This is it, mobsters.... our final stand. When the poll starts on @autismswagsummit, go....... do your part.
[Short ID: a comic pertaining to the autism swag summit, featuring Mob and Tome. Mob reveals that he feels insecure about how seriously everyone's been taking this, and how he's not sure he likes all this attention on him for it, but Tome argues and encourages him, saying that his could help him get Tsubomi's attention, since she's autistic herself, and might appreciate Mob being more confident about that. In the end, Mob brightens up, and gets pumped to win the bracket, before it's revealed that Tsubomi actually hopes Papyrus wins. End short ID]
Extended ID under cut:
[ID: a comic pertaining to the autism swag summit, featuring Mob and Tome. It's done in pink and orange tones, except for the last panel, which is purple.
First page: Mob sits down at the table in the telepathy club room, sighing. Tome, who is playing a video game and eating fries, looks at him and asks: "? What's wrong, Mob?" Mob looks to the side, eyes downcast, and says: "It's nothing really... it's just- the autism contest thing. Everyone's taking it so seriously but- idk. It feels weird. Like Mezato-san's cult thing, kinda." Tome, meanwhile, slides him the fries, and he takes one, and continues, "I don't think I like all this attention on me. Not for this." and Tome looks at him, chin on hand, and asks: "But wasn't that like, one of your main goals? To be popular?"
Second page: at this, Mob startles, and in the next panel he shrinks in as he replies "um- yeah, but. To be honest, I only wanted that to-" and shrinks even further in the next, blushing, trailing off with "to..." Behind him, there is the tapping of footsteps as Tome, off screen, rounds the desk, and makes Mob jump with a loud SLAM, and yells "LISTEN, MOB!" Then, she is looking at him with a frown, gesturing with one hand, and continues: "You need to look at this from a different perspective. What if this is the contest that winning would aid you the most? After all, isn't Takane herself autistic?" Mob, eyes wide and blushing, loudly interrupts with "S-SHE IS??"
Third page: Mob asks, "How do you know??" Tome, her arms crossed, eyes closed and a smirk on her face, says "Look. I'm autistic. You're autistic. We're ALL autistic, I know my kin, alright?" Under her breath, (under the speech bubble) she also adds "Plus I kind of heard her say "Leave me alone, I'm autistic" once," before she interrupts herself, her arms spread wide and flapping, with "but that's beside the point!" She continues in the next panel, only one of her moving hands visible as Mob looks up at her, wide-eyed, "My point is, maybe this is your chance to show her what you're all about; that you know who you are; are secure in your identity, proud of it, even!"
Fourth page: Tome crosses her arms again, a confident smirk on her face as she looks down at Mob and asks, "So tell me. What are you gonna do?" Mob, hunched in, shyly responds, ".... I'm gonna win...?" Off screen, Tome replies: "Say it with more confidence!" And Mob does, back straightening and a blush creeping in: "I- I'm gonna win!" Tome yells "Louder!", and Mob stands up, leaning on the table, yelling in response "I'm gonna WIN!!" And Tome, a fist pumped in enthusiasm, yells back "YEAH!!"
Last panel: Tome's dialogue box is cut off, as we see Tsubomi, meanwhile, laying in her bed, sucking a lollipop and phone in hand, as she thinks: "I hope papyrus wins." End ID.]
Trigun and the 'Bride of Christ'
An additional thought that popped up after my previous post about Triguns heavy themes of Christianity (a somewhat? Part 2?). In this I look at the Vash and Wolfwoods relationship, their opposing views and how that relates to the Christian term 'the bride of christ'. During this I specifically discuss a large spoiler for the series/manga, so readers beware!
I was chatting with some lovely folks on the Vashwood discord server (if you wish to join, click this link!) about Wolfwoods death, and the way it's, well, wedding themed. The wedding themes include the confetti, the way Wolfwoods passing occurs in front of a church, the ringing of the church bell, and the bottle of liquor they share is labelled 'BRIDE' with a cross on it.
All the items come together in a definite way that resembles, in some terrible fashion, the festivities for a wedding. Hell, even after Vash buries Wolfwood, he makes tons of dishes of food, and Livio and him basically have a feast, another thing one does at weddings.
The 'Bride of Christ'
What particularly caught my eye was the bottle with the word bride on it, with a cross. Multiple times within the new testament, the body of the church is referred to as the 'Bride of Christ'. As I've previously mentioned, Vash is regularly set up as a Christ-like figure; his actions and his philosophical values align with a Christian perspective, in his belief in unconditional love and forgiveness (ie, the blank ticket). As well, as that Wolfwood is a Christian preist, this literally makes him a 'bride of Christ'. In a sense, where in the story Vash is pitched as a Christ-like figure, this means that Wolfwood could be interpreted as the 'bride of Vash'. This especially so considering the contextual clues that hint towards a wedding - confetti, church, and church bells.
