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How cute!

October 7th, 2012, 4:33 pm

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Author's Comments:

Reply Lord T Hawkeye, October 7th, 2012, 4:33 pm

Aw! That totally looks harmless doesn't it?

Reply Advertisement, October 22nd, 2017, 12:21 pm

User's Comments:

Reply Heliotroph (Guest), October 7th, 2012, 5:01 pm

...Yeah, I think everyone knows where this is going.

Reply pensuka, October 7th, 2012, 5:54 pm

im going to guess evil entity in a doll that taints the person with their anger,jelousy or hate senerio

Reply M (Guest), October 7th, 2012, 9:08 pm

... So now there are two, maybe three enemies: Julia, and the army of legion she'll undoubtedly create, an unnamed shadow entity, and possibly Natsume and the army of were-plushies SHE'LL create.

Reply Heliotroph (Guest), October 7th, 2012, 9:56 pm

I think the real question is whether or not Natsume will keep any of her plushy powers afterwards.

Reply a1993 (Guest), October 7th, 2012, 10:42 pm

looks harmless... what it does... well just have to see xD

Reply M (Guest), October 7th, 2012, 11:05 pm

The REAL real question is whether or not the curse is active, so that it can be permanently cured, or whether it is like lycanthropy, and never really goes away.

Reply M (Guest), October 7th, 2012, 11:08 pm

Actually, what I'd like to see Natsume's plush form. Would it be a furry anthro, like the martial nekos from MSF High, or something else entirely.

Reply Heliotroph (Guest), October 7th, 2012, 11:44 pm

@M:Depending on the source and setting, lycanthropy can be permanent and irreversible (e.g. Harry Potter) or reversible (e.g. D&D). Interestingly, D&D distinguishes between true lycanthropes (i.e. those born that way) and inflicted lycanthropy (i.e. bitten by a true lycanthrope) - only the latter is reversible. I'm guessing the transformation, with the possible exception of Natsume, will be temporary, as inflicting a large group of people with a horrific, chronic (albeit adorable) curse wouldn't, to my mind, fit the tone of the series.

And since we already have a catgirl it's unlikely Natsume will wind up as any kind of feline. I checked the onomatology of "Natsume" and it doesn't appear to refer to any particular animal, so no hint there.

EDIT: Of course, there's always the possibility she will gain the ability to make wereplushies without actually becoming one. Maybe the doll possesses, brainwashes, or tricks her, persuading her to inflict the plushie curse (possibly transforming her into an sinister looking goth girl or similar).

Reply Alex Warlorn (Guest), October 8th, 2012, 3:04 am

back stabbing Discorder The classic 'chronic back-stabbing disorder' does not apply merely to rank and file villains within a group of baddies. It can also apply to main villains or villains of the story arc as well. How? Simple. You've got a girl you can brainwash with half-truths, emotional outlet, and what not, and then for no good reason stab her in the back when she'd have been much more useful as a willing ally. Slade's betrayal of Terra for instance from the Teen Titans cartoon served no purpose other than for Terra to become a good-guy again.

Natsume IMHO, it would be more interesting if she WASN'T betrayed by her unholy benefactor and accepted becoming a were-plushie to infect people who'd then infect more people, and ALL OF THEM being one big happy family (or at least being her motive). Children make the worst monsters, emotional hurt and black and white sense of right and wrong and a naive idea of how the world works.

Reply Heliotroph (Guest), October 8th, 2012, 2:15 pm

Part of the reason children can be so cruel is lack of foresight, i.e., inability to appreciate the consequences of their actions, but it's also a product of their selfishness (anyone who has worked with young children before will attest to this).

The thing is, Natsume doesn't seem that immature. I don't know whether her age has been explicitly stated, but she comes across as a preteen. Granted, the art style makes it difficult to estimate a character's age (sorry, but it does) but putting that aside nothing in her behavior so far has suggested an unreasonably selfish, immature personality that would knowingly enslave/enthrall innocents. On the contrary, Natsume seems fairly goodhearted, intelligent, and mature. In her current state she might do it out of revenge or being drunk on power, but I think she'd eventually see the inherent moral problem in brainwashing people even if it makes them happy forever. Her initial face heel turn wouldn't be due to her being childish, however; it'd be due to being sad and lonely - something that could motivate just about anyone to join the dark side.

