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[personal profile] vethica
So, hey guys. I know I haven't posted in about seven months. I'm sorry if anyone was worried about me (although I don't think anyone was, because I've been very active on tumblr and AIM and elsewhere during that time, but you never know). The reason for this absence is, well, kind of embarrassing. It is simply that I just couldn't write the next 100 things post. After taking so long since the last one, I didn't want to make a new post without having it be an 100 things one. But I kept staring at the compose draft page and nothing very interesting was coming out. So I kind of... dropped off the face of Dreamwidth and LJ altogether. (Well, except for [community profile] fandomsecrets.) It's been long enough, though. So I guess this is a notice that my 100 things is on hiatus until I can bang out a post that's reasonably good. Sorry about that, y'all.

Now I've got to give an explanation for this post I'm making now. I have, as some do, a paper journal, in which I chronicle those of my thoughts that are too embarrassing, ridiculous, or personal for the outside world. A fair bit of fandom stuff makes its way in there too, and so as I've been rewatching JCA recently, I ended up writing down my thoughts on the episodes in said journal, in something of a livebloggy fashion. I just finished season 1 yesterday, and while looking over the notes I'd been taking, I realized that there was nothing too too personal in there, and that they contained a lot of thoughts I wouldn't mind sharing. I've recently been connecting with a bunch of JCA fans on tumblr (active JCA fans exist!! And they are cool people!!! ♥), and so I thought hey, if I typed up this liveblogging I did, there might be people around who'd want to read it. So I did, and maybe there are! (I should probably tell you now that it's missing four episodes, so you hopefully won't be too disappointed if you were expecting all 13. I watched them; I just didn't write about them. ._.;; Also, just so you're aware, it's quite long! But it's all bullet points, so hopefully it's not too much of a pain to read. c:)

Warnings: This liveblog wasn't written with anyone in mind except myself. The following has therefore been slightly modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit your screen, and also with the intent of excising irrelevant stuff and making me seem like slightly less of a creeper. It still contains some NSFW talk (though nothing graphic), discussion of a pretty pedo ship, fetishization of vulnerability, fangirling in amounts that are possibly unhealthy and definitely embarrassing, and a higher-than-usual incidence of the letter V. If any of that bothers you, you should turn around now.

--

A brief thing on episode names: I tend to think of JCA episodes by the name of whatever it is that's driving the plot of the episode, rather than the actual title. Probably because they don't show the titles on screen and so I had no idea any of them had titles until years later. But I've added in the actual titles in this version, so as not to confuse people unduly.

Opening Episode (The Dark Hand) and Rooster Talisman Episode (The Power Within)
This whole rewatch hadn't yet kind of blossomed into a sprawling informal liveblog thing when I watched these, and I didn't have the presence of mind to write down any thoughts I had on them. Which probably means none of the thoughts I had were too pressing! Still, I'm very sorry if you were looking forward to those.

Ox Talisman Episode (The Mask of El Toro Fuerte)
  • Just watched the Ox Talisman episode, and I noticed something that I never had before: Paco is actually really cute. No, I'm serious! I'd always thought of him as kind of annoying, but I found myself really enjoying how excited and enthusiastic he was about everything. And how he was totally crushing on Jade. Yeah, deny it all you like, kid. You totally think she's pretty. That's... all I had to say. Just. I guess I'll cut the kid some more slack. And I have a new ship now. :B
  • (Also, when Tohru said Jackie was going to be a present for Valmont? And then they tied him up? Yeah, hey there, mental images. How you doin'.)
  • Additional random Ox Talisman episode thought: can I just talk about how much I appreciate the tiny bit where Jackie's backstage and being chased by the Enforcers, and he runs past these two luchadores who are just chillin', and they look at him and then at the Enforcers coming up behind, and immediately move to block them? I just thought that was kind of touching. I mean, they don't know Jackie from Adam, they don't owe him anything, but they see a guy being chased and just step in because it's the right thing to do. Simple as that. God bless you, nameless luchadores.


