Takashi Shirogane, Paladin Of Voltron And Pilot Of The Black Lion, Is Gay, And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It

Takashi Shirogane, Paladin Of Voltron And Pilot Of The Black Lion, Is Gay, And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It

The Voltron panel at SDCC 2018 gave us more than we had ever hoped for.

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At the 2018 Voltron Legendary Defender panel at San Diego Comic-Con, showrunners Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos revealed to fans one of the best-kept secrets of the series to date:

Shiro is gay.

After months of the creators and voice actors teetering around answers, promising happiness for LGBT+ representation, and dodging angry fans of the show, it was finally revealed that Shiro had a boyfriend, Adam, back at Galaxy Garrison before the Kerberos mission.

The fact that VLD gave outright LGBT+ representation is shocking.

The gay character being Shiro — the Takashi Shirogane, Black Paladin, Leader of Voltron, golden boy at the Garrison, everyone's hero, Mr. Macho man?

I think it's safe to say I am not the only one who did not see it coming.

When my Twitter timeline exploded with the news from SDCC, I actually cried.

Here I was, a 20-something obsessed with a kids' cartoon, seeing a canonically gay man leading a team of badass pilots in space in an all-out war to save the universe. I couldn't believe it was real.

But it is. Shiro is gay, it is canon, in the show, blatantly out in the open, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Safe to say, we gays are happy.

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This is huge, not only for the show itself and for the fans, but for what this kind of move means in the world of media, kids television shows or otherwise.

A lot of people have begun arguing, asking why there needs to be a gay character in a kids' show. Furious why Netflix and Dreamworks Animation are forcing their views down their throats. Complaining that everything is too politically correct, that gays are taking over, that they can't relate to LGBT+ characters, they don't want to watch tv with homosexuals.

Sorry to break it to you all, but at least 20% of millennials in the US identify as LGBT+. Are we not the future? Shouldn't our media reflect who we are? Have we not sat and suffered quietly through enough heterosexual media? Do we not deserve to see ourselves in our fictional heroes?

Even if you are straight, can't you realize what it means to a kid to see a man like Shiro, their hero, openly gay? A kid who is questioning who they are, figuring out what they want to be and who they want to love — don't those kids deserve to see LGBT+ people normalized on-screen?

The thing is, having a homosexual relationship normalized on TV is hard to come by. Even rarer is an instance where that character's entire storyline is not solely focused on them being gay/realizing they are gay/coming out/etc.

Now, Shiro? Shiro has a chronic illness, he is missing an arm, he lives with PTSD, he is a minority, and he is gay. But guess what? None of these are his defining traits. He is more than his disabilities, his struggles, his identities.

Shiro is defined by what he does, how he treats others, his resilience and his total belief in his teammates and in the universe. He is defined by his compassion and his silly antics, his drive and his passion to do good, to be great.

Shiro is a defender of the universe, he is gay, and he is here to stay.

I think this reveal is just the start of what is going to be an incredible last two seasons of the show. I cannot wait to have my heart broken August 10th when Season 7 streams on Netflix.

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My Definitive Ranking Of Animal Crossing Games

I know what you're thinking, and no, they're all not the same game.
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The Animal Crossing franchise has been around since 2002 and has four main games in its collection: Animal Crossing (Gamecube), Animal Crossing: Wild Word (Nintendo DS), Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii) and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS). Each game expands and improves upon the last one, while keeping the same simple game plot in mind -- you move into a new town and must take care of it and its villagers.

That being said, not every game is perfect. Here is my definitive ranking of Animal Crossing games, from best to worst.


1. Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo DS)

In my personal opinion, this is the best Animal Crossing game of the bunch. They added lots of little features, while keeping the point of the game simple. In this game you could create your own constellations, open a coffee shop in your museum and even plant money trees -- all perks the Gamecube game did not have. Also, this game was the first in the franchise to allow for online play. You could now visit other people's towns, to explore and play together. I also think the unique design of the Nintendo DS helped make this game great. You could write letters or create patterns with the stylus on the touch screen, you see both screens simultaneously while playing, which allowed for easier game play then the Gamecube version. This game, to me, really defined Animal Crossing.

2. Animal Crossing (Gamecube)

It's hard to beat the original. This is Animal Crossing, in its most basic, true form. You have a mortgage to pay, a town to take care of and villagers to attend to. There are certain features in this game that I loved and wished they wouldn't have dropped when moving forward in the franchise. One of my personal favorites is the statue Tom Nook would construct if you paid off your mortgage in full - it was gold, shiny, right in front of the train station and absolutely ridiculous. Another feature, while not exactly honest gameplay, was another great one - the cheat codes you could find online. If you told Tom Nook a certain combination of letters and numbers, he would give you all sorts of goodies -- 30,000 bells, rare items, furniture. It was a nice little perk to have.

