way that it’s different enough not to matter. You’ve got sibling rivalry, the pressures of trying to fit in, the fears of losing your friends to someone cooler, etc. Oh and then there’s the space police.

It starts off with one of the cutest scenes in the entire series, Robin and Starfire on the Ferris Wheel. The only thing that breaks the romance is Robin interrupting her and, well, acting like a teenage boy. Face it, teenage boys aren’t romantic, even when they try. Not even Dick Grayson. But, that’s kind of what makes it more realistic. I mean he’s a teenager, he’s gonna get distracted by fireworks and not want to listen to her talk about eating a cotton ball. Overall, though, this is a really cute scene. Unless you hate RobStar, this is possibly the sweetest moment between them up until their kiss in Tokyo. She’s clearly having a bit of a hard time fitting in and as always, he’s going out of his way to explain everything to her and show her the cool things about planet Earth. He’s a really nice guy.

Anyways, enough fluff, let’s move to our plot. Out of nowhere this giant, pink….floating space jellyfish…? Really…. Alright well this Jellyfish probe thing swoops in and grabs Starfire, ready to fly away with her into space. Robin gathers the team and they stand on the dock for a good minute watching it fly around with her. They throw everything they’ve got at it, from starbolts to sonic cannons to hotdog stands. But nothing seems to work until Robin whacks it with his bo staff, jumps on and punches it. Yup. Yay inconsistency!
With that thing broken they decide to go home, only to find Starfire’s sister, Blackfire.

I like Blackfire’s design in the cartoon because it’s easier to tell the difference between her and Starfire. They do look almost exactly alike aside from the colors of their hair and eyes, but that’s more than what the comic gave us, really. So anyway, Blackfire introduces herself and immediately all of the Titans like her. Even though she’s clearly kind of a bitch. Not so clearly at first, but from the way she talks to Starfire she seems mean. Furthermore, the Titans are already starting to ignore Starfire. She tells them right out that this cool thing Blackfire’s telling them she did is illegal. They’re heroes! They should be concerned if someone they know is doing things that are illegal like it’s no big deal.

Moving on.

Over the next day Blackfire hangs out more and more with the Titans, who are very jerkishly ignoring Starfire. Seriously. Why does this always happen in these episodes? Doesn’t anyone have friends who are consistently nice to them, regardless of new people? Well. Starfire and I sure don’t. Which is why it’s so easy for me to feel bad for her. Teenage girls have it pretty rough, they often have low self-esteem and if their friends all decide that their sister is cooler than them, and they start hanging out with her instead, it’s pretty unfair. But this happens. Thankfully this problem only lasts one episode and Star’s friends go back to their normal, non-jerkish selves by the end of the episode.

So they go to this rave and Starfire really doesn’t fit in, especially when it comes to lingo. Funny enough none of the Titans should fit in either because they can’t dance, but since this episode isn’t about them no one cares if their dancing sucks or not. Even Raven, who seems to have been the nicest to Starfire, finds someone to hang out with. Starfire feels very dejected and goes up to the roof, where a minute later, Robin follows her up.

Again being the nice guy, Robin can tell something is bothering her and gets her to talk about it. He’s about to tell her something like, “You’re not like your sister at all, but that’s okay because you’re perfect the way you are. You don’t have to worry about her being better at things because you’re better at other things and I’d rather hang out with you anyway, because I like to be with a girl who needs my help. It strengthens my ego, part of a hero-complex I have.”

Something like that.

Then, right as he’s getting into his speech, Blackfire shows up (bitch) and interrupts (bitch) and forces Robin to leave Starfire (bitch) to come dance with her instead (bitch).
Seriously, how does she ever get  any of them to like her? She’s  awful! But, mean girls get friends, too, in real life. Sigh. This better wrap up soon cuz I can’t stand her.

Another couple of probes show up and start to attack Starfire. By some lucky chance the Titans all see and rush to help her. Or at least fight the jellyfish whom, yet again, are apparently invisible to civilians because none of them ever see these things. They all get outside, just in time to see Starfire dropped in a dumpster and lifted off the ground to be taken away again. Blackfire happens to know their weak spot and shoots them all down. No one checks Starfire, who is still in the dumpster, and instead they crowd around Blackfire to praise her and offer her a place on the Team.

Seriously! Why is this happening??

