Because I can’t help myself, I found out that Winx Club season eight will premiere on Monday. I think running this blog while the season airing will be too stressful for me. For that reason, I’m taking a break. Both this blog and my Aisha X Nex blog, The Yin-Yang Couple will be on hiatus. If I decide to come back, I’ll let you know.

Goodbye for now.


The Hidden Character In “Cells At Work”

Not surprisingly, people compare Cells At Work (Hataraku Saibou) to the 2001 movie Osmosis Jones and its TV spinoff Ozzy & Drix. All three follow anthropomorphic cells as they work to keep our bodies healthy.

But in Osmosis Jones and Ozzy & Drix, we see the humans the stories take place in. In Cells At Work, we don’t. We have no idea who this person is, what they look like, or what age they are. Even their sex is unknown, since none of the cells mention reproductive organs.

I don’t know if this was on purpose. In some stories, specific details of the hero are left out so the audience can imagine themselves as the hero. But the human isn’t the hero of this story. They’re the setting! Still, since we’re learning about our bodies, their insides are all we need to see. It’s like using a mannequin or skeleton in biology class.

Never thought someone could describe puking so poetically.

Don’t know about you, but I don’t wanna be like this person! 😨 They go through a lot in season one, including flu, heat stroke, a rare type of food poisoning, possible cancer, and massive blood loss. And since season two has been announced, they’re about to experience a lot more pain for our edutainment. (At least we know they won’t die.)

Because we’re zoomed into the cellular level, we don’t think about what’s happening — or what happened — outside the body. For example, the last two episodes of season one deal with blood loss (specifically, hemorrhagic/hypovolemic shock). Since the two main characters are blood cells, it’s a scary situation. Red Blood Cell watches some of her coworkers fall into what looks to her like an abyss.

But what caused the blood loss in the first place? Based on what we see in these episodes, the human suffers a traumatic head injury. From what? A car accident? A fall? Something falling on them?

It’s weird that we’ll never know, since the story is technically not about them.

Cells At Work Black

We know a lot more about the human in Cells At Work Black, one of the many spinoffs. It’s an adult male (most likely) who smokes, drinks, is often stressed, has high cholesterol, overeats, and lives a sedentary lifestyle. The point of the story is to show how unhealthy choices and conditions wreck our bodies.

I haven’t read this manga, so I don’t know if having a clearer setting affects the experience. My guess is it doesn’t change much. Yes, you know that parts of the story don’t apply to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn anything.

Here’s a fun fact about this manga. Probably because Kodansha USA knew the title might make people angry — even though it has nothing to do with black people — they changed it to Cells At Work: Code Black. It’s awkward that someone had to do that, but gaffes like this can happen if you don’t. Better to be safe than sorry (unless you’re trying to make a meme 😄).

* * *

Have you watched Cells At Work (or read the manga)? How do you feel about the human character/setting being hidden? Is it a good idea, or do you wish we could see them like in Osmosis Jones?


“Mission! Ken – Kō – Dai – Ichi (TV Size)” trans. “Mission! Health First”) — Cells At Work OP — English Translation

Romaji | English Translation

One, two, three, four
We are cells at work!
One, two, three, four
We are working! Fuu!

Again today, I’m carrying oxygen, oxygen
From one corner of the body to the other
But it’s so big that I keep on getting lost, lost!
I’m a cell at work who needs some help
C’mon, let’s go!

Keep on working! Keep on working!
Training and practicing each and every day!

Again today, I’m destroying, destroying bacteria
Germs and viruses, get out here!
You won’t get away because I migrate, migrate
I’m a professional cell at work
C’mon, let’s go!

Keep on working! Keep on working!
On the battlefield each and every day!

I’m one out of 37 trillion
When will we meet again?

For someone’s sake (for someone’s sake)
We work with all our might (we work with all our might)
You and I are working to the brink of death
For everyone’s sake (for everyone’s sake)
We’ll risk our lives (we’ll risk our lives)
We take pride in our missionof healthfirst!

You working? I’m working
You working? I’m working!
We’re working!!

Translated by me


Words I Never eXpressed #1: Why The Trial Of The Crystal Labyrinth Made No Sense

Welcome to “Words I Never eXpressed”, a segment where I put up previously-unpublished posts from my Winx Club blog, Una di Noi Winx. Some of these I was scared to publish because I thought the fandom would skewer me. Others I just never finished. (I don’t plan to post a lot of these because I don’t want this blog to be Una di Noi Winx 2.0.)

Let’s kick this off with something that shouldn’t be controversial (unless you’re one of those fans who think season three was perfect). This is about “The Crystal Labyrinth” (S3, EP22), where the Winx pass a trial in…the Crystal Labyrinth. But as the title of this post states, that trial made no sense.

On the door to the Golden Kingdom, where the Crystal Labyrinth resides, a text reads: “Only magic creatures of noble heart and pure soul may enter.” Aisha and Bloom suggest that the Winx use their Fairy Dust to get in. “Our Fairy Dust has anti-darkness properties,” says Bloom, “so if we sprinkle it on ourselves, we should remove all traces of darkness from our souls.”

“What darkness?” says Stella.