3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS)

This game is arguably the one with the most changes and new features. This game took the usual Animal Crossing plot line and flipped it on its head: Tortimer, the mayor of your town, has decided to retire and named you his replacement. As mayor, you have so much you can do to your town: create new town projects, set new town ordinances, kick villagers out. Plus, a new island is introduced. You take a boat to it and have a direct line to rare fish, bugs and fruit. On top of all that, Nintendo just introduced a new update recently utilizing their amiibos in gameplay. All in all, this game is a lot of fun because it gives you so much to do. It can get overwhelming at times since there is so much you want to accomplish as mayor, but it's most always an enjoyable experience.

4. Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)

This game, to me, is the one I enjoyed the least. The game is pretty straight forward, like all other Animal Crossing games, but this particular one hyped up a city where you can shop from special stores or see shows. To be quite honest, the city never really impressed me. It was cool, but nothing that deserved all the hype it got. I also thought the controls for this game were a bit awkward -- you used both a Wii remote and a nunchuck, holding one in each hand. The nunchuck would control your movements and you would interact with tools, buildings or villagers with the Wii remote. It was something I could never get used to. This game wasn't bad, it just didn't live up to the other games in this family for me personally.

Cover Image Credit: Animal Crossing

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What I'm Looking Forward To From Pokemon Sword And Shield

I cannot contain my excitement!!

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It is February 27th, 2019, the 23rd annual Pokemon Day!! To celebrate, The Pokemon Company made a major announcement, the first look at the eighth generation of games, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield! If you missed it, here is the release trailer:


Forge a Path to Greatness in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield! ⚔ 🛡 www.youtube.com


These games are a huge leap forward for the company and series because they are the first new games (Let's Go! Pikachu and Let's Go! Eevee were remakes and extensions on the mobile Pokemon GO!) to be released on the Nintendo Switch, making them also the first main games ever to be released on a console instead of a handheld, utilizing much more power and potential than ever before and the Switch's being a unique hybrid as an excuse to make the jump.

These games also won't be led by Junichi Masuda (who has directed almost every main-series game and remake since 2003's release of Ruby and Sapphire), but rather by Shigeru Ohmori (the director of Sun and Moon) which further opens up the potential for innovation and creativity. An almost completely fresh face is in charge of the largest games to date.

Back on Sun and Moon Ohmori proved himself as an innovator by completely changing the overall course of the games and opting for new features--eliminating gyms in exchange for a series of trials, making the region more accurate to the Hawaiian culture it was based on, and introducing many regional variants of different Pokemon--so I foresee more fresh features coming in this gen.

All we know about Sword and Shield so far besides these details and the names is that the region they're in, Galar, appears to be based in part off of Industrial-era UK, the starter Pokemon's names--Scorbunny: the fire rabbit Pokemon, Sobble: the water-lizard Pokemon, and Grookey: the grass chimp Pokemon--and that they will release approximately around the end of November, as is the standard for all major Pokemon releases.

Everything else about the games remains a mystery for now, which is exciting, especially since The Pokemon Company has a habit of revealing all the details very early on.

This is also exciting because it allows us as fans to speculate about the games in many ways, so let me tell you what some of MY speculations, wants, and wishes are as of right now. First, let's look at the starters and their typing!

Judging by the very limited information we know about them right now (which is just their names and designs, really) I am hoping they end up as follows: Scorbunny being Fire/Electric because despite it looking like it's fighting I am hoping they pull another Incineroar with us on it, Sobble being Water/Ghost judging by it being mostly invisible in the water when we first see it, and Grookey being Grass/Ground or Grass/Fighting because the precedent for monkey Pokemon goes either of those ways.

Next, I am hoping that the roster of new Pokemon goes one of two ways: the unlikely way of a Unova-esque onslaught of a massive number of new faces, with earlier generations not being available until post-game or the much more likely way of a Sinnoh-esque lineup where a majority of the new Pokemon introduced expand upon previous evolutionary chains, fleshing out some old favorites in the mix with the newcomers.

I am also hoping that whichever path they choose is full of the regional variants they introduced in the Alola region and that if they opt to introduce new evos they also bring in some new Mega Evolutions, even if that will upset the competitive players.

Finally, I am hoping that all the teasing this week comes to the conclusion that we have all wanted and been waiting for ages, that the re-featuring of each region on Pokemon's official accounts this week has been not only because there are seven regions and seven days, and not only because they were trying to let us know they were announcing a new one, but that it also means because the Switch has so much potential, that in Sword and Shield we will have the potential to visit every single region throughout the course of the post-game.

This would be doubly cool if they used it as a method by which to continue introducing new regional variants of existing Pokemon, not only in Galar but in every previous region as well!

Basically, I have high hopes and higher expectations for this new game. But even if none of this comes true, I will be ecstatic to pick up my copy and play nonetheless because these games look gorgeous and huge already, and because I will finally be able to play a main-series Pokemon game on not only a handheld screen but a large t.v. screen as well! Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield come out in November and I am already counting down the days!

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