So that night Starfire decides to leave, but robin comes out to ask if she was even going to say goodbye. Not ask her why she’s leaving or anything like that, just if she’ll say goodbye first. Yeah, yeah, he probably meant that when he said what he said but still. Before Star can answer, however, the space police come down and arrest her with… a tentacle, which is too strong for our powerhouse alien to get out of, no matter how hard she tries. Robin jumps after her and misses by an inch, falling to his death. Or one can assume he shoots a grapple at the ship so he can hold on to the bottom of it as they fly. This was a better plan than jumping up to grab Star’s foot, why didn’t he do that to begin with? Sigh… whatever.

Robin jumps on top of the ship to make sure they don’t take Starfire with them, easily bringing them down and freeing Starfire from the…. Wait how can he just pull of the tentacle thing like it’s nothing?! Starfire, the one who drop-kicks cars with just her one foot, couldn’t get out of it. Boy Wonder tosses it aside like a rubber snake.

Who needs consistency?

So blah blah blah, it turns out they were arresting her because they thought she was Blackfire, who we’ve already established has been doing illegal things in space. Starfire flies up to confront her, feeling fed up and rightfully angry that Blackfire would let Star get arrested for her crimes. But Blackfire isn’t worried because she’s a better fighter than Star anyway, so she’ll do what she wants. Starfire is so sick of this that she decides to stand up for herself.

She kicks Blackfire’s butt before sending her to jail, proving to everyone and herself that she is not inferior to her sister. She may be new to Earth and not understand the culture. She may struggle to fit in even have a hard time hanging out with her new friends. She may even be way behind on English. But, this climax just proves that when she believes in herself and does her best, none of that matters! She’s perfect the way she is, and she’s nice in addition to that, unlike Blackfire. She now understands that being different is a good thing, and that her friends wouldn’t have her any other way.

HAHA NOPE.

What really happens is Starfire dodges a million shots from Blackfire, and shoots one starbolt at her sister before Blackfire is arrested and taken to jail, vowing revenge. It’s a really big letdown, I wanted to see Blackfire get her ass kicked! But no, it’s over in less than one minute, and Starfire even gives her a nice goodbye. Even after all that’s happened she still says it was nice to see Blackfire again! Sigh… At least they sort of touched on the moral above, with the next scene.

Star is sitting on the roof still feeling a bit down on herself when Boy Wonder shows up. She tells him that she still feels inadequate and he tells her she’s absolutely perfect the way she is. A really corny ending for what could have been an amazing last battle scene. They’ve got the sunset and blushing and wind in their hair and everything.
So, how was this episode? Pretty good I should say. Flawed, yes, but worth watching. It carries a plot many have seen in some way before, but with the space police it kind of puts a newer spin on it. It has a good, positive message, and some really cute moments for Robin and Starfire. (Including hand-holding, ZOMG!) It’s even got some nice lighting-animation from the fireworks, sunset, and the rave party. It makes Starfire the alien very relatable and many of us have probably lived through this at one point or another.
Thank you for reading, stay tuned for another review next week!
–Alex
Live Journal: [link]
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:iconscintillant-h:
Scintillant-H Featured By Owner May 2, 2013   General Artist
(sorry it took me so long to compose this, lotsa junk going on in real life ^^; )

Consistency?
Let me explain something to you.

There's something I call the "flexible element factor". I call it that cuz I'm sure it has a real term, I just dont know what it is. The "flexible element factor", usually known as the "flexible humor factor", is a percentage to which certain "consistencies" are flexible to meet the needs of a situation.

:bulletgreen: Example: Frasier. (great show if you've never seen it)
In it, Frasier himself is very cultured and uses French almost fluently in many many situations throughout many many episodes. But at one point in an episode he's talking to someone calling into his therapy-help radio show and she's using the french term "monseiur" for her husband and Frasier has no idea what she's saying. She says it over and over in efforts to be understood, but he keeps failing to grasp it. THAT is "out of character". by A LOT. But it was kind of funnier because Frasier was this hoidy-toidy snob-ish guy with all the foreign connections. That was kind of the joke of it all.