Snake Talisman Episode (Enter the Viper)
  • I will never get over the fact that Valmont just shows up in Viper's apartment and drinks tea. Like. He doesn't send one of his guys to do it. He just goes in and sits on her couch and freakin' drinks tea. (Hers, I assume, unless he brought his own, which would also be ridiculous.) He's here to kick butt and drink cups of tea, and he's all out of butt.
    • That's not true he has a very nice butt.
      • I assume.
      • How can you tell if a guy wears a damn suit all the time.

  • Viper's brief mockery of his accent was kind of adorable.
  • I really just appreciate Viper a lot every time I see her. Like frick yes good lady character. Heck yeah she'd be a cool aunt.
    • Also her being Jewish doesn't hurt.

  • I really can't forgive her for not taking advantage of the whole come-home-and-find-Valmont-sitting-on-your-couch-drinking-tea situation, though. How the heck do you not go for that. I mean come on girl.
    • sudden desire to read AU fic where she totally just seduces him instead
      • that would be hot.


Sheep Talisman Episode (Project A, for Astral) and Rabbit Talisman Episode (Shell Game)
The reason I gave in my journal for not liveblogging these episodes was as follows: "If you're wondering what happened to the Sheep Talisman and Rabbit Talisman episodes, I just didn't really have any thoughts on them worth putting down, is what happened. And also shut up. Shut up is what happened." So there you have it.

Dragon Talisman Episode (Bullies)
  • Yeah okay so this is Valmont's first big episode and we get to see a lot more into his personality and fffff. I know he spends a lot of time being kind of weirdly animated this episode but he also makes a WHOLE DANG LOT of cute faces wowow. ♥ I mean. He sniffs the money. How cute is that. I can think of something else that's hot off the press, V. ;) (Also, insert "We've got to have... MONEYYY" joke here.)
  • This episode contains Finn's first usage of "Big V". I was surprised by this. I didn't remember it having taken 7 episodes for him to bust that out, especially considering his near-constant use of the nickname in later seasons.
    • I wonder if it's actually the first time he used it in universe. Hmm. Hmmmmm. I smell a fic idea coming on.

  • Side note: in the previous episode, he actually did call Valmont just "V". I feel better about my life knowing my use of that nickname is in fact validated by canon.
  • Finn again!* Did you notice in the scene where Valmont's telling his terrible joke about Captain Black having a doctor's appointment, Finn just kind of rushes in out of nowhere to join in laughing? Like, "oh man, Big V told a joke, gotta get in there and show him how funny I think it is, see, seeee." He totally wants the V.
  • This episode had so much Jackie/Valmont and Jackie/Captain Black fodder it was ridiculous.
    • Not ruling out a threesome either~

  • Another thought pertaining to the Dragon Talisman episode, which occurred as I was drinking bubble tea this evening. See, another thing about that episode is, Valmont actually gets to be happy for a lot of it. Now that I think about it, it's probably in second place there, after the Fire Demon episode (which. Ffffff there is a reason I love that episode so much okay). And I just. I think I have a tendency to get so caught up in his flustered, vulnerable side (which, don't get me wrong, is amazing) that I forget about the side of him that crinkles up his eyes when he smiles. And while he looks so sad in photographs, I absolutely love him, etc.

*Poor old Michael Finnagain, begin again.

Rat Talisman Episode (Tough Break)
  • This was basically the Ratso Is Adorable episode.
    • When they're going through their pockets at the auction house and he goes, "Think they take nunchucks?" Just a) the fact that he had freakin' nunchucks in his pocket in the first place and b) the fact that he thought that was a question worth asking. <3
    • Nerding out about Gnomekop. No shame in watching children's cartoon shows, Ratso. I should know.
    • "Gnomes can't swim!" Like that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. Ffffff.

