Between AT12-13.1


My Krix Wife is at Monika Camp [me]:
So… This is where MHA peaked for me. I’ve only seen to partway through the tournament arc because the show became a lot less interesting to me when it ditched the idea of “yes, you can become a hero even if you’re born without a power”, and by the tournament it was losing its ability to keep my attention.
Basically, I liked it better before Deku got a power.

that was only the first 2 episodes

My Krix Wife is at Monika Camp:
Yes, exactly.

It would make for an interesting villain or hero who chooses to be quirkless in this world. Like, whether they didn’t have one or just refuse to use it out of principle

My Krix Wife is at Monika Camp:
The first two episodes seem to set up the message that it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a power, you can still become a hero. That would make for an interesting story!
But then they introduce All For One – power transfer ex machina – and turn it into a more standard story of “oh shit I’m too powerful for my own good”.
It’s just not as interesting to me and it undermines the message of the opening. “You can be a hero too. You just need to get super lucky and find out the impossible ‘healing’ of your condition is possible and have the only guy who can do it decide to take you under his wing.”

[Tumblr postloreweaver-universe:

I was asked my thoughts on this by @krixwell-liveblogs, and it got long enough that I decided to just make a post about it.

It’s a fair criticism, but I find the story is more about Midoriya’s spirit, the qualities that made All Might CHOOSE him.  It shows All Might’s priorities in choosing a successor; he’s willing to resign himself to finding a philosophically good enough person with a quirk to take his power, but the moment he finds a philosophically perfect person who hasn’t got any powers of his own he drops all his plans and goes with him instead.  As a result, the story isn’t some broad parable about how anyone can be a hero, it’s an examination of the kind of person the local Superman equivalent values–kind, hard-working, unwilling to flinch from danger when others are in trouble.  Heroic, basically.  And he finds that not among the superpowered populace, but amongst the powerless minority that society so often kicks aside, neglects, and generally treats as an embarrassing sideshow.

The whole comic, in fact, has a theme, and it’s not “anyone can be a hero”–it’s “heroes need to be heroic.”  Stain’s a lunatic, but he’s a lunatic with a good point who just takes it too far–and his point is that people are getting into heroism because it’s now just another job, not because they actually want to help anyone.  It keeps coming back to that point, in fact; the Vigilantes side-story has unsanctioned heroism versus government-sanctioned nine-to-fivers as its central philosophical conflict, and actually itself examines a quirkless hero in the course of things.

This is not to say that people are inherently bad for getting into saving people because it pays the bills; in fact, people like Ochako are explicitly called out as being good people despite their simplistic, relatively self-serving motivations, but while the hero industry in the present day of MHA Japan still largely self-selects for Good People, alarming anomalies like Endeavor are popping up at an increasing rate.  Like the American police system, people are starting to enter a job meant to protect people because they instead want to have power–power over the weak, over history, or just in the eyes of the public.  One of my favorite bits of subtle character development is how utterly horrified Bakugou is by Endeavor after he learns Todoroki’s backstory; he verrrryyyyy slowly starts becoming more like Midoriya and All Might, though he still has a long way to go.  One of my dream scenarios is Bakugou getting to spend time with Endeavor until he loses his shit and attacks the bastard.

If you want a similar story about a powerless hero who stays powerless, I’d recommend the very fun webcomic PS238–though that one’s about an elementary school for the kids of that universe’s supers.  I haven’t kept up with it recently, but I enjoyed it immensely.


Krix the Brave and Glorious:
Huh. I still do feel like that’s not really the theme the opening of the anime appeared to set up (which may be more a fault of the opening than the show/manga as a whole), but it’s a pretty good theme in its own right.
Also damn, you managed to convince me even more that you should read Worm at some point.


(#by the way
#me laying out my thoughts in the first screenshot was prompted by wyblogging finishing episode 2
#if you’re interested in the show #go check him out!)

Correction: Apparently the tournament arc is not what I thought it was. I’ve watched up to the sports festival arc, not the tournament.

As of Jack’s interlude, you’ve read 500,000 words of Worm. On a somewhat related note, Ward is almost 7 months old and is closing in on 500,000 words soon.

Nice! Only 1.34 Homestucks to go!

Also damn, that man is productive.