“Everyone has a dark side to their character,” says Timmy, “vanity, pride…”

So “darkness” equals character flaws. Got it. Moving on.

Bloom’s idea works, and all of them — except her, since her Enchantix is incomplete — miniaturize and enter the Golden Kingdom, where the four elders are waiting for them. Stella and Musa explain that they need the Water Stars from them, so the Winx can defeat Valtor until season eight and save the world.

“And you care more about the world than you care about yourselves?” says the mermaid elder.

“Well, duh!” says Stella. “I mean, no offense, but doesn’t everybody?”

The elders decide to test them. If three of them can escape the Crystal Labyrinth, the Winx may have the Water Stars. Stella, Musa, and Tecna are chosen. Arcadia, the fairy elder, gives each of them a choice between the Water Stars and something precious to them: for Stella, her beauty; for Musa, her late mother; and for Tecna, her emotions. They’ll have to give these up forever — again, in Musa’s case — for the sake of the world.

Have you figured out what’s wrong yet?

The Crystal Labyrinth tested the Winx’s willingness to sacrifice parts of themselves to help other people. Here’s another way to say it: the elders wanted to see if the Winx were selfish (cared more about themselves) or selfless (cared more about the world).

But selfishness is a character flaw. Wouldn’t that make it a form of darkness, according to Timmy? If so, the Winx erased it from their souls when they used their Fairy Dust on themselves. So, of course, they were selfless because they literally had no selfishness inside them!

For that matter, Stella’s choice took advantage of her vanity. But “vanity” is one of the specific flaws Timmy labeled as “darkness”!

The trial of the Crystal Labyrinth made no sense because the Winx entered it as perfect beings. They had no darkness — no flaws — to prevent them from making the right choices. It was impossible for them to fail.

Judging by what I watched of this episode for research, I don’t think Rainbow noticed this plot hole. The Winx acted the same way in the Golden Kingdom as they did outside of it, as if removing their flaws didn’t change their characters. An easy fix would have been to have the Crystal Labyrinth be a trial to get into the Golden Kingdom. The Winx could have still used their Fairy Dust to cleanse themselves of darkness, so as not to pollute the kingdom.

Have you ever noticed this mistake?

My Childhood: “Shining Time Station”

A wave of nostalgia hit me last night. Ever heard of the 90’s PBS show Shining Time Station? I had to listen to the theme song again. It was so soothing. 😌

In case you don’t know about this show, here’s a rundown. Shining Time Station was based on a popular British children’s series called Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends. You’ve heard of Thomas The Tank Engine, right? Pretty sure he’s still around (although the show is just called Thomas & Friends now).

Anyway, Shining Time Station was a way to introduce Thomas to American kids. You could call it a spinoff, but I’m not sure that’s the most accurate term. The show featured actual episodes of Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends, introduced by Shining Time Station‘s original character Mr. Conductor (played by Ringo Starr and George Carlin).

As for Shining Time Station itself, its stories revolved around a group of kids learning life lessons or random things happening at the titular station. Some of the other original characters were Stacy Jones, the station’s manager; Billy Twofeathers, a Native American train engineer; and Schemer, whose name tells you everything you need to know about his character.

I wouldn’t call myself a super fan, but I watched this show from time to time. Even back then, it had a peaceful, “coming home” kind of mood, almost like you were a passenger stopping through. The episodes weren’t full of action or twist endings, but they made you smile, laugh, and maybe even cry.

Sometimes I miss pleasant shows like this.

Have you ever seen Shining Time Station? If so, what are your memories of it?

“DiVE!! (TV Size)” — Digimon Universe: Applimonsters OP1 — English Translation

Romaji | English Translation

“AI” just wanna dive into the future!
C’mon, let’s go together!
Our journey continues today and tomorrow
The prologue has just begun
Let’s reach out and grab hold of our freedom!

The absolute protagonist, the perfect hero
It’s too bad, but…I can’t be someone like that
But if we’re together, we can overcome
Any obstacle, right? (Go, Buddy, go!)

Even if today’s information-rich era is on the brink of overheating
We’ll master it and move to the next stage

“AI” just wanna dive into the future!
C’mon, let’s go together!
Our journey continues today and tomorrow
Since we’re writing this story together, there’s nothing to be afraid of
We’ll strike down our enemies and take back the universe!

Translated by me


“DiVE!! (TV Size)” — Digimon Universe: Applimonsters  OP1

Romaji | English Translation

tomo ni ikou saa
asu mo kyou mo bokutachi no tabi wa tsuzuku
PUROROOGU wa ima hashiridashita sono saki ni
te o nobashite tsukamitorou ze FREEDOM

zettaiteki shujinkou kanpeki na HIIROO
nante zannen nare wa shinai kedo sa
kimi to boku nara donna kabe mo
koete ikeru sa sou desho GO BUDDY GO

OOBAHIITO sunzen no jouhoukata na gendai mo
norikonashi hora tsugi no SUTEEJI e

tomo ni ikou saa
asu mo kyou mo bokutachi no tabi wa tsuzuku
futari de hitotsu no SUTOORII nara nanimo kowaku wa nai
buttobashite torimodose UNIVERSE