Reply Zeroragnarok (Guest), October 8th, 2012, 10:16 pm

Good Comic, very interesting

Reply Alex Warlorn (Guest), October 9th, 2012, 1:15 am

@Heliotroph:

If you could push a button that would make everyone in the world treat all other people as PEOPLE, with so many rapists, murders, and wars in the world, can you really say an attitude adjustment is evil? I doubt the people being harmed right now would complain or call it evil if it stopped those hurting them or their families.

I for one welcome our new plushie brothers and sisters as long I'm not treated an expendable number once I join (cause that kinda kills the point of it being EMPATHY).

Reply Heliotroph (Guest), October 9th, 2012, 2:37 am

Yes, I would call that the very epitome of evil.

Why do we appreciate someone who opens a door for us? Why do we think better of someone when we see them helping a distressed motorist or working in a soup kitchen? Because they chose to do so. They could have left the door shut, driven by or spent their time playing video games, but they didn't. They made a conscious decision, informed by their experiences, beliefs, personality, etc. to do what we/culture/society considers good.

Now, what if there was a law that stated one MUST hold the door open for others, or, if one saw a distressed motorist, one MUST render assistance, or that one MUST “volunteer” for a soup kitchen, failing to do so resulting in severe punishment? Then they would no longer be good acts because they would become something you are forced into doing. Heck, there are no laws stating you have to be polite and considerate to others (except in some particularly authoritarian countries), and if there were politeness and courtesy would become meaningless (Dennis Farina’s character in Big Trouble gives a wonderful speech on this topic). Laws exist in part to permit a society to function, but they can't force a person to be good.

There’s a practical aspect to this as well. If people are forced to be “good” through coercion their moral development will be retarded. They will simply do everything a certain way because they are compelled to by an external agent. If the external agent were removed for whatever reason you’d wind up with a selfish prick and best, a sociopath at worst. Society helps people develop their own moral code, hopefully one that recognizes how benefiting others can benefit the individual and vice versa (Kohlberg, 1958).

And if people were magically forced or compelled to behave a certain way? That's even worse. By denying them free will, free choice, there is no more "good" or "evil," "right" or "wrong." Free will, even the illusion thereof if you accept a deterministic universe, defines who we are, for better and for worse. Without it you might as well replace people with a bunch of robots programmed to be happy, polite, and considerate all the time (and before anyone says anything, I believed in this credo LONG before Mass Effect 3 came out). Functionally, there’d be no difference.

This is NOT the same thing as saying murderers, rapists, war criminals, and so forth should have free reign to do whatever the hell they want; their actions violate others' rights to life, liberty, and choice. However, I would violently oppose any attempt to "reprogram" even the worst criminal scum. Redemption wouldn’t have the same meaning. Watch and read A Clockwork Orange - it does a far, far better job of making the point I'm trying to.

Reply Alex Warlorn (Guest), October 9th, 2012, 11:31 pm

@Heliotroph:

If you consider that the very epitome of evil. Makes me wonder what comparison you could make to darwinistic, 'might makes right' mentalities where no person is a person unless they can bully it out of those weaker than they are.

And civilization is BASED on putting restrictions and definition into behavior.

And it might not BE about redemption, it might be about keeping a murderer from murdering again and being productive towards society. And nobody BELIEVES in redemption in a pragmatic sense anymore anyway.

And pushing things to their extreme of everyone keeping to a script is one thing. But to say 'people' and 'humanity' are the final end all, beat all, finished product of existence is egocentric.

"We won't be people anymore!"

"Did it ever occur to you that just maybe, just maybe, there could be something ABOVE THAT TO BECOME?"

