Chaos Attraction

Spider-Man and Aggretsuko For The Holidays

2018-12-21, 6:38 a.m.

For December 18. This was a very busy day and has about three days worth of entries on its own. Continued from here.

Part C: And finally, after the session with Alison, I did the Tuesday night discount movie thing and saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, an awesome animated film about all of the different alternate universes that have super spider superheroes.

Mostly we’re in the alternate universe where Peter Parker is a blonde 26-year-old grad student who actually sings a Spider-Man version of Jingle Bells. It has the lines, “Why did I agree to do this? I have a degree in chemical engineering.” This got a laugh from the remaining college students in the audience. Also, the Christmas album is now real!

Meanwhile, Miles Morales is a tween graffiti artist who’s being forced to go to some fancy boarding school (I don’t get it--why would you go to boarding school in New York when you live in New York? I don’t know how far Brooklyn/Queens/whatever is from each other, but this sounds strange to me. But then again, we also don’t have private boarding schools here.) and is hanging out spraypainting with his uncle Aaron when he gets bitten by That Spider. When he starts manifesting stickiness, he goes back to find the spider and then runs into Peter Parker fighting the Green Goblin. The two spider-sense each other and Peter Parker agrees to mentor Miles--but then, well Peter Parker gets killed by the Kingpin when Peter is trying to stop the Kingpin from setting off his alternate-universe portal thingie. The Kingpin’s wife Vanessa and his son are dead in this universe and he wants replacements, a plan that we’ll soon figure out won’t work out well.

Anyway, the machine goes off, somehow managing to manifest five other spider superheroes ending up in Miles’s universe. Suddenly Miles goes from no mentor to a janky hobo mentor to too many mentors overwhelming him and making him feel clueless.

The others are:
* Peter B. Parker, an older 30ish Spider-Man who made some bad business deals, got divorced from MJ and now eats a lot of pizza in his sweatpants. Janky hobo Spider-Man, basically. Also brunette compared to the Miles-verse’s blond PP.
* Spider-Gwen, Gwen Stacy, who got bit by a spider a few years ago instead of her Peter, who died, and has been doing the job for a few years. She shows up at Miles’s school before he finds out who she is, and it’s awkward when he glues her hair..
* Spider-Man Noir, who is all black and white and from the 1930’s and is baffled by colors and Rubik’s Cube.
* Spider-Ham Peter Porker, who’s a talking pig. I don’t even know what to say to that.
* But the weirdest one to me--and I don’t even remember her in the ads and she gets not even animated in the credits, is “Peni Parker,” an anime girl from the future with a spider-robot. I just did not get, at all, what the hell her deal was. Does she have any powers or just a robot?

Anyway, someone needs to set off the portal so everyone else can go home, which has to be Miles since he lives here and everyone else is glitching like Vanellope and will die if they continue to live in this verse. (Someone point that out to Kingpin, please?) Except Miles is literally the very newest spider, doesn’t have his powers under control, and is a total noob. How’s this gonna work? Hence, the movie dilemma.

Also, there is some drama with Uncle Aaron. I will just say that Uncle Aaron and Miles’s cop dad are estranged for some reasons and uncles don’t tend to do so well around spiders. I won’t say more, but I enjoyed how that was handled actually.

Overall, the movie was very good, the animation is trippy and I like that, I enjoyed the literal comic book moments in the movie happening, including the recaps of who every spider-hero is. I enjoyed it very much and if you are into that sort of thing, you will enjoy it. Also, even if you have Spider-Man “don’t say that line again about responsibilty” fatigue, this is far more interesting than that and doesn’t rehash that shit. So yeah, go see it, geeks.

On a related note, let’s skip ahead a few days and I’m going to briefly review Aggretsuko’s A Very Metal Christmas, which I watched this morning. I love Aggretsuko but didn’t love this too much, mostly because it’s focusing on on Haida, the typical friend-dude. We find out at the start that Retsuko only likes him as a friend and he’s still not over that.

Time for a rant! I am just so damn tired of that trope, y’all. Every woman in the world in that situation feels like a guilty asshole for not returning the sexual feelings of a Perfectly Nice Guy. Yes, we KNOW we should want to boink them back. We KNOW he’s a lot nicer than the guys we’ve actually wanted to fuck. We KNOW we lose the guy as a friend if we don’t want to fuck him back. We KNOW he’s really our one good option in life for romance. GUILT GUILT GUILT. But dudes,...

Oh, who am I kidding? How the hell can I explain to dudes the lack of joys of having romantic physical stuff go on with someone you don’t want to be kissing (or boinking)? That seems to be right up there with explaining what it’s like to be a night owl to an early bird--I’ve tried for years to find an equivalent to explain what it’s like to be one to them and there just doesn’t seem to be anything in their experience that translates, and likewise I can’t say I know of any dudes IRL who admit that they’ve kissed/boinked a girl that they didn’t want to be doing that with and didn’t enjoy it. I hope there’s some out there somewhere but I’ve only seen them occasionally in fiction. can’t turn on sexual attraction to someone just because you SHOULD want to. I have tried and tried and tried and it DOES NOT WORK, y’all.

There’s two main plots in this 22 minute episode:

(a) Thanks to Tsunoda’s coaching and influence, Retsuko has become addicted to getting Instagram likes of her food photos, presumably to distract herself from her life. Fenneko is now an Instagram cop and scrutinizes all of her shots. She now goes to fancy restaurants by herself to take pictures of expensive foods.

(b) It’s Christmas Eve and in Japan, that is a date holiday. Of course Retsuko doesn’t have a date or anyone to be with--her female friends all have dates. Retsuko would love it if she got a Christmas miracle invite. Haida claims to be throwing a party when asked, but of course cannot sack up to just ask Retsuko, though to be fair Fenneko points out that uh, do you want to get rejected all over again? No, he doesn’t.

Retsuko’s Christmas miracle is that Ton dumps a bunch of work on her desk on December 24. Of course. That leads to our one bit of real karaoke screamy time about how social media is her only joy in life. She goes to a convenience store and uses Tsunoda’s tricks to doctor up what looks like a romantic dinner photo.

(Incidentally, the captions put on the cartoon are not matching what is being said in English on the show. The general dialogue is fairly equivalent, but it’s really different when it gets to the karaoke. What is up with this?)

Haida and Fenneko are in a bar and Fenneko sees Retsuko’s photo and diagnoses that Retsuko has one plastic glass and cheap food, so she’s really alone at work. Haida runs off to work to save her, but she’s gone by then--her friends Gomi and Washimi had either a disappearing date or a boring date, so let’s go out together! Retsuko wants them to go somewhere fancy, but the girls want to go to the nearest cheap noodle shop, and they’re fine with that even if Retsuko can only post an empty bowl for a photo.

Haida walks by at the right time (looking at her photo) when the girls leave the noodle shop. Washimi drags Gomi away to give them couple time alone, and the show ends--but we’re shown in the credits that Haida walked Retsuko to the subway and then Retsuko went home alone.

So YEAH. Why is there a plotline that’s all about getting Retsuko romantically together with a guy she’s just not feeling it for (especially since she is single and desperate at Christmas), and then they don’t even quite do that? Grrr, argh.

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