  • Can we also just talk about how naturally Valmont is able to RP at Gnomekop? "Mighty one..." He's totally making this stuff up off the top of his head, and it's good enough for Gnomekop to buy it, anyway. I know it was for an ulterior motive but shhshsshh it's still cute.
  • And how Shendu just has no idea what's going on. Which I always enjoy. "Enough of sprites and fairies!"
  • I remembered another thing I was going to say about the Rat Talisman episode.
  • Valmont's how rich again, and he couldn't give his men more than $1000 to bid in an auction? Like, seriously, dude. I get it. More money for them means less money to rub on your face, But come on.


Horse Talisman Episode (The Rock)
  • The thing I had forgotten about this episode is that it's a really, really good one for Vfaces. If I'm keeping track of in which episodes he's the happiest, well, this is absolutely in the top three. Just... smiling the whole dang time he's making his deal with Jackie because he's got the upper hand this time and he knows it and guhhh. I can't believe I missed some of the faces he made on my first screencapping go-through. Like when Jackie's about to fall off the mountain, and Valmont grabs his leg and pulls him back, going "Uh-uh-uh! Need those talismans!"? Yeah, that face is gonna last me for a while, thanks. Frig, but he's cute.
    • (Now that I'm thinking about it, the aforementioned scene is one of only two times I can remember when we get to see him with his jacket open. Shirt open would have been better, but I'll take what I can get. c: This is, mind, after Jackie forcibly pulls open said jacket and starts patting Valmont down. No, sir. Nothing sexual about that one. :B)


Monkey Talisman episode (The Jade Monkey)
  • If anyone should accuse me of just liking JCA because of Valmont (not that that's likely, but), this episode will be the perfect rebuttal. It's the first one I ever saw, and he's not anywhere in it. Not even mentioned. So there. Granted, the reason I did watch it in the first place (my thing for transformation) might not be a particularly deep one, but that's just what drew me in. What kept me was something else. Namely, it being a good darn show. c:
  • Drew's fireman dad is a hottie. Uh, no pun intended.
  • Chow's diving suit has an orange-tinted helmet. Because of course it does. <3
  • I really like the way Tohru says "The talisman." in this episode. Like he's just so done with the whole asking-for-the-talisman-and-not-getting-it business. Like this has all gotten routine. "*sigh* The talisman." Maybe they'll actually give it to him this time.
  • This episode was one of those times where I was uncomfortably aware that the Enforcers are four grown men attempting to capture a mostly-defenseless 11-year-old girl. Eeesh. Can we stick with them going after Jackie please.
  • It is just really touching how much Finn cares about Ratso when he gets turned into a rat. He puts him in his pocket! That's super kawaii. And when Jackie threatens rat!Ratso and Finn is like "Whoa, calm down dude" and just starts telling him everything. Those are not the actions of a dude who does not care a lot about another dude. Heck yeah I ship it. But not as much as I ship the OT3. :B
  • Bits where the Enforcers are just discussing dumb stuff among themselves are always great, and the scene where they're debating what to turn Jackie into is no exception. "How about a dog? I like dogs." "Why would you wanna turn him into something you like?"
  • I'll be honest, I think the story of this episode itself was not the strongest. Which is why most of my notes are about the Enforcers. They saved this one from being too boring. But I can't say I'm not looking forward to the next episode a little more because of this. Heck yeah Uncle having character development and being awesome. C:


Dog/Pig Talisman Episode (The Dog and Piggy Show)
  • As I mentioned, this episode is where Uncle gets his time to shine. And boy, does he. I'm sorry, I just really love how great Uncle is in this episode. Not just because of all the behind he kicks, although that too. But because of just all the really believable character stuff he goes through. If you're an old guy who feels like he can't do much of anything anymore, and you come across something that'll give you your youth back, wouldn't you be tempted just to keep it for yourself? And Uncle does give in to temptation, and he doesn't do the right thing right away! That's what I love so much about this episode. Just. Freakin'. Complex characters. <3
    • The contrast between old!Uncle and youthful!Uncle is really well-played, too. Props to Sab Shimono. Actually, it's probably a good idea just to give props to Sab Shimono all the time. Just generally.
    • Also I may have found youthful!Uncle slightly attractive? But that is a secret I will take with me to my grave.

