jueves, 31 de diciembre de 2015

The review that surpassed the original

Any refreshing idea can fit in the Retropokon/AMvserse

This article is a reflection about the first Retropokon anniversary special, which deals with John Show. The language has been adapted for people who haven’t an hour and twenty minutes for a video or can’t speak Spanish. Nostalgia Skapokon’s first “Skapo-kommentary” was done with Aitor Molina, who participated in the special as Doctor Pandemia.

Sir Pokon’s first episode of “Dark Side of the Fans” was originally going to be about John Show, but it was so bad that deserved a special occasion. Since Retropokon and AMvs are sister shows, it felt right having Sir Pokon analyzing this series of rehashes with the scientist equivalent from the other show.

Aitor already had a small fandom before AMvs, so he “endorsed” Retropokon as part of The Halloween, Fantasia and Christmas Revenge metaverse. Since the charm from Retropokon relies on dealing with unknown media by animation and reviewing, “it fit in The Family Revenge”, which is expanding since the first Massive Multiplayer Crossover “Infernals & Lemons”.

Nowadays, is impossible to make a channel known from scratch without a famous friend, Colbert Bump or dedicating to gameplay-vlogs or Mario-Sonic sprites. But the Retropokon robots are funny characters because they do their own thing without relying on good or evil.
Sir Pokon feels like a retired elder doing whatever he wants with all the money in the world. It would have been too easy having a rich Chester A. Bum rip-off just because Nostalgia Skapokon is based on the Nostalgia Critic.


Four awesome fan-made robots

Nostalgia Skapokon, Wai and MegaZak are directly based on Joy Mech Fight characters, so they could be commercialized with minor changes. Sir Pokon is the only one who doesn’t count as a Fan Character according to the definition, even the name wouldn’t need to be misspelled to avoid copyright infringement.

Retropokon is a perfect example of imitation which derives in originality for taking forgotten videogame characters and putting them in a review show. This particular special deconstructs John Show, which tried to do something similar, covering every theme while reviewing at many levels.

Other comical Spanish works like Calico Electronico or Mortadelo and Filemon take preexisting characters and parody them, becoming legal. So the robots could have changes taken from fan-interpretations. Similarly, some people mistook the collaboration with an AMvs spin-off starring Pandemia.

Even a Friendzone Team podcast discussed this topic about creating content by direct inspiration, using tropes instead of characters. Doctor Pandemia could be divided into Bender, Megavolt and Dr. Insano talking about characterization, but Skapokon is just Nostalgia Critic and Joy Mech Fight in design.

That’s why the special compensates with plenty of attention to details like manipulated images to further the universe you probably miss on the first viewing. This philosophy also applies to AMvs, even more in the projects that have been on Development Hell for years and give new meaning to marathon.


No context, no effort

Both the Retropokon anniversary special and the very first AMvs came earlier than Nostalgia Critic episodes based on skits. The meanings have to be changed to avoid just reenacting, which Doug Walker can perfectly do trough actors and media. But there are way more derivative projects that inspired reenactments even if they take characters from other sources.

Non-profit creators should deduct that Chincherrinas, Venga Monjas and Davidsillo Animations aren’t respected for taking preexisting characters. Silly fanboys do like them just for the fair use of known franchises, but they can’t appreciate how they represent them. The “Revengeverse” newcomers like Lonk or Detective Enigma wouldn’t like the animations if were simple reenactments.

Random humor actually takes effort because the 2010’s overused it thanks to Adventure Time and the letsplays. People are starting to confuse randomness with humor not needing context or consequences. The second Retropokon anniversary special will go deep into that topic. Shlock only works when it’s independent and comprehensible like Cutrerama, Keygen’s moveset or Lawl Ñoba because most of them have backstory or plenty of trivia.

For example, the John Show review could have started in the 50th minute and just reenact Bizarro John with the kidnapped robots. But it wouldn’t be funny because the context would be lost. That’s why the most irrelevant jokes from the special only last 5 seconds and let breathing, with the exception of counting cameos. The little details could be reused in a big Lawl Nova stage.


The effects of manipulating sources

If you change the context of sources, you change the personality of the characters. The Frollo Show created its own thing or effect because it started with a lack of personality like John DiMicco but developed characterization until he couldn’t be comparable to him or The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Everything starts with a tribute that goes further, so characters develop an identity on their own. That’s why it’s so sad that John and other joke-characters have more personality in this special and Lawl Nova than his own series. You have to learn that stand-alone autoconclusive narratives work because real fans would investigate and watch in order. That’s why The Dreamscape Kingdom won’t have a determinate place in canon.