(#1 homestuck = 817929 words
#using this unit is a tool for me to visualize how much 1.1 million words actually is
#btw #1.34 doubles as a homestuck number
#i did not fudge that)

Re: Crystal Gems having Manton protection from Shatterbird, remember Weld has certain power immunity: (from 9.1) “In addition, his biology fell into some optimal middle ground between organic and inorganic. For those whose powers affected only living things, he counted as inorganic. The opposite was also true.” So it depends on how the powers see their gems.

That is a good point, though it’s worth noting that in SU canon, Gems are explicitly inorganic life (which hits a weird spot with the Manton effect, since whether it operates on “organic vs inorganic” or “alive vs lifeless” seems to vary). But who knows if the power will see it that way?

By the way, while we’re on the topic of SU and the Manton effect: I think it’s in effect along the “alive vs lifeless” axis for one of Steven’s powers, but the characters don’t realize it.

Steven has the power to heal, but for a while he’s presented as having “lost” this ability due to lack of confidence in it after Greg pretended it didn’t work. I think that’s bullshit and conclusion jumping on the characters’ part – his healing power not working for a while is far better explained by him not trying to use it on anything he perceived as alive between “losing” the power and “regaining” it, nor have we seen the reverse outside this period.

It didn’t work to heal a crack in a giant stormy rock that wasn’t a living being like the Gems and humans are (the power works on both Gems and humans, so it’s not an “organic vs inorganic” thing), so he concluded it had outright disappeared.

(He does discover that “it’s back” by way of accidentally healing a teddy bear, to which you could argue that it isn’t alive, but I think MC Bear Bear is alive to Steven.)

I think what rubs me most the wrong way about the whole thing is that if I’m right about this and Steven couldn’t heal lifeless things in the first place, taking away the healing power he only unlocked three episodes earlier didn’t even serve any narrative purpose beyond the (mediocre at best) episode it happened in.


Wildbow did start out with a buffer of prewritten chapters. I think when he started he had arc 1 written, and arc 2 mostly written. However he ended up burning through the buffer pretty quickly. He used up the last of it some time during arc 6 or 7. Since then, most his chapters were written the day they were posted. Despite this, he’s manged to go 6.5 years without ever missing one of his regular Tue/Sat updates.


No wonder he had some choice words about my early schedule. This is clearly a guy who’s good at sticking to his own while still producing high-quality content.

“And herself” The Doctor is not white. “A woman stood there, dark-skinned”

Wait, did I imply she was white at some point? If I did, that must’ve been an accident, since I did catch the bit about her skin color (and later brought it up in the context of Cauldron’s location).

[I think this was about the joke (here, search “plastic chairs”) where I paraphrased the song “Blue” in reference to the Doctor, replacing the color blue with white. I wasn’t thinking of race at all when I wrote that, but because the lyrics of the original song say the main character is blue like everything else, the changed lyrics accidentally ended up saying the Doctor was white. Whoops.]

Battery’s interlude is a tiny bit less than 9500 words. Canary’s, which took you three liveblogging sessions to finish, has a word count of less than 7700. I was shocked to see you finish the former in one take, how exactly do you decide when to stop?

It’s a complex formula involving the phases of the moon, the distance to the nearest butterfly, the number of stars visible through the closest window, the current date in the Eternal September calendar, and a frankly excessive amount of cheese.

Alright, actual answer: It varies. Sometimes I set myself a limit, a time to stop near, specifically to avoid cases like what happened with Battery’s Interlude. This is the healthiest option. Other times, I go by how I’m feeling in the moment and how late it’s getting. And sometimes I get stuck in a loop of “I can’t be far from the end now”, which is a leading cause of extra long sessions.

The story Ethan is reading to the kids is “The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb” (“Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher” or “Historien om tommelsugeren”) from Heinrich Hoffmann’s “Der Struwwelpeter” (which Wikipedia tells me is known in Norway as “Busteper”). The non-elective amputation of a child’s thumbs isn’t even the worst thing that happens in these little ditties.

Well, they sound like perfect stories for Brockton Bay children.

I wonder how many superpowered kids they have resulted in.