Acceptance of Christian philosophy
Further adding to this, is that although Wolfwood was a priest, he did not fully ascribe to Vash's view. In fact, the two of them are foils, their beliefs similar- both coming from love and a need to protect, but differing in Vash ascribing to unconditional love and forgiveness, while Wolfwood refuting that such a position can be practically taken (this is, well, I would say a simplified take on their beliefs but thats a different post for a different day). However, by this point in the story, the both of them have very deeply impacted each other. In fact, this is set almost immediately after Wolfwood saves Vash from Knives, which is the the moment where Vash openly forgives Wolfwood and Wolfwood begins his acceptance of Vash's philosophical views; in that specific moment, he accepts his own absolution (explained further in my previous post).
It is exactly in Wolfwoods fight against Chapel and Livio, that Wolfwood fully (or mostly so) accepts Vash's philosophical views, expanding to accept a blank ticket/unconditional love for others. This is seen as he repeatedly chooses not to kill Chapel's hired guns, and even sharply pleading Livio to spare one of them. Indeed, previously at Vash's request, he'll shoot to injure, but he's not really shown to be particularly worried about the bandits, versus here he is actively choosing to minimize harm; exactly like we've seen Vash do, over and over and over again throughout the series. As well, the hired guns literally try to target the orphanage when they've clearly lost, and also kill one of their own when Wolfwood brings him back, telling him that they've just upped their pay- showing that they're not particularly 'redeemable' hired guns that are likely to repent and become good people. And yet, Wolfwood still chooses to try and save them.
He also specifically goes out of his way to not kill Livio, even though killing Livio would severely even out the playing field, and Wolfwood would likely not have likely died as a result. And Wolfwood makes that decision, again and again and again, only focusing on killing Chapel, and Chapel only, since he's the one that is threatening the orphans.
While Wolfwood fights, Chapel derides him on Vash's views, and how Wolfwood has picked them up. Wolfwood, close to death, reviews his relationship with Vash and Vash's philosophy, and refutes the ideology that Chapel believes in, and that he himself has lived under, that they need to kill to survive, (or to save lives) and that Vash's belief in forgiveness and unconditional love is foolish.
It culminates in Wolfwood declaring that he believes in Vash, in his principles, and standing back up to continue to fight, having accepted Vash's Christian philosophy. Interestingly, it's also Christian leaning terminology he uses; both in that he followed Vash, much like one follows the the teachings of Christ, and that he believes in the Vash's ability to change to world with his philosophy, in the same way Christians believe in Jesus's ability to save the world through the gospel.
In summary, Wolfwood chooses to accept and even says he believes in Vash's philosophical views, thereby choosing to accept the possibility of forgiveness and unconditional love, both for himself, as is shown when he saves Vash from Knives, but also for others, and especially with Livio during the scene up to his death. This full acceptance and belief in a Christian/Vash's perspective would then also show that Wolfwood has fully accepted to be the 'bride of Christ', making him not only via contextual cues a 'bride' of Vash, but also within a Christian theological sense a bride of Vash as well.
In conclusion, (ie, TLDR) Wolfwoods death is wedding themed, with confetti, a church, church bells, and a bottle with the label BRIDE with a cross on it. The church is within the Bible called the 'bride of Christ'; as Vash is a christ-figure, and Wolfwood is a priest, this would make Wolfwood Vash's bride. As well, it is just previous to Wolfwood death scene that Wolfwood has accepted Vash's Christian philosophies, signalling his acceptance as the 'bride of Christ/Vash', further perpetuating the wedding theme.
TTLDR: Vash and Wolfwood are married yup 👍
Updated: 11/29/2022 (new info in asterisks)
So I heard there might be more new users on Tumblr. The Vocaloid ask blog community here has been sputtering for a while now, and I realized it might be intimidating to get involved. As an active participant in the ask blog community since 2013, I thought I could share some tips.
Disclaimer: I am basing this off of my personal experience in the VOCALOID ask blog community. I don’t know how other ask blog communities are faring or what their conventions are.
What is an ask blog?
In this context, it’s a blog where you roleplay a character and respond to people’s questions. Tumblr’s ask and submission boxes make this very simple. While an ask blog can technically be text only, I really recommend you get creative and make your own image responses. Most people draw, but some people back in the day used to use MMD.
What is a muse?