The Rubius Effect or “Rubiusization” is when imitation and recycling make people think those elements were created by the adapter. Even if it’s an overused gag in AMvs, Elrubius could be perfectly considered the Spanish version of John Show for “making his” memes that weren’t translated yet. Even his books are equivalents of putting Minions images on chips.

Some episodes from The John Show are directly taken from YouTubePoop just changing the characters, which only work for parody images or skits. John is supposedly tributing Dinner Blaster and Bizarro, but he doesn’t credit them enough and most of fans think he invented those jokes.


Consistence codifies greatness

With the previous context, we could deduce that if John DiMicco had created Retropokon, he would just remade Nostalgia Critic episodes with the robots and plenty of Channel Awesome cameos, right? Chincherrinas himself was surprised when reinvented his YouTubePoop videos with Frollo in an elaborated and deep series. On the other side, the unofficial spin-off Frollo’s Cousins is a one-joked mess that takes as episodes regular YTP without narrative elements.

You can’t consider well-made a series which one of the episodes consists on chanting and hymn and the most notable suggestion is “put Peabody and Sherman there”. As for AMvs, parodying the Mandarin from Iron Man 3 was the perfect way of introducing Bator Medina as its own character. Many people confuse him as just an Arab cousin like Achmed Frollo, when in reality he mocks every negative racial stereotype.

Even he has his own country called Batoria not to laugh about an existing country. It’s supposed to be such a bad land that rips-off its inhabitants from social media pictures. Doctor Pandemia was born in Huronia and there won’t be jokes about that country outside sentient rodents living there.


Establishing the most extravagant facts

New countries or rules have to be previously introduced not to looks like Ass Pulls. If every Retropokon or AMvs had a forced villain, having John DiMicco in the special would be meaningless. But you can inspire in your own sources to create derivative characters like the new John, Achmed Frollo or the Retropokon robots. Having Konata with the “Bolleras & Estrellas” voice wouldn’t work as a character. If instead of Konata is a new robot or a human character called Sinnata, the unpleasant and dirty personality would deliver.

Another example, Sir Pokon’s first design was made by Aitor Molina before the debut for how much he liked the character. It was inspired by the Feel Like A Sir meme and the Pringles logo. Skapokon thought on making him yellow like him to joke about how similar they were. Then, Skapokon himself made plenty of Doctor Pandemia sprites to expand his sheet in the special. He even created the Ferret Ship to distant from the single pose in Infernals & Lemons.

This special Codifies, in a TvTropes language, almost everything related to Pandemia that was previously established. He had more personality and backstory than in AMvs itself, with serves as a more compelling proto-pilot for The Dreamscape Kingdom than Aitor Molina Marvel, which was originally viewed as the official prequel.


Sources that are retroactively incorporated

One of the biggest problems from early AMvs is relating everything bizarre or surreal to Yume Nikki. Instead of fan-linking to the game, Kikiyama was introduced as a character independent to Darkar or Roberto Alatriz. When he appears in The Dreamscape Kingdom, he will be more like a Lovecraftian monster that affects the plot as an Azathoth expy.

The most difficult characters to include in the film are the Retropokon robots for how many already are. Sir Pokon describes Doctor Pandemia in a single flashback minute better than Aitor Molina in his entire show. It’s even a better developed character than the titular, because it doesn’t pretend to be an avatar.

Non-Mary Sue avatars are useful not to depend on other people on voice-acting. The same argument was used to substitute Lugosi with Ganchito on AMvs. Retropokon doesn’t have that problem because the robots are dubbed by a single family. John DiMicco was going to be voiced by Delushi Kong, who later acted as Pigsaw. Oscar took his place not to repeat tones and Detective Enigma will be the definitive New John in The Dreamscape Kingdom.

Retropokon also showed having a future in his second anniversary special and revealing Karl Talgo in the first post-credit scene. The creator of the robots won’t be used out of specials because Gravity Falls was cancelled when the Author and main villain were revealed. So the third anniversary will probably be a review-adventure introducing a new character.


Using sources better than holders

It’s a shame that Nintendo doesn’t use Joy Mech Fight, because that makes Retropokon a fanmade project by definition only. It showed a better world and characters, treating the franchise as important. If it has guests like Doctor Pandemia or John DiMicco, it improves them and even redesigns to the best.

The special has an RPG climax to bookend with a golden highlight. All the attacks are based on Retropokon, John Show and “second-party” references like Coballita Mix or works by friends. It doesn’t treat the scene like watching a letsplay, but playing with what could be done.