Remember after Gregor’s interlude, when you said “This Interlude’s focus character was chosen by poll – it could’ve easily been someone with no connection to Ʊpsilon, in which case Wildbow would presumably not introduce the concept at this point. That makes me wonder if Ʊpsilon is actually relevant to Taylor’s story, the story we follow outside the Interludes, in any way other than as backstory for parts of Faultline’s crew.”? I think it’s finally safe to say how funny that bit seemed to us.

Yeah, as of Arc 11, they’ve started having some increased relevance, and now they’ve set up one of the heroes of Brockton Bay as a helper for two of the Slaughterhouse Nine, which is quite possibly going to put Battery in the Undertravelers’ way against her will.

Cauldron is still more of a background agent, not very directly relevant to Skitter in particular beyond Skitter vaguely knowing about them, but I know well how much of a difference background agents who act through others and only insert their influence in small doses where its needed for their purposes can make. If you’re not careful, they’ll make you all


…though Cauldron, so far, seems more interested in business than some master plan.

I know single session chapters are probably hard on you (especially as the chapters are seeming to generally get longer) but I love it whenever they do happen woops

Hehe, that’s entirely fair. It does mean more content for you guys, and a slightly quicker pace through the story.

Since i was curious (and you might be as well) what the longest chapters so far were: 12 ½ – 9494, 8.6 – 9179, 11.h (Amy) – 8738, 6.x (Canary) – 7659, 11.a (Rachel) – 7624. Everything else is below 7k words. Great speed today!

Huh, neat. It’s interesting to note that four out of those top five are Interludes.

It makes sense that Interludes might end up longer, I suppose. With Taylor’s story, Wildbow can often just split the story up into more chapter if necessary. That’s not quite the case with anyone else’s perspectives, as long as he sticks to keeping them in one piece per character.

What percentage chance would you give each current member of the Nine making it out of Brockton Bay alive, knowing all you do about factors working for and against them?

  • Siberian: Her power is incredibly good defensively. Battery has been tasked with keeping her alive. 92%.
  • Jack: The local alliances are specifically interested in killing him, and he’s defensively among the weakest members, though the team is protecting him as a result and because he’s the leader. However, the reason they want to kill him is also the reason I’m on record as saying he won’t be killed, unless it’s too late (to recap, I suspect the conversation he had with Theo may have been the critical moment), so it hinges on whether or not it is. If it is or will be too late, I’d say maybe a 40-50% chance of him getting out alive, otherwise 99%. Mixed with the chances of my theory being right… ~80%, perhaps?
  • Burnscar: The only member (except maybe Bonesaw?) whose death would be outright tragic, due to the circumstances of her membership. Not particularly well-defended, except against fire, so it wouldn’t be that hard to kill her. Still, though, I have a feeling Wildbow isn’t going to? 60%, I guess.
  • Pinkie Pie: Does not being in the same world’s version of Brockton Bay mean she can’t escape the city (0%) or that she already has (100%, retroactive)? Does escaping from Ponyville count as escaping from Brockton Bay given multiverse mumbo jumbo? She’s quite likely able to do that, at least as long as her activities remain secret. 85%?
  • Mannequin: Well defended and hard to kill properly because each of his parts are separately sustained. Would be in trouble if the Manton effect didn’t prevent Kaiser from affecting his chains, and if Kaiser wasn’t, y’know, dead. He’s also going up against Skitter again, which might end up forcing the Undertravelers to kill him. Sundancer ought to be quite effective against him, actually. 80%?
  • Shatterbird: Incredibly powerful, but fragile. A true glass cannon. She’s also got an attitude that screams “kill me off”. Battery has been tasked with keeping her alive. 42%.
  • Crawler: Like Siberian, but moreso. How the fuck do you kill him? 97%.
  • Cherish: Poorly defended. Already in trouble with the Nine, not likely to succeed at redeeming herself in their eyes. She’s not likely to survive unless she defects, and even then, she can expect to have Siberian on her tail. 20% at best.
  • Bonesaw: Too precious. Not greatly defended, on her own, but her creations do a good job preventing attacks. 65%?

(#canon pinkie would definitely be able to escape with her fourth wall and physics-breaking powers
#but i’m not supposed to know that when i include her in these lists)

Leviathan’s actually been a recurring summon/boss since Final Fantasy 2, all the way back in 1988. Fun fact: Behemoth is also a recurring summon/boss and Simurghs are recurring small enemies.

