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Mukaukau Nuva

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About Mukaukau Nuva

Year 02
  • Rank
    Turaga
  • Birthday 08/17/1997

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Canada
  • Interests
    Writing, reading.

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  1. TBH I find myself surprisingly OK w/ using Keetorange as a replacement brown colour; it's eye-catching, it doesn't seem like it would otherwise be widely used, & (correct me if I'm wrong), it started out as a unique Bionicle colour. Sure, it's inconsistent w/ brown, but if you have to get rid of brown then I think it's the ideal replacement colour. I'm less in favour of using plain yellow, or even worse, plain orange, tho. Up to 2008, plain orange was long enumerated to be an accent colour for red Bionicle sets. While I'm hardly one to advocate for stringent types, I would like a certain amount of consistency, & esp. on a character like Pohatu plain orange just seems strange to me. Not sure I would have preferred a Keetorange Pohatu, however... TBH the colour schemes are only part of a wider issue for those 2008 sets, none of whom really resemble their counterpart that well, in terms of colour or otherwise.
  2. I've kept most of mine. The only exceptions (& I can't think of any specific ones now) are the Mahri & Phantoka 'canisters' that fail to serve as proper storage space. Frankly, I don't know how you could 'keep' those, given you basically have to destroy them to get them open. Ditto for the Av Matoran & Agori 'canisters.' I tried to keep them, but the cardboard bent out of shape anyway and rendered them unusable.
  3. In defense of Gold Good Guy, I believe the set was supposed to be free. I think you could find sets that are worse relative to their price-point at the time. Like, if cheap sets are bad, then at least you aren't out a lot of money. If Titans are bad then you're out more than chump change. With that in mind, I think you find far worse sets in 8623 Krekka or 8939 Lesovikk (setting aside whatever you feel about the character, the set would be mediocre even if the lime green joints didn't break, but alas, they do). The least favourite set of mine that I actually owned was 8952 Mutran & Vican. For some reason the allure of 'limited edition' made me look past the fact it was basically a re-colour of Chirox & Kirop. I mean, technically you get more value for your money w/ Mutran (since I believe the bundle was cheaper than buying Chirox & Kirop separately), but I'd be lying if I said I thought Av-Matoran brought much value to anything, but that's just me.
  4. The Happy Meal Maku... But I was only like, 4 years old & I had no idea what Bionicle was at the time. The same was technically true when I got Gali Nuva & Onua Nuva as a gift, but thankfully I still have all 3 of these sets today. I think the first Bionicle I got where I was cognizant that this was a Bionicle & I knew what that meant was Kazi & Matoro in 2006.
  5. Wow! I think you've put more thought in your reply than I did in my original post (which is the best I could have hoped for; begetting good discussion is the whole point). I'm glad you brought in the books; that is certainly a deficiency in my little write-up. I think I've read Bionicle Adventures 5 as a kid (somehow that was the only one I acquired), but being a little averse to eBooks (& not knowing they were available online) means I haven't 'caught up' w/ them for some time. Perhaps not something a 'responsible' Bionicle fan ought to do, but perhaps this is just the time to start. A lot of really good catches in the novels, tho. (& things I never knew about either). I think you're right that these scenes continue to demonstrate Nokama's leadership qualities. I actually find her characterization surprisingly consistent, for want of a better word. There are one or two things you pointed out that really got my brain rolling, tho. they might be a bit scrambled: IIRC Greg preferred writing for Gali & Kopaka for the prior team, did he not? If Greg saw Nokama & Gali as somewhat similar characters (which I think he did), then perhaps that's why he favours Nokama in some of these scenes? I don't want to chalk it up entirely to 'girl=heart power' b/c hopefully it is not that shallow. B/c even if he's contractually obligated to write in the PoV of every Toa, now & then, that wouldn't explain why both Gali & Nokama get the same kinds of scenes, if you get my drift. I think these snippets show all you want them to and more; heck, I think both of them are trying to get the other to step up and lead, as you say. Vakama is even basically demurring to Nokama as he does so ("I'm sure you'll do a fine job"). Admittedly, I don't know how much of that is his sincere faith in her abilities or his own lack-of-confidence. I think 'in-canon' it is supposed to be the later, & Nokama picks up on that & tries to support him. And poor Nuju & his gendered language! "I don't care who leads us, as long as he doesn't expect me to follow" indeed! I can still (kinda) tie this back to something I read earlier. I remember reading (I may have written down where, or maybe not. At any rate I've forgotten now) that a lot of women feel (or are made to feel) unqualified for leadership positions even tho. they have all the qualifications for it (which I've seen spun either as the requisite humility required in a true leader, or