Watching the characters fighting and interacting has so many in-jokes that a “History Behind” could be done explaining all of them. Those close references work because they seem fitting in-universe. For example, Sir Pokon has a cup with a moustache because the family has another, but feels in-character. On the other side, John DiMicco’s RPG combats aren’t visual at all and only show the damage number like Earthbound.

As for AMvs, trademark food is a nice way to reflect personalities: caramel vodka for Aitor Molina, wine for Doctor Pandemia, bootleg soda for Bator Medina and Yatezampo soup announced by youtubers to Elfarias. As long as it doesn’t repeat like the fainter girl from About The New, it works. There are many Red Leo Media jokes that lost their context and are unintelligible nowadays. The only good part about that experiment is human Reddy and being a perfect example of in-jokes not paying-off.


Learning from John Show’s mistakes

Many aspects of John DiMicco’s creations stem hatred for how insulting the concepts are. “John goes to the bar” rips-off a monologue and Pokemon without doing more. Aitor Molina suggested substituting the monologuist for the remake with a little review about a cheap DVD like which Aitor Divasson gift on Christmas. But John limited himself to lame RPG battles that only payed-off in John’s Monster. The other episodes just change the situation or characters.

“John vs. The King” doesn’t mean anything because recycles characters and the plot from Dinner Blaster. There are things that could be forgiven back in 2012 in a Red Leo Media era, but can only be enjoyed if you don’t know the original. Even if The King is a beloved character, John won’t be liked just for oppose to him in the title.

Bizarro John shows how dark the show’s future is because bases it on a Link and King Show episode, which parodies Sealab 2021, a sequel-parody of a Hannah-Barbera cartoon. The concept worked in Link & King even if it doesn’t make you laugh because at least they used some funny gags.

Even if the climax of the special takes some plot points from this, it could be further even more in the Revengeverse with bizarre copies. John made Darkpokon, Chánatos made Aitor Tilla, Keygen is that for the romantic interests, Ganchito could substitute Agito… and WUN. But technically Bator Medina’s gang is full of this type of imitation characters made on purpose.


Remaking without knowing the problems

John’s Monster Remake is probably the only episode you could watch and enjoy. The post-special episodes show that John DiMicco learn some mistakes, like substituting Cosmo being raped by a tentacle monster in the haunted mansion episode with Old John, who does nothing.

The next big episode will have Darkpokon as the main villain and the trailer showed a shitty version of Evangelion with half of the characters stolen. It’s so rare that instead of putting a Nostalgia Skapokon to troll, he uses it as a generic bad guy that reminds me of Mohammoscar, the Alien Cousin from PDI.

Sometimes, good creators like Oscar from Pesadillas del Infierno act a bit like John, especially when they try to capitalize on other’s achievements. The most prominent example is the Season 1 Finale, which is also the spiritual successor of Infernals & Lemons. Since the only goal was just to make it bigger, he multiplied the number of cameos to non-canon ones like Frollo, Nicolas Cage and Tommy Wiseau. All of them taken from the cameos in the waiting line.

Crossovers only work when all the parts are memorable, like Frollo Gets Flashed By A Gothic Lolita and The Avengers. Oscar didn’t even try to adapt well the characters or give them interesting things to do. Aitor Molina trolled with his part “to see if they were rejected” like “don’t surrender, because this is MÚRICA”. It’s the lamest joke since the fries from Infernals & Lemons.


Developing the Revengeverse with humor

Infernals & Lemons is important for establishing the shared universe, but its random jokes and continuity nods make it obsolete. That’s why its successors are stand-alone without getting out from the canon. The next work in the Revengeverse is the sequel to Infernals & Yrions, which cameos serve a purpose out of having an ensemble cast.

Letting the original creators writing their lines gives way more personality and background to the guests. Sir Pokon’s line of being “Brichish” and Pandemia from Huronia was going to be about Spain. Aitor Molina offered to change the country to establish a key plot that is referenced each time more. The Fantasia Revenge started to paying-off that new concept that wasn’t hammered in Retropokon and does let creating new countries like Batoria, to use every negative racist stereotype without making fun of no one.


The only thing that Oscar didn’t write in PDI21, not counting the cameos, is the post-credits scene which established the beginning of our next collaboration in 2016. It even had Joro to represent Jorosahe because the conflict back then, when in reality he was Paulx from Red Leo Media. In the end, Mohammoscar was introduced in the live-action movie “The Alien Cousin” and a Retcon will need to be pulled for the third “Infernals &” installment.

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