Huh, that’s neat!

Now that you know a bit more about Cauldron, and especially now that you know physical mutations aren’t necessarily as common as you were assuming they were back then, care to revisit your speculations from post 171488443634 [here, the ask about other Cauldron customers]. Besides Battery and the case 53s, do you think there are any other characters we know who got their powers from Cauldron?

Well, Shatterbird and Siberian come to mind, but I’m sure that’s not what you wanted to hear about. Shatterbird’s pretty close to confirmed, and Siberian’s already implied by Cauldron’s interest in keeping her alive. No, you want the ones that aren’t openly known yet.

Hmm… Maybe some or all of the Travelers? It would explain a couple things about their shared backstory. A debt to Cauldron and/or troubles with their countermeasures might be part of why they’ve been on the move so much, and/or why they came to Coil (though that seems to be mostly because of Noelle). It would also be interesting to have some people close to the Undersiders involved in it, especially if it results in the Undersiders finding out more – and possibly putting the Travelers in touch with Faultline’s Crew.

Coil, if he found out about Cauldron, would quite likely use some of his massive wealth to buy powers for some of his people. Unfortunately, we don’t actually know of any powered subordinates of Coil’s who we don’t already know had their powers before they joined him, or at least before they met him in person. If he’s done this, it would be with Circus, Trainwreck, Chariot (who may be joining the Wards for Cauldron rather than Coil) or the Travelers (who seem to have been active before they found Coil), or with one or more characters who haven’t been introduced yet.

I suppose we don’t actually know if 6.7 was Circus and Trainwreck’s first time meeting Coil.

I don’t think Coil himself got his power from Cauldron. It’s a strong and unique power, so probably expensive as fuck, and he used his power to build his wealth.

…huh. I just looked a little closer at the post you referred to in the ask, and it seems I accidentally predicted the exact same people, aside from the stuff about Coil buying for his subordinates? Siberian (I guess that was a correct prediction! probably) and the Travelers. Well then.

(I no longer think what’s happening to Noelle is a Deviation, which takes care of the issue I brought up at the end of that post.)

But yeah, I doubt this ask would be here if there weren’t more/other buyers to find. So… how about ye olde Kaiser?

And then there’s Armmaster. I could see him buying a power to kick off his heroic career, though he might not be proud of having had to do that.

My thoughts on BnHA are the exact same as yours. There is such a set up for something different and then it IMMEDIATELY plunges into generic shonen the first chance it gets. Sure, it deals well with character development, but that is only new TO SHONENS and people who mostly watch/read shonen. I REALLY tried to give it more chances though, but it just kept solving stuff without foreshadowing and there IS one “people who believe me give me power”-win that REALLY pisses me the fuck off. Dropped.


I don’t really want to come across as too harsh on the series. It’s decent for what it is, kept me binging for a little over a season, but it’s a bit disappointing after what the opening episodes seemed to be building up.

Apparently the original plan was to have Deku remain powerless and become a gadget hero, but the author couldn’t get it sold like that. A shame, honestly, I think the author would’ve been able to execute that very well.

“If you want a similar story about a powerless hero who stays powerless” you might also try Iris Zero, as long as we’re still talking about manga.

Noted! 🙂

I’m pretty sure there are already tons of stories with powerless heroes in a world where superpowers are a thing, or just heroes with very shitty powers who find ways to use them creatively (I recommend the book “Playing for Keeps” by Mur Lafferty if you like stories about shitty powers being used creatively). I’m not saying MHA is super original (though Loreweaver makes good points and I’ll be keeping an eye out for those themes) but “becoming a hero even though you’re powerless” isn’t either.

That is fair. I do think it’s a little more interesting, though.

And hey, guess what? Worm is arguably one of those stories about “heroes with very shitty powers who find ways to use them creatively”, at least borderline. In terms of raw power, bug control isn’t very strong (though it’s getting stronger) against most of Taylor’s enemies, but combining it with Taylor’s ingenuity and tactical skills (I’ve compared her to the leader of an army with good reason) makes it capable of taking down enemies like half-dragon Lung and Mannequin nonetheless.

She’s not the only one doing it, either. Skidmark, for instance, was fairly clever about how he applied his boost pads – a highlight being when he put it on his cape and used it defensively.

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