:bulletgreen: Another Example: Family Guy.
At times Brian the dog displays that he's got the same level of thinking of an almost genius human, but he has these "intellectual relapses" into doghood, like when he's describing to Lois that when she goes to the store each week he thinks she's leaving forever and when she returns he realzes that he has no idea how long she's been gone. That was a dog joke. Brian IS smart enough for that situation to not confuse him as he describes, they were just making a JOKE. Seth, the creator, himself says in interviews that they often cast consistency aside for whatever's funniest in the moment. Such as "Stewie's an infant, but some people can completely understant him and others cant." (in more than one episode, this is the joke they directly reference for humor, and it is successfully funny.)
And the time that Brain has to learn to use the toilet as Lois's insistence and he and Stewie are terrified of the toilet saying there's an evil wizard in the tank that operates it. On other episodes Brian had, without fear, stuffed a cloth in the toilet and flushed it after Stewie had pretended to pass out in the bathroom so as to get Lois's attention. Directly contradicting the previous episode.
Seth stated that it was for laughs, and people laughed. A lot. Mission accomplished. Inconsistent? Yes. But the goal was accomplished very very successfully. Cant argue with those kinds of results.

But Frasier and Family Guy are "more extreme" examples than Teen Titans. But that's because Frasier and Family Guy are "humor only" shows. Teen Titans dont have as much of the "flexible element factor" beacuse they're a balance of action and humor. But they still have so MUCH humor that the "flexible element factor" is stronger in Teen Titans than in other action-based shows.

Ever think you know exactly what your friend who you have known for years will want for their birthday and you were COMPLETELY wrong? (or some other similar situation) and when you find out what they REALLY wanted you never would have guessed it ever? (and, no... that wasnt a "TTG episode 2" reference--it happens in reality, but not like in TTG. usually you're completely wrong and they didnt like your present, unlike Cy and BB in TTG)
Well, dearie, that's "realistic flexible element" where it really would happen that you would never be able to guess what someone would do and when you find out, you're shocked. Sometimes you may actually think "wow, do I even KNOW that person after all?" Such as when the Titans left Starfire in the dumpster to fawn over Blackfire. Who's to say that's OOC? If it was in the original show, especially the earlier seasons, then that must be IN character for them.
Maybe they knew Starfire was fine, maybe they didnt want to insult her by saying she's so weak that a dumpster would kill her or something.

***

But this makes the "flexible element factor" sound like bending the characters to fit anything regardless of their personality, and in Frasier and Family Guy, that's true in a lot of ways. (Less so with Frasier) Not with Teen Titans.

With the Titans, every supposed inconsistency and "OOC" moment in every episode can be explained away somehow. (of course, not counting the movie, which, as far as any real Titan fan is concerned, is NOT canon to the show no matter what the writers say in interviews--Metal Gear Solid fans know what I'm talking about)

--Robin's hitting it and defeating it after the others had failed completely;
-----did you ever think that the others had weakened it's armored coating for Robin's blow to finish it? Or that he hit just the right spot? Or both?

-----I also like Blackfire's design. I think it was intentionla to make them look so much a like so that when Blackfire tried to take Starfire's place (such as wearing her clothes) it would add to the theme, having them look so much alike.

--"they're heroes! they should be concerned if someone they know is doing things that are illegal like it's no big deal."
-----actually Starfire said it was "forbidden", not "against the law", didnt she? (is my memory wrong? I dont think so, but...) To earthlings who know nothing of space-jargin, that might be the same thing as "dont walk on the grass" but your ball fell in the grass so you have to go, or "no speeding" but you have to get to the hospital ASAP--there are exceptions and there are things that arent laws, just "rules". Why would the Titans care if Blackfire broke a "rule" or had a good reason for going there?
Plus, during Starfire's wedding, Raven said "who are we to question their culture?" and she's right. The Titans dont know the rules and laws and who are they to play police to an alien when they dont know the details? If they dont know the laws, they cant very well arrest her, how would they accurately charge her?

-----Blackfire hugs Star and is nice to everyone in the beginning. She is in no way a "bitch" until she orders Starfire to get a soda. Then only a little.

--"Blackfire hangs out more and more with the Titans, who are very jerkishly ignoring Starfire."
-----first of all: Blackfire's the one going out of her way to monopolize the Titans from Starfire, that was pretty clear, and it was Blackfire's plan all along to take Starfire's place that way. You cant hold that against the Titans.
second of all: they're trying to be nice to Blackfire because she's new to earth and doesnt have any of her own friends yet, she's all alone and they think she needs support. Starfire has everything set for her, they know she's fine. Robin even tried talking to Star in asking why she never taught him any of "those cool moves". Blackfire was the one to interrupt. Raven was being herself, BB and Cy were being THEMselves and Robin tried to interact with Star. They were NOT ignoring her intentionally.
(and, uh... I gave you tons of respect and stuff, but you bailed on me, so, dude, dont even rag on the Titans for ignoring Starfire---you do the same thing to people who try to be nice to you (such as me))

-----the Titan's dancing seemed fine enough to me. Maybe it just sucked to you.

