Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Lady in Red: Misty/Kasumi

Yeah, I'm old
Misty from the Pokemon anime. Never would I have guessed my 100th blog post would be about Pokemon. I played Pokemon like all the kids did back then and I enjoyed it. I played Pokemon Red on my Yellow Game Boy Color. I of course picked Charamder. I played Blue and Yellow as well and I'm certain I completed the 150 Pokedex at least once. But that's it, when news of Gold and Silver arrived, I wasn't into it anymore. So I have no knowledge whatsoever of the succeeding generation of Pokemon aside from the original 150. The circumstances leading up to this post, when I think about, make sense after putting it all together.

This is how it happened according to my best recollection

October 10, 2014

My introduction back to the world of Pokemon started when my friend shared this amazingly well done parody of Mulan's "Make a man out of you" song.

I really cracked up at this hilariously accurate parody

Now that did not make me start looking at say Bulbapedia or Tumblr for more Pokemon stuff, but I believe the seeds were planted there.

November 13 - 16, 2014

I went to Osaka, Japan with said friend and another. On the last day, the two of us visited the Pokemon Center. I was truly baffled at the lines I saw for the arcade/card game machines. Pokemon is apparently still a big thing in Japan.
More exposure to Pokemon
December 13, 2014

At a college reunion Christmas party, karaoke was sung a lot. One of the songs was Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh. I was unfamiliar with it back then but enough of the tune and lyrics stuck with me for awhile.

December 26 - 31, 2014

I can't really remember the exact date but this much I remember.  I was lying in bed surfing with my phone, probably watching that parody video. Youtube sidebar showed a video of the scene in the episode Gotta Catch Ya Later where Misty and Brock parted ways with Ash. And this is where it all started.

Naturally, I was struck by Misty. I want to say old nostalgic feeling of her returned but there really wasn't much. I watched the anime but not too much. I remember the earlier episodes more clearly than the later ones, such as Pikachu defeating Onix and Lt. Surge's Raichu. But as far anime knowledge go, I had no idea who Tracy was. That means I stopped watching early and never really got to appreciate Misty growing up.

What is it about Misty that captivated me so? I believe at that time, I was ready to kind of latch on to a new thing, know what I mean? I was still watching toku but Toqger really didn't give me much to search for and I was looking for a different thing. Then came along this familiar redheaded spit fire mouth of a beloved anime and I just plunged into it.

It started slowly at first. Google Images here and there, Youtube search of tributes. Then I saw this picture in Bulbapedia

I was flabbergasted. She looks too amazing. The red Chinese dress, the earrings, bracelet on her left arm and ornamental ponytail all look perfect on her.

Because of that picture I discovered Tumblr and this account
I spent many happy hours browsing through the adorable screen caps, heartwarming fan arts and interesting commentaries. I was soaking it all up like a sponge and I was happy.

As I was browsing some more, I realized people can submit content to this tumblr and since I can't draw to save my life, I decided to submit a video. I started downloading the episodes and currently have all of the ones with Misty. The song I chose, you guessed it, that beautiful song I heard during karaoke. Once I remembered enough of the lyrics to Google search it, I was moved when I listened to Chris De Burgh sing it. It is a timeless classic and one I can sing along to anytime.  I actually sang it three times in karaoke over the course of two days during an excursion with my high school batch. I was so into it.

As I grew more familiar to the song, a problem dawned on me. The lyrics, while singing about a lady in a red dress, are being sung by the man the lady is dancing with. So I was forced to make it into a Pokeshipping video. Now I never knew the term Pokeshipping. I don't even know what the context of shipping meant until I read it on Tumblr. Then I realize I've been shipping long before I even knew the term existed. My very 1st shipping video was of Ben and Gwen Tennyson of Ben 10 way back when it was still airing. It progressed to La Corda eventually and one Maid Sama video.

Old and unignorable feelings started welling up inside of me. Well I guess I'm a hopeless romantic at heart because I felt inspired. I felt the need, the desire to make this video in my head a reality. This song is the perfect song for my envisioned video. It may not be the perfect Misty only video I originally wanted, but I love the song enough to make the best Pokeshipping video as I could. this Tumblr account provided me with all the important shipping moments.  It also led me to the Vivid Kids doujinshis. These things are some of the most heartwarming images I've seen in a while. I sincerely thank for scanning and sharing them. I would buy them if I could. I remember I obtaining them during New Year's Eve. As the fireworks exploded throughout the night, I was holding back tears and feeling my heart beating faster and faster as I browsed through the incredibly show accurate drawings of Chocolate Panic, Marine Girl, Orange Mail, Ready Go and Yumeirokibun.

A tumblr user
translated Chocolate Panic and Yumeirokibun. I'm sure that made a lot of people very happy. I was getting hit in feels so hard as I alternated between the pictures and the translation. I don't know how accurate it is but I'll take it.

The finished video is one I am proud of. I worked on it for a long time, making sure the timing is just right. When I watch it again, I feel I can make it better in some parts, especially the parts where it's mostly pictures telling the story but I'm satisfied. Many nights I went to bed racking my brain to remember and create the sequences of scene to fit into that particular lyric. I love that feeling, the feeling of wanting to start working on it because if you don't, your brain might forget that magical perfect scene forever.

So now I guess I'm a Pokehipper. In my mind it's not really fair since I never even watched the succeeding seasons and can't judge for myself how real the other ships are. I don't plan to follow the anime, just what I see on tumblr. I don't plan to start playing the games as well. I will say, out of the main Poke girls, Dawn is the one that stands out for me. She looks really pretty in her dresses. Her interactions with Ash are also really cute and I think of Pearlshipping as my second choice.  I have tried watching a bit of the Diamond & Pearl season but I could not stand the new voices. They just sound too different.
I really like her Hoenn outfit
The Pokemon fandom is such an active one. Everyday people still post and talk about episodes more than a decade old. The fan artists still lovingly draw their OTP's (learned that from tumblr) and I am amazed by their talent. Looking at the amount of effort and detail they put in their art, one can't help but feel and be inspired by it. I can admit I suck at drawing anything, but I am seriously considering trying my hand at drawing a shippy photo. My theme would be a bowling date. I have no idea if I will even attempt it but the desire is there.

What else is there to say? Checking Tumblr multiple times everyday has become my routine. I am filling up my external hard drive with Pokemon episodes to create some sappy love videos, and God help me I actually want to skim through every one of them to find adorable Misty scenes and make tribute videos. Misty opened up a new and exciting fandom for me to follow as well as becoming a source of inspiration for the long dormant artistic side of me. I know very well there is little to no chance of seeing her in the anime again. I plan to enjoy this ride for as long as it holds my interest, but seeing as how Misty fans and Pokeshippers never seem to run out of topics regarding her, I envision this will be a very long and interesting ride.

One last thing I want to share is the experience that made me want to write this blog post. I was playing with my dog when he jumped up and his teeth nicked me on my upper gum. Small scratch as it is, my mother insisted I go get an anti rabies shot. It was a grueling affair, having to go back to the public hospital 3 separate times and having to wait a minimum of 4 hours each time to get the shots. What kept me entertained throughout the ordeal was the planning of this video. Listening to Lady in Red over and over and running the scenes I thought matched up best in my mind, I enjoy the process.

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