  • Valmont actually was in this episode! But he didn't do much except be a jerk to Tohru. :c He did make a couple cute faces, though. I just wish they'd stop reusing that one really unflatteringly lit closeup of his face from the Horse Talisman episode. Come on, guys. I know you can do good-looking V closeups. I've seen the Earth Demon episode. Step it up.
  • I know I've seen people complain about the changes made to Hak Foo when he was brought back for season 2, but I think I actually prefer his S2+ characterization. In this episode he's less kinda-clueless and more unnecessarily-cruel. :( He was a lot more likable in S2, is all I'm saying.
  • That said, "You! Family Size! Stop the girl! Sit on her! — Do something!" will never not be a great line.
  • My conscience won't allow me to leave this episode without in some way referring to Hak Foo as a DBZ reject. So, here you go, conscience.


Tiger Talisman Episode (The Tiger and the Pussycat)
  • I realized while watching it today that I actually have a fundamental problem with the conceit of this episode. Not the idea of splitting Jackie into light and dark sides, that's pretty cool, but specifically Dark Jackie as a character. I can buy that Jackie has a side that's snarky, has a temper, and really enjoys fighting. A side that's willing to help out the bad guys in order to get rich, that's okay with letting Jade be kidnapped by same, and that even attacks Jade himself? Nnnot so much. Dark Jackie being how he was gave us an interesting plot, I don't deny that, but he really does feel less like Jackie's dark side and more like some random evil dude who just looks like Jackie. :(
    • I'd feel better also if there had ever been some kind of bit with Jackie being horrified at the fact that there was a part of him like that, and that he had the memories of how it felt. That would have been pretty nice. But there's always the possibility of fic!
    • Dark Jackie did have a lot of great lines, though. I appreciate him for that.

  • The scene where Dark Jackie is just broing it up with Finn and Chow will always be one of the best things. Dumb conversations involving the Enforcers. My one weakness. ♥ And then when Finn goes "Oh, shshshh, it's Big V." Like they've already established a rapport, and that means not goofing off in front of your boss when you're supposed to be menacing the other guy. Or whatever it was they were supposed to be doing. I just. Doooooorks. ♥
  • I like how lines under the eyes are apparently the universal symbol for being a bad guy in this universe.
    • No, wait, Captain Black has them too. Never mind.

  • I want to see Dark Jackie domming the hell out of Valmont. Where did that come from whoops. I do though. They needed more interaction.
  • Remind me sometime to delve deeper into my headcanons about what happens when Valmont uses the Tiger Talisman, btw.
  • Speaking of Valmont, he spends a fair amount of time being confused, befuddled, or just generally put off in this episode. Not anywhere near how he will be in a few episodes, of course. But it's a nice precursor. c:
  • And can we just talk about when Valmont pulls Jade's shoe off? I say again: grown man attempting to forcibly strip an 11-year-old girl. Or at least part of her. How did he even ascertain the half-talisman was in her shoe anyway? Did he somehow deduce it, or was he just planning on checking different parts of her clothing and seeing what fell out? I just. These two. Ambiguous and weirdly charged interactions. Shippiiiing. ;__;
    • Also we totally get a crotch shot when said half-talisman falls out of said shoe. So there's that.


