Copy Cat

ToddTitle: Copy Cat
Subject: Mew and Mewtwo of Pokémon
Owner: Denise of Delve
URL: http://rigelatin.net/copycat/

What makes this shrine amazing: I have actually been working on my own Pokémon shrine, an upcoming tribute to my favorite Pokémon, Drifloon. I’ve been scouring the web reading as many Pokémon sites as I can, to see how others tackle these creatures with little development and depth (as far as video game characters go). Copy Cat stood out to me in a really good way. In this shrine to Mew and Mewtwo, Denise shows shrines to Pokémon can be just as full and engaging as any video game character shrine, and I can only hope my own shrine will be this good. Granted, there is more information on Mew and Mewtwo than many other Pokémon, but Denise doesn’t miss a thing.

Mew is, as Denise puts it, the beginning and the end of Pokémon, and Mewtwo, the clone of Mew, is “Frankenstein’s monster of the Pokémon world.” Denise introduces both Pokémon in clear, interesting pages with images and personal thoughts. Vital Statistics cover each Pokémon’s Pokedex entries, appearance, and powers, but go even further covering voice actors, names, and even sounds. Denise has even set up an Ancient Mew page, covering the unique Pokémon card.

Mew and Mewtwo are featured not only in the games, but in the anime and Pokémon movies, and Denise has covered them all in the story section. Cultural Differences is a really interesting section, discussing changes in the story from language to language. Denise has even covered Mew and Mewtwo’s cameos, going as far as to highlight them in a season opening. In the Story and Games & General sections, visitors are able to gain a clear understanding of both Pokémon. This is great even for somewhat-new Pokémon fans like myself (My first game was Pokémon Pearl.), who haven’t played the early games or watched the films, but have heard of the legendary Mew and Mewtwo and want to learn more. Mew and Mewtwo aren’t as prevalent in later generations, and new fans might be missing out. Denise’s site will quickly catch anyone up.

Denise’s whole shrine is wonderful, but the “fanstuff” section, titled Telekinesis, is where Copy Cat really shines. She has some silly, fun stuff like Nicknames and Ask Mew & Mewtwo, but in this section she also has out-of-the-box pages like Theories, where she hypothesizes and discusses Bill’s possible occupation (a great read!), and Impersonators, where she compares Mew and Mewtwo not only to other Pokémon, but characters from other anime and games, like Shadow from Sonic the Hedgehog and Master Chief from Halo.

There is a plethora of other pages and features to get lost in including extensive galleries, quotes, and a personal section explaining Denise’s own connection to Mew and Mewtwo. Denise has been working on this shrine since 2001, and it really shows, because there is so much thought and careful analysis scattered throughout. Some of the pages say Under Construction, which I’m excited about, because it means we’re in store for more, but what’s up and completed is definitely worth a visit or two or ten.

Lux Perpetua

ToddTitle: Lux Perpetua
Subject: Dove of Hawk & Dove
Owner: Robin of Withinmyworld.org
URL: http://dove.withinmyworld.org/

What makes this shrine amazing: Lux Perpetua is dedicated to a lesser-known female character from a 1988 DC comic series. As popular as DC and Marvel are in popular culture, I am surprised there are not more sites online dedicated to characters from comics and graphic novels. Lux Perpetua definitely fills the void, however. Even though most of us are not familiar with Dawn Granger, the super heroine Dove, this is a shrine that should not be skipped.

Not sure who Dove is? That’s okay! A little known fact about the webmistress, Robin, is that she has a teaching background. I think that fact is hugely evident in all of Robin’s sites, especially in this one, in how naturally information just flows. Her writing is clear and easy to understand, and she has a real gift when it comes to presenting information. Robin has introduced Dove in such a clear, engaging way, using not only articles on the character and her relationships, but bullet lists, comparisons, and images. Robin is super passionate about Dove, and has framed her site to focus on personal essays on the character. In the “Info” section, Robin gives the reader everything he or she needs to know to very quickly have a basic understanding of the character, so that the essays that follow can be understood and enjoyed.

Her “Essays” section is what pushes this shrine from good to amazing. Because of the detailed “Info” section, the “Essays” section can be enjoyed by anyone, whether you’ve read the 1988 Hawk & Dove comic series or not. Her essays are not all focused just on the series, with many using Dove to discuss real world over-arching themes and issues like “New Femininity” and the “pure” female character, discussing female characters’ place in fiction, and society’s unfair and ridiculous view of females in fiction as a virgin or a whore. Other essays focus on transformation, a deep-rooted theme in any super hero story, in which Robin attempts to understand the character by focusing on how she changed throughout the series. Robin’s essays are not just interesting; they’re thought-provoking.