oppression at work, or perhaps both). I think you could read some of these scenes w/ Nokama in that light; some of the team (or at least Vakama) recognizes her abilities, but she doesn't, or if she does, she does not feel that this ought to be her role, regardless of how suited she would otherwise be to it. Now, we don't know if Ga-Matoran experience the world the same way women in our world do, but given Nuju's comment (& the fact this series is written by-&-for humans), I think we can say it is close enough. Yeah, I thought about getting into that a bit, but considering his half of the story is already discussed to death (for good reason), I figured it was a good idea to let dead horses lie in this particular arena. In any case, the films do NOT portray Vakama in a good light as a leader (& I still like Vakama, ofc.). The books, & the 2004-2005 story as a whole... I think that case is a lot-less clear-cut, & I'd have a much higher bar to clear if I wanted to claim that Vakama is a mediocre leader in all media for all time. I think the jury's still out on it, for sure. Yeah, I was thinking about that too. B/c I think this is where maybe my perception of the story, & not just the 'what happened in canon' is at play here. B/c WoS ends without cutting back to the end of LoMN, so the 'conclusion' to the Metru storyline isn't left to sit with the viewer in cinematic form in the same way. There may also be a bit of my projection at play; I assumed that Vakama remained nominal leader of the Metru even after their transformation into Turaga. Certainly 2001-2003 media don't imply this too much (since in MNOLG the Turaga basically make decisions as a group), but the movies certainly do. IIRC only Vakama has a speaking role in Mask of Light, & he's the one narrating the story in LoMN & WoS; both have the framing device of him telling the story to Takanuva (& Hahli, I think?), without any of the other Turaga present. Admittedly, this only technically implies that Vakama's the best story-teller of the group (or the one with the best memory), but considering important stuff seems to accumulate onto Vakama like a magnet, I just kinda lumped it into his leadership role. I mean, he is technically teaching, & as you pointed out that's an important role for a leader to take. Anyway, thank you more than enough for the feedback. It may take a while for the Roodaka piece to come out (since I'd basically only finished the introduction), but my thoughts on her character remain basically the same. We'll see how it goes; Web of Shadows probably won't give me a lot to work on, on its own, but that could be the perfect excuse to incorporate the novels as well (in which case, I need to do some reading).
  6. Liking a good property (or work of art) doesn't (automatically) make you a good person.
  7. This is an essay that I've been working on for... sadly, almost two years now. Writing it was one of the reasons I signed up for BZPower in the 1st place! But it sat on my shelf, and, after a few revisions, I've decided to release it into the world. I'm not sure if my views today are 100% in accordance to the arguments I've made herein, but they're generally close-enough & I'm willing to stand by most of what I claim here. To begin, Bionicle is... not well-known for depicting a large variety of female characters; mainly because most female characters are exclusively confined to the Water element (at least when it comes to the female characters that get set and story space) and are subsequently saddled with Water's stereotypes. In particular, Bionicle is lacking in positive depictions of female leaders. Pomegranate talked about this in a much earlier post: As mentioned, Gali, Hahli, Macku, Vhisola, and Tuyet are not leaders (at least officially). Helryx is one, and Roodaka, while a leader (and someone who I'll probably talk about in a post after this one) is both a villain and has her own representational hangups. While I could talk about Helryx, I'm instead going to talk about a character that is given greater focus and who serves as an example of what happens when female leaders do exist but aren't acknowledged. Yes, we're talking about Toa Nokama. Nokama is not the leader of the Toa Metru, yet she suspiciously does everything an actual leader would do (as well as things the actual leader of the Metru should be doing but isn't). For the sake of simplicity, I'm only going to concern myself with how Nokama is depicted in "Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui" and "Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows". I might veer into comic book territory in a separate post. Why do I choose the films and not the books and/or comics? I’m choosing the films for a variety of reasons. For one, the films probably reached a larger audience of children than the novels did, and thus, from a broader cultural standpoint, the films are perhaps more important. Plus, it dishes out more of the story than the comics do. Finally, given my preclusion for being long-winded, this material is more than enough for me to work with. Comparing the depictions of Nokama across all Bionicle’s media would be time consuming and ultimately pointless, because how she is depicted in the novels is going to be different than the video games and the comics. (Just as a note, I'll reference most of my observations--the ones that didn't slip my mind, anyway--with a timestamp, so you can follow along with me, if