All forms of media and entertainment have this unique ability to express . They are a form of expression and as such they become this vehicle of a message the people behind it are trying to send. Even if it’s just a fun little escapism story it’s sending a message. It has said by more religious people than I that God gave us wheat so that we may make bread and get a feeling for what it is like to perform the miracle of creation ourselves. And I agree with this message and sentiment but I think is applies to all creative endeavors. That making something and sharing it is a form of expression and sharing of yourself. It’s an expression of vulnerability as you are exposing yourself to so many things. Foremost, I think, in most creators minds is that exposure to criticism (but it is also exposure to appreciation.) And the things you create and share leave impressions, often lasting, on the people who consume them. You can make this deeply personal connection with someone or leave a lasting impression from your impact on someone in all creation. Even something as simple as a forums post on a silly gay gaming forum. Creation is a miracle and miracles cannot be apolitical.
I’m gonna talk about media that moved me . Specifically how it personally moved me. And it’s going to be very difficult to avoid spoilers but I’m going to do my best.
Puella Magi Madoka Magicka was a deeply impactful show for me. It spoke to me about the wishes I’ve always made. How wishes are expressions of hopes and desires and how what you wish for says a lot about you. Like I’ve never met a single LGBTQ+ person who hasn’t wished they could build a huge community for all their friends and loved ones to live in and thrive in comfortable, loved and safe. And that wish is speaking so much, isn’t it? That dream is so much. But just wishing it, just dreaming about it, doesn’t make it come true. Magic like that doesn’t exactly exist. You have to do something if you want to make your wishes come true and your dreams a reality. What will you do, how will you do it, and how much and how often you take action towards those ends makes your dream, your wish, more real . It’s a lot. And I made the same wish as a character in this show . And I think the character’s identity would be surprising to some of you. If you’re curious, DM me, and I’ll tell you. We’ll talk about it. But I don’t want to spoil it here.
Princess Tutu is another amazing show that really left me thinking a lot about my approach to my works as a creator. And watching Princess Tutu influenced my very unique GMing style and made me reflect more seriously on the way narrative interacts with a story.
I loved Steven Universe but I was more personally effected by the combination of Steven Universe and Steven Universe Future. Most of us have heard the tale of the clown Pagliacchi, who can make anyone smile and feel better. And how a doctor recommends a sad, traumatized, suffering and grieving client go see Pagliacchi only for the client to reply in anguish that they are Pagliacchi. … Pagliacchi needs to realize they can, and should, be Pagliacchi for, to, and with, themselves too.
I recently read a summary of Serial Experiments Lain because some friends are planning to do a Podcast about it soon and want me to be part of it. Skimming the summary alone inspired me to do some absolute madwoman nonsense in a forums Mafia/WW game on another forum. If you’ve ever experienced losing someone precious to you, feeling like the whole world was against you, and feeling like everyone was trying to tell you who you are and/or who you should be (and even force the matter) then I cannot recommend watching this show enough. I am looking forward to watching it myself because just the synopsis I read was extremely relatable to me. It reminded me so much of old feelings and hurts I’d long since repaired from (so now I felt them with that kind of relieving nostalgia) and old hurts and feelings I’m still working through (so watching it felt like at least one person involved in scripting this show had been through things somewhat approximating my own experiences and were expressing their thoughts/feelings and working through them through this vehicle of creation. Which is also something I do.) And I felt mixed feelings, so spoken to by this show (not spoken for ) and comforted with that undeniable knowledge that I wasn’t alone. But also so anguished by that revelation that I wasn’t alone. Because nobody should have gone through what I did. When people say Representation Matters because they’d like to See themselves in the Work I wonder sometimes if they mean it as deeply as this. Because this mattered so much to me. That feeling of seeing someone with your skin tone, your sexuality/identity, your marginalizations, going through the same-enough kind of shit you’re going through or went through? That’s speaking to you on a spiritual level. Or at least… that’s how it spoke to me. AND THAT WAS JUST A SUMMARY–I AM HYPE TO WATCH THIS SHOW FOR REAL WITH MY FRIENDS SOON.)
And of course I’ve watched Revolutionary Girl Utena! In fact I previously organized an event to watch this show together on these very forums in a thread which this linked text links to! Even if you’ve seen it before it’s a great show to rewatch and see, to experience, especially communally. And if you haven’t seen it before you really should! Because She-Ra and Steven Universe (and Kipo) drew direct inspiration from Revolutionary Girl Utena. And Revolutionary Girl Utena is a very foundational work in my growth because Coley, my fiance I lost tragically, introduced me to the show and it’s the show that convinced me to come out of the closet and start changing myself for the better. It’s a show that really inspired and impacted me.
All acts of creation are miracles that have this potential to inspire people. Often it will inspire them to create in kind so that they can feel that miracle of creation themselves. Because the logic is that if these people can send a message that meant so much to you then surely you can send a message back to them… and to everyone else who needs to hear/see/read it.
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a really good show but my incredibly personal experience with it is probably a huge factor in why I feel nothing can hold a candle to it. But here’s the thing, nothing can hold a candle to it to me but other people didn’t have my experiences surrounding it and will like things better or maybe even think RGU sucks. And when they say those things they aren’t telling me my experiences sucked or weren’t as good they’re telling me their experiences were different and that’s ok. But it took me a lot of growing and maturing to realize that, right? And not be a jerk about people dunking on this show, or anything really, that literally changed the course of my life and is probably a huge reason why I’m here on the LP.Zone doing what I do here and why I am the person I am.
I think that is probably a factor in why the Steven Universe fandom became the way it did–that’s my theory. A lot of the young people watching that show had personally moving spiritual experiences from the show and connected with one or more of the characters personally . So criticism or “wrongthink” about their headcanons (which were now DEEPLY personal to them because they were tangled up on their own personal, interpersonal, mental, and spiritual growths) was an attack on them personally and their experiences not just an offhand remark about the show. And they’re just not quite mature enough to realize it’s not all about them and other people’s experiences matter too and are just as important . I tried to get this message out to the SU fandom when this kind of thing started to crop up but I didn’t get through to enough of them.
This is my message to you: Create something and find a way to put it out there. There’s an audience out there for it that wants to, needs to, see/hear/read it. I promise you you have a guaranteed audience because even if nobody else in the universe is interested in what you have to say there is always one person who not only wants but needs to see your vision made real–You. And you matter, starfish, you always have.