-----I dont think Robin likes Blackfire at the point she drags him away from Starfire on the roof.
BB and Cy have only seen Blackfire's "fun" side, and that's a big part of their personalities, so it makes sense that she'd get to them that way. And Raven? Blackfire went out of her way to charm Raven with her dark poetry, plus Raven has a "hands off" approach to it all, as she always does. It's not like everyone normally dotes on Starfire every other minute of every episode, which would make it totally OOC for them to act as they had in this episode.
Everyone was in-character, no OOC, so this plot direction makes complete sense.

-----from what I could tell, the civilians couldnt see the jellyfish probes because the probes werent in sight for them. When the dude Raven's talking to sees them, he runs, right? He saw them. If something doesnt come into view for you, you cant see it. Same with the BG characters in this show. How can they know something's there if they dont see it? Even the Titans almost didnt see them.

----as I said, there are numerous reasons for their leaving Starfire in the dumpster. They're still concerned with Blackfire not having a place to stay and wanting to help her out. Starfire is safe and fine. She doesnt need coddling. (I would have coddled her, but that's just me :heart: ) I'm not saying they shoudlnt have checked on her in the dumpster, but to bash them for making a judgement call... wrong, man. Wrong and harsh. Robin weould be telling you "we all make mistakes. we all do things that we later regret, things that... arent us, and we wonder what we were thinking. Even when we know what we were thinking and we made an intentional desicion, we thought it was good at the time and... we were wrong." [insert big "reformation/learn from our lessons" speech here]

--"(Robin) not ask her why she's leaving or anything like that, just if she'll say goodbye first"
-----um... he was making a pun. He was being witty. He wasnt ignoring the fact that she was leaving, he was going to talk her into staing and get her to explain. In case you havent noticed, they make witty puns all the time in place of some sloppy "real talk". He said that to lead up to the asking why and talk her into staying. I... though that was obvious...

--Why did Robin jump to grab at Starfire instead of grappling the ship and hitching a ride?
-----because he thought he could reach her before she got to the ship. It's a security issue. If she reaches the ship, it's defences might be too strong, he doesnt know what they have, it could be the strongest defense system in the universe and he HAD to try to grab her before she got to the ship.

--wait how can he just pull the tentacle thing like it's nothing?!
-----because the tentacle was "set" for tamaranians and Robin's not a tamaranian-? Dude, try thinking of these things... or asking someone else to help you analyze the episodes. Seriously.

----and we find out that the Titans ARENT ok with Blackfire doing illegal things in space, as I said before. In the beginning they just thought she was pulling a harmless "walk on grass" or an emergency need to go someplace she wasnt allowed---but once the police say she's been doing ACTUAL illegal things, the Titans arent so forgiving.

(actually the "being diffrent is a good thing" came from the episode where she went through puberty, this episode was about being replaced--something totally different)

----....... I liked that Starfire gave the cheery goodbye. It was totally in character for her. You want her to be too violent... someone she's not. Maybe you're just confusing Starfire for "Koriand'r", from the comics. They're completely different people. Starfire honestly isnt that violent even though her culture seems barbaric.

-----you mention good lighting animation, but completely leave out the fight scene between Blackfire and Starfire? That had great lighting and when you first mentioned the lighting, I thought that's what you meant!
O.O'

***

On my own personal note, I know what it is to be ignored by everyone around you, and no I'm not talking about you ignoring me.

Back in high school I had a bully who got everyone to ignore me either because they were afraid of her or because they believed her crap. She pushed multiple people to suicide attempts, including me, and she never swayed from her nice act. To our faces. Behind our backs was when she dealt her blows, to our faces she was nice as pie. I never knew anything was wrong until I had total strangers coming up to me saying "yeah, I hate your guts, but Ashley's been so mean to you I felt sorry for you and thought you should know she's been saying these things." I did NOT know these people, never saw them before, never talked to them, never had a class with them. They believed at least half of her lies and hated me to death without having ever met me. And through their hatred they still felt sorry for me, Ashley was being THAT cruel. You have to be pretty mean to someone to make someone who hates them feel sorry for them.

Being a good friend I thought "no--Ashley's my friend and she wouldnt do that to me! What kind of friend would I be i I just believed these people who I dont even know? How do I know they're not spreading lies about her because they hate her?" But then I heard it from everyonge, including people I trusted and were friends with (who had ignored me when Ashley was around for fear of retaliation from her) so I knew they werent liars.