you want). For starters, Nokama is the first Matoran who Toa Lhikan gives a Toa Stone to (LoMN:3:05). In doing so, he tells her to "guide them with your wisdom." That Nokama is chosen first singles her out (admittedly Vakama, by virtue of being chosen last, is also accorded a special position), especially given the advice Lhikan gives her. Guiding her fellow Toa could be taken as a directive to lead them, especially since none of the other Toa are given advice that singles them out as leaders also. Vakama, treated as the actual leader of the Toa Metru, is told to "save the heart of Metru Nui" (LoMN:7:55). While Vakama's task is important (perhaps the most important directive any of the Toa are given), it does not explicitly call him out for a leadership position. This isn't the first time Nokama comes first, as it happens. She is also the first Matoran to place their Toa Stone into the Suva, inadvertently calling the other Matoran to action to do so themselves (LoMN:1147). When Vakama receives a vision (from Mata Nui, don't let Greg fool you with his talk of glitches ), all the other Toa are convinced he's gone haywire; only Nokama decides that the visions should be trusted (LoMN:14:54). And it is partly on Nokama's word that the Metru go along with the plot to find the Great Disks. Vakama suggested it, but none of the others apart from Nokama appear enthusiastic about the idea. This isn’t really a majority vote either; Vakama and Nokama is still 2 against 4. Onewa states that he's "doing this for Lhikan, no one else," but this line doesn't follow--the Great Disks have nothing to do with Lhikan to Onewa's knowledge. Onewa is also one of the most emotionally defensive of the Metru; what he says isn't always how he feels (for example, he cares about his brothers after they've been captured, yet he disparages them the entire time). His reluctance could be a cover; Nokama's leadership qualities convince him somewhat, but he doesn't want to admit it. I want to shift gears a moment to when the Toa are tasked with crossing the sea of Protodermis. Here, Vakama (future leader of the group) freezes up and issues no commands to his team; when Onewa asks "what do we do now," Whenua, not Vakama, answers him (LoMN:19:02). Rather, it is Nokama who tries to lead the group out of danger; after a quick "follow me" (LoMN:19:12), she directs Vakama to shoot at the statue of Lhikan, ultimately securing escape for herself, Vakama, and Matau. Nokama also takes initiative to use the Le-Metru chute system to escape Nidhiki and Krekka, with Matau and Vakama following her example (LoMN:23:05). When the chute's flow changes direction, Nokama is the one who leads the trio out of danger, using her Hydro Blades to catapult them out of the chute (LoMN: 28:00). When the three need to travel to Po-Metru, Nokama seeks out the Vahki transport to use; Vakama (the future leader) instead preoccupies himself with the presently-useless Great Disks, almost missing the transport altogether (LoMN:29:59). When they finally get to Po-Metru, Nokama becomes the first Toa Metru to discover her mask power (something the film treats as an important plot point), which she then uses to track down Lhikan by getting help from the Kikanalo (LoMN:35:26). After this incident, Nokama proceeds to do absolutely nothing of consequence for the rest of the film (don't worry, there's always the next film), as when reunited, the Metru are lead by directives given by Turaga Lhikan, and once Makuta reveals himself, the film's focus switches to Vakama exclusively for the rest of the film. Still, it's a rather impressive run; this is almost half the film's running time! Most of these points could be condensed down into "Nokama does something, then some (or all) of the Metru decide to follow her," and I'm sure it sounded more than a little repetitive. But my point was to show that Nokama's leadership qualities in B2:LoMN were not a one-time event. In a vacuum, the end of B2:LoMN shows that the Toa are, at the very least, taking turns as leader. No one is explicitly called the leader at any rate, and while Nokama shows her value at the beginning of the film, Vakama shows his value at the end of it; forging the Vahi, battling Makuta, following the light, and being the first to give up his Toa power to awaken the Matoran. Who lead the team depended on whose qualities were best fit for the situation, reinforcing Bionicle’s themes of Unity and Duty (if not Destiny). Unfortunately canon, and B3:WoS, have to go ahead and ruin that interpretation. The film begins with Vakama as the definitive leader of the Metru; trying and ultimately failing to rescue the Matoran. Instead, the whole team is captured, and Vakama decides to blame himself rather than motivate the team to look for an answer. While Norik offers support and a potential way out of the mutation, Vakama rejects that offer, instead deciding to abandon and betray his teammates in favour of seductress Roodaka. Granted, Vakama has been suffering depression and lack of confidence for two films in a row and has just been rendered more bestial (whatever that means) by the Hordika venom. The Vakama of B2:LoMN isn’t a perfect leader, but in certain situations he can lead the team effectively in a positive way. But the Vakama of B3:WoS is categorically unfit to be a leader, between getting his team captured, abandoning and betraying his team, and his prior history of low-self esteem and freezing