Season 1 Finale Episode (Day of the Dragon)
  • There is no way in which this episode is not perfect. Just getting that out of the way right now. I was grinning like an idiot through the whole thing and when it was over I realized I was still feeling happy feels in the pit of my stomach. And no, not that way. Y'perv. My point is this is just a really perfect episode all around, and in the following notes I hope to point out some of the things that made it so.
  • Ugh okay so we start out with Valmont getting all betrayed and having no idea what to do and just his stupid. Damn. FACE and ughh. How could I ever hate Shendu if he induces these kind of feelings in my V. ♥
    • he gets scared. Scared V. *_* I mean yes he is probably scared a lot next season too and that would be a really wonderful thing to explore in a fic but this is the first time we get to see it and I just. *dissolves into fangirl squeals*

  • The window washer is absolutely the best character in this episode, lbr.
  • And that whole conversation the Dark Hand guys have in the elevator. "Uh, will this affect our bonuses?" "You get a bonus?" "Shut it!" V. You are so pissy. ♥ And why is Finn apparently the only one who gets a bonus? Hmmm. I smell a fic idea coming on. ;)
  • I really like Jade in this episode. Her motivations are super realistic. She's not just tagging along because she wants to be part of the adventure — she wants to save her parents. If it hadn't been so personal, she wouldn't have been so dead-set on coming along, and I don't think she would have been so quick to destroy Shendu's statue. And can we talk about how resourceful she is? Who else would think of stowing away in the bad guys' plane? (It occurs to me that chibi-V stowing away in the good guys' plane in season 3 might have been a sort of unintentional payback. Which is adorable.) I know I've found Jade annoying in the past, but I'm appreciating her a lot more on this rewatch, and in this episode I didn't get anything but the sense that she was a good kid. A little impulsive maybe, but with her heart in the right place. c:
  • Valmont slicing the bars to their cell with his swordcane though. Swoooon. The thought running through my mind at the moment was something along the lines of "This man is freaking amazing." And he is.
  • Chow eating popcorn on the plane. I found that super cute for some reason. c:
  • I also really found myself appreciating Captain Black in this episode. The scene where he sees Shendu for the first time is gold. He is very clearly a dude trying not to have a nervous breakdown at that moment. Props to Clancy Brown. And I dunno, he just gets a lot of very cute bits in this episode. Like that little "Awww" he gives after having to put his gun down because magic must defeat magic. Or the look he gives Jackie when he finds out Jackie told Tohru about doughnut day. And I might have found him somewhat attractive a little bit. It's those green eyes, okay? D: And possibly the Sweater of Sexual Tension.*
  • The battle with Shendu would make a great boss fight.
  • When Valmont opens the doors on the treasure and it's like Christmas and his birthday and everything a dude with a money fetish could ever want all at the same time and he's just so damn happy. Babyyyyy. ;____; Ughh why can't he be happy forever. In between bouts of vulnerability, of course. Is that really too much to ask. :c
  • Then afterwards when Shendu's been defeated and they're watching the treasure crumbling to bits around them, and V can't do anything but just stand there in disbelief, and so as the Enforcers run past Ratso just picks him up and carries him out? Like. That didn't have to be a thing that happened. They could have left him there. But no. Anyone says the Enforcers don't care about their boss, they are lying. They just care about him so much wow. ;__;
    • Also Ratso must be really strong, dang.

  • "I know how much that treasure meant to you, Big V... but how about a consolation prize?" More examples of caring about Valmont so much wow. He should actually be aware of how lucky he is to have three such dudes who want him to be happy. Lord knows we haven't seen him do much to deserve it. :B Also more examples of how much Finn wants to get into Valmont's tailored pants. Like seriously.
  • I can not wait to start season 2.

*Phrase © tumblr user funnuraba, all rights reserved.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3!

Date: 2013-07-25 12:26 am (UTC)
fujicori: (08 ✰ Raine Sheena ✰ formal)
From: [personal profile] fujicori
Whoa, I did not expect to see you on my circle page! Not because of the seven months thing, but because your entries used to just... not show up there despite existing. I have nothing to say about JCA (don't know the show), but hi again!