Dove is clearly a character that makes Robin think and feel, and she emphasizes that beautifully in the site as a whole. Her passion for Dove and the things Dove represents makes this site an interesting and engaging read for the visitor. Robin’s personality and thoughts are scattered throughout the entire shrine. Robin has even made a Character Songs page, linking videos to songs that make her think about Dove.

Lux Perpetua is a unique shrine for way more than its subject matter. Robin’s audacious essays, her enticing and clever exploration of the character Dove, and the clear, engaging way Robin presented information on the character and series make this shrine an amazing, thought-provoking read.

Telos

SamanthaTitle: Telos
Subject: Minako of Persona 3 Portable
Owner: Tara of Besaid.org
URL: http://hamuko.besaid.org/

What makes this shrine amazing: When I first saw Telos, I was honestly surprised that someone could make a solid dedication to a silent protagonist. This is especially true for Persona 3, because the player can basically choose the personality of the character based on various responses throughout the game. What kind of analysis could there really be? Reading Tara’s interpretation of Minako, though, had me seriously reconsider my original stance.

Based on my initial reaction, the first page I looked at was about her personality. Tara very quickly and clearly points out how Minako actually does have her own personality by contrasting her with the original male protagonist. Yes, the player has a set of responses to choose from, but her set of responses is much different than her male counterpart. Minako is extroverted and shows a wide range of emotions in comparison to Minato, who is incredibly introverted and has responses with flattened affect. I also love how Tara also points out that Minako seems much closer to the team because she has social links with each team member—something else I never considered.

My absolute favorite section, however, is the social links one. I personally feel that the most important role of the protagonist in the Persona games is to highlight character development of the other party members. Often times you see them at their best and worst through these social links. I think this is especially true for Minako because she is able to have a link with every S.E.E.S. member. Tara does a great job of highlighting this by discussing the relationships that are mostly unique to her side of the game. Reading the social links section really made me consciously consider how Minako showcases each of the main characters in a different light than Minato’s side.

You’ve probably noticed a theme here—that Minako’s personality and role is highlighted by contrasting it with that of Minato. I absolutely love how Tara did this and worked it through the shrine because it makes the experience of visiting this shrine very unique. I went into Telos wondering what in the world there would be to talk about and left it feeling like I finally realized what made Persona 3 Portable so different than Persona 3 FES to me: the contrasting personalities of the male and female protagonist.

Considering how different Minako and Minato are and the impact it has on the game dynamics after reading Tara’s shrine really got me thinking about a number of additional things, such as looking closer at the social links that the two protagonists share and what about Minako makes them different, looking at color symbolism for pink/red/orange versus Minato’s blue and what that means with regard to their personality, and looking closer at Minako’s relationship with death in comparison to his. I love that Telos got me thinking of these things and am excited for what else Tara may bring to the shrine in the future!

Warmth in Winter

ToddTitle: Warmth in Winter
Subject: Elsa of Frozen
Owner: Sarah of Ohmydarling.org
URL: http://elsa.ohmydarling.org/

What makes this shrine amazing: Like Sarah wrote on her shrine, Frozen took the world by storm when it was released. A few different shrines have been made to characters from the movie; all of them are endearing and offer something special, but I keep coming back to this one. It introduces Elsa and Frozen to visitors who are unfamiliar with the film, and provides a personal, unique, and deep look at the character for visitors who have seen the film. The site being a one-pager, Sarah shows shrines don’t have to be large to be amazing in Warmth in Winter.

Sarah’s passion and respect for Elsa is hugely evident in the shrine, not only from how she presents Elsa to visitors, but by what she decided to discuss. Her shrine content is written in a clear, warm, and inviting way that makes the subject very easy to understand; she provides vivid imagery to recount the story and support her opinions — interesting personal perception scattered throughout the shrine.

Something I think Sarah did wonderfully is present Elsa as a character with contradicting personality traits and actions. Elsa is a character who can’t be defined by her actions, but by her heart, which Sarah stresses throughout the shrine. The title of her shrine even supports that image of Elsa: though some of her actions are cold like Winter, especially when she shuts herself off from the world, Elsa is a warm individual, who like Sarah has written, embodies warmth and kindness. The whole shrine is a consistent presentation of how Sarah sees Elsa, and it made me look at Elsa in a new way.

Most interesting on the shrine, to me, are the Transformation and Lack of Romance sections. Transformation is filled with a ton of interesting tidbits from color analysis to an analysis of Elsa’s actions in her transformation sequence, to a defense of the transformation scene in general. Lack of Romance discusses how strong Elsa is as a Disney Princess (and Queen) without a love interest. Both are really interesting reads.

Warmth in Winter is a quick read, but a rewarding and fun one, making this site one that you will want to return to again and again. I hope you check it out whether you have seen Frozen or not. The sections About Frozen, Frozen Fever, and Meet Elsa (with Voice) introduce Elsa and Frozen very well, and the rest of the shrine is an absolute treat for the rest of us who have seen the film.