Let me ask this question. So you think it is wrong for a person to have their brain rewired, regardless, even if it enabled them to no longer be a threat to those around them who couldn't defend themselves (or even realize they were in danger) and no longer had urges that 99.9% of humanity consider proof of mental illness? It's better for them to be a pariah for the rest of their lives and be effectively under house arrest even if they've done nothing to technically warrant them going to prison?

Similar to what you say, what 'defines' mental illness changes from culture to culture.

Reply Heliotroph (Guest), October 10th, 2012, 5:43 am

Like I said, laws exist to protect individual and group welfare, liberties, and freedom of choice. If the laws aren't properly enforced or simply insufficient, they fail in that regard. However, if they are too strict and demanding they ALSO fail in that regard. Look at how countries in the Middle East are enforcing religious law. They make no difference between what is “lawful” and what is “moral” according to their religion – you obey the precepts of one religion and anyone else who practices another religion/code of ethics and you’re an evil heretic, even if the other religion/code of ethics has codes of conduct that seem capable of forming a stable society. It's about creating a balance or, ideally, cultivating a society and culture where everyone, being happy, intelligent, and moral, obeys just rules because they CHOOSE to, seeing how they benefit themselves and everyone else. This is an IDEAL that may never be reached, but it what we should strive for.

Frankly, if there was some technology that would rewire someone's brain, I wouldn't want it used on violent murderers or gang-bangers against their will to make them happy, well-adjusted members of society. MAYBE to adjust the brain chemistry of true sociopaths or others with extreme mental abnormalities whose illnesses have a well-defined neurological etiology (brain surgery being essentially a crude version of this), but otherwise it should be avoided at all costs. And your point that mental illness is defined by a culture just makes my point that, except in extreme circumstances where the individual poses an enormous threat to others, you shouldn't rewire a person's brain to make them "normal" or "good" by society's standards because those standards are subjective and subject to change! Again, A Clockwork Orange does a much, much better at explaining this than I ever could. Read it.

“And pushing things to their extreme of everyone keeping to a script is one thing. But to say 'people' and 'humanity' are the final end all, beat all, finished product of existence is egocentric.

"We won't be people anymore!"

"Did it ever occur to you that just maybe, just maybe, there could be something ABOVE THAT TO BECOME?"

Detecting hints of transhumanism here. Not sure where that came from. Free will/freedom of choice is not dependent on the current conception of what "humanity" is (a nebulous term in any case). You don't have to be human to have free will.

Look, let’s cut to the chase. Free will is life, or at least for sentient beings. You remove the possibility for making choices you remove the inherent value, the meaning, of acts, good, bad, whatever. You have the choice to do horrible things and with it the consequences of the horrible things. People who horrible things, ideally, she be taught why they shouldn’t do those things and internalize that lesson, becoming better people (redemption in THAT sense). When they fail or are incapable of doing so they should be neutralized in the least invasive, damaging manner available. And brain rewiring is VERY invasive! Banishment from society is usually the best option.

I wouldn’t wave a magic wand and turn a bunch of criminals into happy, productive citizens, functionally killing the individuals and using their bodies to create a new person. Unless they did something unforgivable (e.g. murdering children) or were proven to be unrepentant (exactly how one would do this is difficult to say) they should be given the chance to reform.

If someone wanted to join a happy bunch a living plushies, that’s their choice (comparable to suicide if it kills their free will, but there you go), but it should NOT be forced!

Reply Alex Warlorn (Guest), October 10th, 2012, 12:30 pm

@Heliotroph:

We're going to have to agree to disagree. That is the polite and civilized thing to do at this point rather than flooding the comic page with more debate.

Reply Heliotroph (Guest), October 10th, 2012, 1:17 pm

Sure, why not? I think we made our respective points. Compared to most online debates, this was very civil - no personal attacks, no profanity, and minimal use of capital letters.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program of super-powered barbie dolls and anthropomorphic nekomata detectives fighting evil plant girls and plushies!

Reply Ferzin119 (Guest), October 13th, 2012, 4:07 pm

Here the madness will start.

Reply James Birdsong, June 14th, 2013, 11:20 am

Spooky

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