Being ignored... it's to feel like "nothing". Which is why "Troq" had such strong meaning to me. When I found out what "troq" meant I was furious. And I mean FURIOUS. I wanted to tear Val-Yor to pieces without mercy... The Titans werent actually ignoring Starfire in "Sisters", so this episodes was normal for me. But "Troq"... after Troq I felt infinitely closer to Starfire. She's my darling little sister. Just thinking about "Troq" makes me start to cry (I. am. not. kidding. tears in eyes right now)

***

... so far this is starting to sound like less of a "real analysis" and you just trolling on the old show. Are all your episode analysis' going to be Titan-show-hate-fests?

Basically, you're ripping on these things without even TRYING to think "OK, what were they aiming for? really? was there some way this ISNT what it looks like? any way this could be legitamately explained in a realstic and consistent light?" Because almost everything you rip on IS something that can be legitamately explained in a realstic and consistent light. I'm not exaggerating.
You're acknowledging the shallow easy things to figure out (like how it was technically rude of Robin to interrupt Starfire to be so excited by the fireworks, but he's a teenage boy <-- anyone can conclude that) but you're not even attempting to look deeply into the things that really bothered you just so you could bash the show.

You obviously got emotionally involved with Starfire's situation and allowed that personal investment to cloud your analytical skills so that instead of being calm and honest, the personal investment sabotaged your ability to gauge this episode fairly. It almost literally was a hate-fest.

If you want to vent these things, there's nothing wrong with that, I just find it very very misleading for you to call this an "analysis" when it's just a biased assesment of each episode based on what you didnt like with very few/brief tappings on anything "good". (and when you did, it was only "good" by your opinion, not as a real analysis--such as liking RobStar and other things you said were "good")
Vent all you want, I'd love to read it (which is why I faved these :) seriously--I hope no one reports these for screenshot use, they're fun :D ) it's just that I rreeeaaally dont care for being mislead.

Aside from that all... keep it up! :heart:
(and I figure you're just going to rudely ignore me again to which I just smile and try to be understanding :hug: even though you have no gratitude for how hard I try to say unpleasant things "nicely", I still dont like having to say them. sorry if this all was a bit on the painfully blunt side. Geeze... I am like Starfire! ^^; but forgiveness is nice! :D everyone should be more open-minded that way ;) )
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:iconxphoenix-flightx:
XPhoenix-FlightX Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Student General Artist
If you think I want to read all of this, let alone for EVERY review I make, you are mistaken. Please stop leaving these giant comments that take up space and spam my work by taking it apart. I love comments but these are just too long. Disagree with me by all means but be aware that I didn't ask for your opinion simply by posting mine. If you feel so strongly about it post your own reviews for each episode.
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:iconscintillant-h:
Scintillant-H Featured By Owner May 3, 2013   General Artist
since I realized after typing my reply up that it was "too long" I posted it all in a journal. Just skip down to read between the yellow and green bullet lines (unless you want to read the whole thing, which I doubt) --> [link] and you don't have to "ask" for a friend's opinion, they give it and you should be happy to get it. At least that's how I always saw friends... apparently you have your own "definition" where friends don't talk to each other. So, by that (your) logic, the Titans were treating Starfire like royalty in "Sisters". Just like you've been acting. thank you for treating me like royalty. :sarcasm:

*sigh* I'm sorry for the harshness. Really. No sarcasm. Please try to understand my frustrations. You don't have to like them, but in the name of human decency at least try to understand them? (try harder than you tried to "understand" the Titans episodes) Ive been trying to understand you for months. Trying hard. It would help if you talked to me about it instead of just punishing me for no apparent reason by ignoring me. I can at least know what I did wrong all those months ago, if it was anything.

Or we can just not talk about it, solve nothing, not move on to be happy friends, and you can just keep ignoring me except to say needlessly condescending things with no apologies or regret whatsoever. Just like things have been so far. Why someone wouldn't want to be happy friends who merely disagree is beyond me...
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:iconrobfstar4ever:
RobFStar4ever Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
Wow i never really noticed some of the things you said . Thanks for the enlighting me in the ways of the titans
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:iconxphoenix-flightx:
XPhoenix-FlightX Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Student General Artist
:D thank you for the positive comment.
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:icondcfangirl01:
DCFangirl01 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
your very good with these reviews. keep it up :)
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:iconxphoenix-flightx:
XPhoenix-FlightX Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Aw! ^_^ Thank you
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:icondcfangirl01:
DCFangirl01 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
no problem
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