up in dire situations in B2:LoMN. Let me reiterate—this is not Vakama’s fault, per se, but it means that he is not a good choice for a leader. Nokama’s leadership skills, however, are still in full force. She is the one who insists the Metru must believe in Keetongu, even as Vakama and Matau doubt her (WoS:19:04). She also speaks on behalf of the team on staying out of the Great Temple while mutated (WoS:26:31). When the team enters the coliseum to rescue Vakama, Nokama is the first one to call out to him (WoS:46:22). When diplomacy fails and the Toa charge their Rhotuka, it is Nokama who gives the order (WoS:47:25). When Onewa doubts they should keep charging the spinner (instead of firing it), it is Nokama he directs the question to, implying she is in command (WoS:47:34). When they do fire the Rhotuka, it’s on Nokama’s order (WoS:47:43). Given what results, it is implied that the plan to use the Rhotuka to fly is also Nokama’s doing, given that she gives the order to let go (WoS:48:03). Web of Shadows ends with the Toa not only accepting Vakama back into the team but letting him stay on as leader. This is crucial—the virtue of Unity required that the Toa accept Vakama back, but there is no reason why he had to return as leader when his prior experience in the role resulted in such failure. In Web of Shadows, Vakama fails his way upwards, as you will, in that his failures as a leader result not in him being reprimanded, but instead in his authority being upheld without further question. Ultimately, this series of events begs one simple question: Why is Nokama not the “official” leader of the Toa Metru? She approves missions for the team to follow, leads them out of dangerous situations through quick-thinking, and is the first to learn important aspects of being a Toa that her teammates then follow by example. What else is required of a leader? Who among the Metru can seriously boast being a more qualified applicant? Greg, the Wikia, or the canon in general, have explained the above with a mix of "it was Vakama's destiny to lead the Metru" and "Nokama was the Deputy Leader of the Metru, and was acknowledged to be good enough to be the actual leader by herself and her teammates, but decided to step aside from the role because it was Vakama's destiny." In other words, a heaping load of bull. Destiny is important to Bionicle, no two-ways about it, but Vakama's actual destiny is shown to us; forge the Vahi (for himself) and save the Matoran of Metru Nui (with the other Metru). Nothing about his destiny requires he be the leader, other than the fact that he's: A) The protagonist B) Male C) The red toy These three points are interrelated, but to give a counterexample, Matoro was arguably the protagonist of the "Ignition" arc, he was male, and he was one of the most marketed of his team (though not red, both he and Vakama are right up front in the posters). Yet he isn't the leader of his team; he doesn't have to be, and no one expects it of him. His role is even more important than Vakama’s but said role is not diminished by the fact he’s not the leader. This is all to show Bionicle’s strengths and weaknesses as a storytelling medium. We have strong female leaders in this story. But while the story-verse is gracious enough to treat these female leaders not as a rarity or an odd-quirk, it also doesn’t acknowledge their contribution nor fully reward them for their efforts as often as I think is probably warranted. And that's it! I regret to inform you that T-shirts declaring 'I read Mukaukau Nuva's essay & all I got was this lousy T-shirt' are not forthcoming, but I wish they were. Thanks for reading
  8. Both names are slightly silly-sounding to Anglophone ears. But Makuta has the benefit of being an actual word, w/ an actual etymology. "Mākutu" is a Maori word (what else would it be, given this is 2001 Bionicle?) meaning 'witchcraft' or 'to bewitch.' Debates about cultural appropriation aside, Makuta is the more meaningful name. "Teridax," conversely, appears to just be a name Greg thought sounded cool (given he supposedly used it on a World of Warcraft account once). Whatever else you think of Greg, he's not exactly a Tolkien (who was a veritable name-nut), so the names he invents aren't always of top-quality.
  9. I think a writer (not necessarily the Bionicle writers; as has already been noted, the idea the story could have continued w/out toy sales driving it is pretty outlandish) could have done a lot w/out being attached to toys. For instance, I think you'd have a greater degree of character development for the original 6 Toa. They were our protagonists for the 1st 3 years, ofc. But we could have followed them beyond that if there's no need to sell Toa Metru or Toa Ignika sets. Moreover, I think you'd continue to have a more Tohunga/Matoran-centric story. I can't imagine 2001's Tohunga & Turaga sets were among the highest sellers, & the small-sets of subsequent waves would get increasingly little focus & characterization in the story-proper. I think, in general, the original story bible (whatever was contained therein) would have been followed more closely, given there would be nothing else to go on. But exactly what that would entail is a somewhat debatable; I know there are varying interpretations of what direction the story was intended to go from the very outset (beyond those elements that did make it into the later story, such as the Mata Nui Robot, obvs.)