Date: 2013-07-25 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] blueinkedfrost
Reading these recaps was so much fun! <3

One of my friends watched JCA when she was young. I got her to *very* reluctantly admit that Dark Jackie/Valmont is a plausible slash ship. :D

Watching JCA for the first time at above the expected audience age probably made me extremely sympathetic to Jade. As a child, I used to want the child characters to save the day and felt impatient with the mistakes that I could see them making from outside the story, As a grown-up, you can see that Jade's just a tiny eleven-year-old kid with only her ingenuity trying to fight adult and supernatural bad guys! Luckily, Jade is repeatedly awesome. I love how she's shown to be so clever and ingenious so many times in the episodes.

Big V probably wins the title of the Enforcers' second best boss (next to Tarakudo). He remembers their names, gives Finn bonuses, and even attempts to stand up for them against Daolon Wong (not that he succeeds). They like Valmont much more than he likes them, but compared to Wong and Drago, he's not so bad a boss for a bad guy. V is probably, for some reason, nicer to the Enforcers than to Tohru - he berates Tohru for failure, sets him up to fight Shendu on his own, and later brainwashes him to make him lose his memory.

Date: 2013-07-27 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] blueinkedfrost
Perhaps V had lower expectations for the Enforcers? While they come across as reasonably capable at the beginning of Season 1, they're still low-level goons. When they screw up, it's just another Tuesday. (Later, when they screw up, it's just another day ending in 'y'.) Whereas when Tohru screws up, it's more unusual. Valmont seemed to have higher expectations for Tohru.

Maybe even Valmont subconsciously suspected Tohru as a potential future rival. :P He's big, strong, a decent fighter, and he's not at all stupid - he later shows that he's bright enough to be a chi wizard. Maybe Valmont felt invested in keeping down someone with traits that could've made him a rival crime boss someday. (The traits that did make Tohru a formidable good guy later on!)

On Tumblr I always like to follow the fandoms I'm interested in by tag. :)

Date: 2013-07-29 09:00 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] blueinkedfrost
Totally inspired to make more JCA posts to Tumblr now. :)

Date: 2013-07-26 04:43 pm (UTC)
fujicori: (13 ✰ Tamers ✰ in the park)
From: [personal profile] fujicori
Well, since I don't still check LJ every day like I used to, I'm glad for whatever changed there.

Eh, not much to say on my end - I mean, I'm really obsessed with PMMM now, thrilled that I still love Tamers after having not seen it in years (watching the box set rn), and life's been pretty uneventful for me other than I'm trying out a bunch of supposedly good habits and seeing which ones end up making a difference for me.

Date: 2013-07-30 09:11 pm (UTC)
fujicori: (14 ✰ Ruby & Spinel ✰ stars)
From: [personal profile] fujicori
Yeah, I mean, I rarely come back to something I loved as a kid and think "what was I on?" (according to like everyone I was a very picky small child, so), but it happens often enough with the stuff I just liked to still be a worry there. I am way more curious wtf I'm going to think of Frontier when I get around to that one, since I always had mixed feelings on Frontier in the first place.

As for habits, it's stuff like cutting down on sugary beverages, making a schedule to actually back up my computer (I'm backed up for the first time in over a year, aaaa), and stepping back from stuff online that puts me in a bad mood. Little stuff, but some of it works out great.

Date: 2013-07-25 04:03 am (UTC)
mireia: GIF of Princess Gwaelin from the first Dragon Quest/Warrior, trying to pressure the hero into saying he loves her. (Dragon Quest - But Thou Must)
From: [personal profile] mireia
<3

Viper's brief mockery of his accent was kind of adorable.

I actually never noticed this in all the years I watched the show until my most recent watch. It's such a great little moment. ...And I never really gave much thought as to whose tea it was, but that's a good point. ಠ_ಠ

I need rewatch Bullies to catch that moment with Finn. He already snorts when he laughs. What a dork. :p

Ratso and Paco are precious~

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