I don’t know if this term is still used outside of the Tumblr ask and RP communities, but this basically refers to the character(s) you roleplay. Many mods feel personally connected to their muses and may even feel that their muses have a mind of their own. Don’t worry about it too much, but if you come across ask memes for “mod and muse,” they’re just referring to you and your character. Incidentally, “mun” also means “mod” so you’ll see posts using that sometimes too.
HOW TO START AN ASK BLOG
Choose a character!
If this is your first tumblr ask blog, I highly recommend starting with one or two characters you really enjoy drawing. Starting off with too many can become overwhelming. If you want to expand your character and world focus, you can always do that later!
Your character does not have to be fully fleshed out, but giving them some background and personality is definitely a good start! If you need inspiration, look up voca synth modules and songs! You can even use an original character that’s been featured in a voca synth original.
Ex: Ask25jiMiku, AskMeltdownRin, AskReincarnationApple, AskSynthVShian (all these blogs don’t exist as of writing this post)
Choose a name!
You can get creative, but I suggest choosing names that make your character easy to identify, especially if you’re using an original character featured in a Vocaloid song. I also recommend adding “Ask” somewhere in there so people know at a glance that you’re an ask blog.
Sideblog or main blog?
I highly, HIGHLY recommend you create a new main blog for your ask blog unless you don’t plan on updating often. You’re more likely to gain attention while using a main blog since you can follow back other ask blogs and send asks. Sideblogs cannot send asks at this time.
Figure out your blogging style
Many voca synth ask blogs I’ve seen fall roughly into one of two categories: Plot-focused and ask-focused.
Plot-focused blogs: These blogs take a more active role in providing information to audiences. They may even act like an interactive webcomic. Some blogs follow the course of a main storyline, while others may have only a series of smaller storylines and arcs within the blog. They can focus on a select number of characters and launch themselves into their own events. The mod may have clear endings in mind for these events, but audiences can influence what information is revealed by sending asks, such as the character’s thoughts. Overall, while asks are important to this blog, major events may occur even without much of their influence.
Ask-focused blogs: These blogs take on a more passive role in providing information to askers. They may not have preset storylines that the characters will take, although they might have developed backgrounds. Without asks, these blogs might not reveal much information and may not update at all. Events can still occur, but they’re often triggered by asks(ex: magic anons) or through interactions with other ask blogs rather than started on their own. These blogs feel less streamlined and tend to go more with the flow of asks and interactions.
Ex: My ask blog, and 85% of voca synth ask blogs I’ve seen fall into this category. It’s the most common type by far.
Of course, you do not have to adhere strictly to one or the other, and there have been those that were a mix of both. You could even come up with something totally new that I haven’t thought of! But if you need a starting point, decide how you want to reveal information to your askers.
Lay down some rules
Do you have limits? Do you not want to be bombarded with asks about a specific topic? Make a page or post detailing these rules!
*Announce your ask box is open!
The final step is to let people know you’re open! You can make a simple post with an image of your character and an “ask box open!” message. Others can reblog your post and spread the word. If you have more energy, you can get more creative with your “ask box open” post, like making it into a short comic or something.
Ex: askvfurawa’s, My blog’s
HOW DO I GET ASKS?
Is your ask box open?
Seriously, it’s a common mistake so check your blog settings. And make sure your anons are on since people can be shy! If you feel safer with them off though, that’s okay too.
Provide some information
An “ask box open” post is a great way to get the word out there that you’re open for business, but it might be difficult for people to send you asks without more information. Make a quick profile for your character! Fill in some basic information about their likes and dislikes, what they do, etc. For mobile users, utilizing the pinned post feature is perfect for this.
Think about how your characters live their lives
When you answer asks, it’s also important to think about what your character might be doing as they answer their asks, as well as providing some extra information that could pique interest.
Are they cooking as they’re answering the ask? Are they in the park? Did the ask remind them of something they saw last week? Providing simple answers can be okay, but it may be hard to pique the interests of askers if that’s the majority of your responses. If you’re providing simple answers because you feel pressured to answer asks as soon as they’re sent—don’t! Well-thought-out responses are always better than a bunch of rushed ones!
Reblog ask memes!
Ask games exist on various social media, but you can find many on Tumblr tailored to ask and RP blogs! You can also reblog “M!A lists.” A “M!A” refers to a “magic anon” which is a special anon that is sent to change the conditions of a blog for a certain duration of time. For instance, an anon can send in “M!A: Character is turned into a mermaid for 3 days.” M!As are not mandatory to accept, and you can alter the duration if you feel you cannot handle it. You can also make your own ask memes or M!A lists. If you don’t accept M!As, be sure to list that in your rules or blog description.
As a bonus, ask memes can help spark character interactions or interactions between mods!
