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Post-Season Discussion - Part 1
PhoenixTalk
Streaming live on Dec 31, 2017

“Good day, Featherfans. My name is Goro Kurusu, and welcome back to Phoenix Talk.”

The young man sitting in front of the camera was smiling, a worn fleece blanket covered in a pattern of Featherman masks draped over his legs. His hair, as usual, was neatly combed, long bangs hanging over most of the right side of his face, while the rest was tucked behind his left ear. It was almost enough to hide the fact that his right eye was covered in a black eyepatch, and it was easy to mistake the wheelchair for a normal chair if you weren’t paying attention.

“Now that Christmas has passed and the new season has wrapped up, that means we’re finished with weekly episode reactions. Which… I know how much you all like my reactions, especially after the finale, but now it’s time for more analysis of the overall series.”

Very distantly over his shoulder, there was a dark-haired young man in an apron in the kitchen, engaged in what looked like a very heated argument with their cat. Goro paused to read the chat, then smiled. “Akira is fighting with Morgana, because Morgana wants sushi and we’ve already had sushi this week.”

The cat yowled in the background, but Goro paid him no mind, flipping through a set of colored notecards. “Anyway, discussions of my boyfriend and his cat aside, what I wanted to talk about today was the story structure laid out in the first season, especially with regards to characters. As always, a condensed version of the discussion will be posted as a regular Youcube video. ...yes, MoonRabbit99, I’m going to talk about Feather Toucan, don’t worry.

“The real strength of this season, I think, is the way that they introduced relevant characters before they became exceptionally significant to the story. By allowing the rangers to interact with the people around them beyond the standard monster-of-the-week format, we had a chance to grow familiar with them, so that we already had a degree of care for them before they became fellow rangers or victims of an attack. And because they treated all the side characters with relatively the same amount of development, it wasn’t immediately obvious who the additional team members were going to be.”

The chat clamored, throwing out bits of foreshadowing that they’d noticed, and Goro smiled. “Yes, I did see the gold necklace he was wearing in his introduction. Much more subtle than some prior seasons. But after rewatching the early episodes before the finale, did you also notice that in the future Feather Toucan and Feather Pheasant’s first episode, there was nothing immediately obvious about their outfits like in past seasons, but the umbrella they were using to take shelter from the catacyst was aqua and green striped?”

Someone almost immediately pulled up and posted a gif of the umbrella scene, and Goro nodded. “Yes, that one. The foreshadowing and storytelling have been much more nuanced, compared to incidents in early series where you could immediately tell someone was a ranger we hadn’t seen yet just because they showed up more than once. Or because they were always wearing something that color. That just leads to a waiting game for the inevitable conclusion, because at that time they didn’t attempt to pull as many twists for shock value. They were much more predictable. If this were Featherman R, Feather Crimson Robin would have been the princess’s long-lost sister, which, while not a bad plot, wouldn’t be a satisfying twist at this point.”

Goro spent about twenty more minutes discussing the character foreshadowing, then opened up the discussion to chat questions, as usual. People chimed in with headcanons, pointing out in particular the hanging plot threads centered around the remaining stones that had been recovered in the finale.

“You’re right. We haven’t gotten confirmation of a third season, but they also didn’t label this as a series finale, so there are certainly directions they could go. Especially if they were to look for an actual method to repair the broken stones.” Goro leaned in to squint at the chat, where a single message was repeating over and over despite other users all-caps yelling for it to stop. “Wow, someone really wants me to see their question…”

But then his face fell, and he sighed. “‘My headcanon is that you’ve got all that makeup and fake prosthetics so people will give you pity views.’ How incredibly original of you. It must have taken all three of your braincells to come up with that. You didn’t even spell ‘prosthetics’ correctly. Scherezade, if you would?”

The moderator account sent a thumbs-up in the chat, and the person spamming the question promptly disappeared from the list of chat participants.

Goro beamed. “Thank you. I know you’d rather block them before I notice them, but I like to insult them first. Anyway, on the subject of my arm, I actually did want to show it off a bit.” He pushed his sleeve up, revealing a cybernetic prosthetic that extended to just below his elbow. “Akira’s little sister, our helpful moderator there, installed new LEDs for me, so my wrist can show the transformation symbols for all the different series now.”

He cycled the lights through his favorite character from each series, and the chat filled with keysmashes of jealousy and prayer emojis. “She did get permission from the original techs first, so it won’t mess up anything. My arm is just more awesome now.”

He took a few more questions, then glanced over his shoulder to where Akira and Morgana had resolved their differences so that dinner could progress in peace. “I’m signing off early today because Akira is taking me to watch fireworks, so dinner is a bit early, but before I go, I have some very exciting news! I’ve been invited to attend Tokyo’s third annual comic-con on July 20th. I’ll be hosting a panel about the series lore in preparation for the thirtieth anniversary of Featherman, since it will be almost exactly a year away by then. So that’s over six months to make plans to attend, if you want to hear me speak in person.

“That’s all I have for today. Next weekend during the stream we'll continue looking at how the whole plot came together by analyzing individual character arcs. We’ll be starting with Feather Gold’s arc, because I’m biased and want to do my favorite character first. This has been Phoenix Talk. Until next time, everyone!”


Once the camera was off, he turned himself around properly to head for the kitchen. “What did you end up making?”

Akira smiled. “Udon with shredded chicken and green onions,” he said, leaning over to kiss Goro. “Did I hear someone giving you shit about your arm again?”

Goro shrugged. “It happens. But I’m thinking that maybe one of the uploads this week should be another one about my arm. It’s been...three months or so since I did the explanation video, and I got a ton of new subscribers after that finale reaction.” He glanced down at the LED array. “It’s surprising how few trolls I get, actually. People have been very...indifferent to my… …unusual appearance.”

“You’re beautiful,” Akira said. “But if you want to do another explanation video, that’s cool. Can I sneak up behind you and steal your arm?”

“I’ll think about it. That will probably be the third one this week; I want to do the countdown video about homages to prior seasons first.” Goro wheeled himself over to the table, dodging Akira’s second kiss with a smirk. “So, where are we going for fireworks?”

Akira stuck his tongue out at him and went back to stirring the noodles. “Ann and Shiho are going to meet us at Shibuya Station at nine, so we have time to find a good spot before the crowds start building up to unmanageable levels. There’s a whole concert happening beforehand, so we won’t just be standing around for three hours.”

“Thank you for setting all of this up,” Goro murmured.

“You said you’ve never been to the fireworks before,” Akira chimed. “So I wanted you to have a chance to see for yourself. Especially since we were...busy last year.”

“That’s one way to put it,” Goro huffed. But he was smiling, and when Akira brought over two bowls of soup and noodles, he asked, “Where did Morgana go?”

Akira laughed. “I gave him some of the salmon that was in the fridge, and he headed off to go take a nap. He’ll be back before we leave for the fireworks; he said he wanted to go, too.”

A year ago, Goro never would have been able to picture any of this: an apartment, a boyfriend, a home. Feeling like he had somewhere to belong. Hell, this time a year ago, he’d still been in a coma, teetering on the edge of death in another world. But now he had friends, family, a purpose… Even if that purpose was cementing his place as the Most Knowledgeable Featherman Fan on Earth.

A hundred and fifty thousand people thought so, anyway.