  10. My Bionicle collection isn't really anything special; Toa Mata Nui is probably the most special thing I own, aside from random collectables (an orange Vahi & a Ga-Metru Great Disk). But I certainly don't have the room (nor the desire for!) a vast collection. A few things here-&-there are enough for me As for sentimental value, it amazes me I still have my 1st Bionicle set; the Maku I got at McDonald's 20 years ago now (minus the throwing disk, which I believe I lost at said McDonald's 20 years ago, lol). More than that, she's still in pretty good shape! I remember the arms of my friend's Nuparu (from the Boxor, ofc.) being all frayed & bent out of shape, & this was only in 2006 or so. Maku's arms look brand new by comparison, still good for a few more throws (assuming she had a disk!)
  11. I've tried in vain to remove the smell from an old leather-bound book I inherited (my grandad was a heavy smoker). I've tried using baking soda, leaving it out in the air, etc. I can't tell if the smell is getting better or if I'm just getting used to it, lol Anyway, I'll ditto the dryer sheet suggestion, since that makes sense to me. Perhaps other scented, smelly things would help (like Febreze?). I'd be reticent to try any method that might permanently damage the canisters. Basic household stuff seems like the way to go for me; baking soda, dryer sheets, & maybe vinegar (if someone seconds that).
  12. I'm not sure what year/era I would be tempted to choose. I was active & aware during 2006-2010, & I pretty much got most of the sets I wanted during those times (as well as a few that I kinda regret getting), so I wouldn't feel the need to go back for round two. 2001 & 2002 felt like ancient history to me at the time, so going back then to grab obscure stuff, like the Power Pack or random Kanohi packs would be right up my alley. I totally missed the collectables, & unlike the sets of that era, it's hard to 're-create' the experience by just re-building an old set. You'd have to actually open rogue Kanohi packs that managed to survive unopened for 20 years, but that feels flat-out irresponsible given how few sealed ones are left. Plus the chance of grabbing Muaka & Kane-Ra is just too good to pass up. The 2004 fan in me is tempted to pick that year for the chance to snag Ultimate Dume & the occasional Kanoka pack. Ultimate Dume always fascinated me as a kid, looking thru the encyclopedia. Now that I know that the 'exclusive mask' is just a weird misshapen helmet thing, & that Dume's mask is just a red-recolour of Norik's mask (I know Dume wore it 1st, but at the time I'd never seen the Dume set in person, while I had seen Toa Norik's), the set is obvs. less 'mysterious' for me than it was then. So yeah, 2001, for random hipster kitsch, no less.
  13. IIRC China does not recognize US or European copyright law (and why would you amirite?), so it's beyond easy to bootleg stuff there (since China underpays many of its workers, hiring those workers to make bootlegs is dirt cheap). Gibson guitars, movies, shoes, and yes, LEGO are all bootlegged. Retailers outside of China aren't supposed to buy them, but many do it anyway, and besides, ordering as a private citizen directly from China is super easy anyway. I'm sure this doesn't cover all LEGO bootlegs everywhere, but from what I understand that's the general industry. Anyone more in the know is free to chime in to correct me, however.
  14. Judging by images like these, it's happened at least twice. Mainly caused by stepping on the mask. Masks like the original Hau have a lot of plastic on the sides so stepping on the mask from the front or sides will create a stress mark that may or may not begin to crack. Due to the materials these masks are made of, the plastic could splinter off with jagged edges. It may not have happened a whole lot, but ideally it shouldn't happen at all (given stepping on LEGO is practically cliche). The newer style ones could still be damaged by stepping on them, of course, but they would just bend, not shatter, so the person playing with them shouldn't get hurt.
  15. They've done a few short films (none that I've watched, but I've seen them in places like Walmart, etc.) I suppose they could make one. Lucasfilm has been reluctant to commit to features lately, however, focusing everything on streaming television. The Kenobi movie was moved to a TV series. The Boba Fett movie was cancelled. I believe D&D's trilogy was also cancelled. IX has no sequels planned. The only film-related project that hasn't been shuffled or cancelled to my knowledge is Rian Johnson's trilogy (fortunate considering it's probably the only one of these save Kenobi that has any chance of being good).
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