Ex: M!A List, Muse ask meme, Another Muse Ask Meme
Send in asks yourself
The asks you send to other blogs don’t necessarily have to be in-character but if you want to start interactions, sending in-character asks are a great way to do that. Additionally, if you send asks to others, they might return the favor. *In a similar vein, if you follow other ask blogs, there’s a good chance they might follow back. If they don’t, they might just need to get to know you better by seeing you around the community and stuff first!
Vocaloid Community events
Octoberloid is the main Vocaloid ask blog event still running, but there’s Vocatines and a few other stray events here and there! The host of the event will usually make a main post detailing what will be occurring, the venue and timeline, and what to tag your posts if you’re participating. These events can be a great way to have your characters interact with others! Feel free to start your own event as well or revive any old events!
Ex: Octoberloid, Vocatines, Vocasummer
Keep things in character
It’s generally recommended not to use your ask blog as a personal blog. The occasional OOC post is okay, but reblogging loads of OOC art and text posts that don’t relate to your character is discouraged. This is particularly true if you don’t tag your posts properly with “OOC.” There used to be weekly events on ask and RP blogs called “Munday” where you could ask the mods questions. This probably still exists in other communities but it’s pretty dead on the Vocaloid side of things. There are even ask memes centered around Munday! If you really wanna talk and show things about yourself, how about reviving Munday here?
Ex: Munday ask meme
I don’t know if this is still true, but back in the day, only the first 5 things you tag would actually show up in the tag search. Everything else was for your own archiving purposes. I still think this is a good rule of thumb. Tags I recommend using are #ask, #vocaloid, #vocaloid ask blog, and the name of your character. I also tend to tag the asker out of habit so people can search their own name.
However, if you��re producing a large quantity of posts in a short amount of time because you’re making low-effort sketches or making a lot of text posts, I recommend reducing how many tags you use so you don’t spam the tag search.
I HIGHLY recommend you tag all your asks with something. Tumblr has a chronological order feature but as far as I know, it only works with tags. For example, I tag all my asks with “new ask.” If you want to see all my asks in chronological order, you can type in “askspiritfukase.tumblr.com/tagged/new ask/chrono” and BAM! For mobile users, you can add this to your pinned.
And of course, you can add your own thoughts as mod in the tags if you want. I’d encourage this compared to writing your thoughts in the captions, but that’s just a personal preference. Do what you feel is fun!
TIPS & TRICKS
*Don’t make too many ask blogs!
*No matter how much you like the characters, making too many ask blogs might be spreading yourself thin and it’ll be hard to keep track of. While I think you should do whatever’s fun, it might not be good to accidentally overwhelm yourself either. From experience, it doesn’t feel good to open another, brand new ask blog only to abandon it within a few weeks. So just a word of caution!
Trim your posts!!
If you at least occasionally use Tumblr on desktop, download xKit and the addon “editable reblogs.” It works best if you use the text post feature to post your ask and art responses. Basically, it enables you to trim your responses in interactions which is important in sparing everyone’s dashboard from novel-length posts. If your ask response is gonna be particularly long, use a read more!!
Stay within fandoms
This might be more etiquette than anything but generally, ask blogs stay within their own fandoms but it isn’t a hard rule. *I mostly bring it up in case you try following ask blogs from other fandoms but they don’t follow back or want to interact. Some blogs are completely chill with it! OCs are a bit of a gray area so I can’t speak much for them.
Communicate behind the scenes!
If you’re interacting with another blog, you should communicate behind the scenes if you want a successful interaction. In my experience, interactions without mod communication tend to die quickly.
Join the community with some friends!
A lot of the fun in ask blogging is in making connections and having your muses interact with your friends’ muses.
Reblog the end of interactions
Let’s say you and another blog are interacting and the interaction has ended on their side. Even if you have nothing left to add to the interaction, I recommend still reblogging their post so that readers of your blog will be able to have context since your audience may not follow your partner’s blog. This is something I used to not do and I have since regretted it.
Try to have legible text
I’m guilty of having spent years using chicken scratch but in all fairness, my main art program didn’t have a textbox feature. If your handwriting is naturally neat, then perfect! If not, and your art program has text features, use them! Just make sure your font is easy to read.
Don’t worry about consistency!
Ask blogging should be a hobby that encourages you to experiment without pressure. You can make your art as consistent as possible, try a different thing with every ask, or even just use uncolored lines. I’ve found that what’s most important is the thought put into the response.
Because this is a hobby, don’t worry about being inactive!! I’ve gone months without updating. It’s normal!! This should be a low-stress fun activity, and there’s no shame in having breaks :)