Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete


< Part 139 | Part 140 (the end!)

Act 7 + Credits + Closing Thoughts

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This is it, folks. This is the end of my Homestuck post series.

Are you ready for the grand finale of my Homestuck blog post series? After six long years going in and out of working on my Homestuck posts, I have finally reached the finish line. I cannot overstate how amazing it feels to get started on my final Homestuck post. It feels far more amazing than I could have ever imagined to actually be at the final point, not just imagining when I might reach that point.

There’s many ambitious projects that I’ve started over the years—since I was a child, in fact—but most of them fizzled very early on. A fair portion of those projects I got quite a good way through, but a much smaller portion of those did I successfully finish. On the day this post is published, I can proudly say my Homestuck blog post series has joined the elite club of personal projects that I have finished. The post series spent almost two straight years being a project that I thought I would abandon forever, but eventually I somehow had it in me to resume it after all, and from then on, it was an on-and-off climb to the finish line, which is where I am now.

After one year and five months working on this post series, one year and ten months putting this post series on pause, and two years and nine months working on and off in months-long bursts, I proudly present to you Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete. What better way to name my last Homestuck post than with a reference to an anime that I haven’t seen? I sure can’t think of any.

(By the way: happy sixth anniversary to my first Homestuck post! A fitting day to release the last one, if I say so myself.)

Alright, now let’s begin this post with Act 7!

Act 7, as you should already know, is a nine-minute animation that concludes Homestuck, released on the comic’s seventh anniversary. You should also already know that it is a very divisive ending that is often argued to leave a lot unresolved, and that it is animated in a style heavily inspired by anime, giving closure to the long-running misconception that Homestuck is an anime. Before writing any of the text from this paragraph onwards, I rewatched Act 7 in its entirety, and one thing is immediately clear: I had somehow never appreciated before how stunning the animation is. This may have something to do with the fact that when the flash came out in 2016, I knew nothing about any anime, and was expecting Act 7 to be… please don’t laugh at me for this… a gigantic walkaround with every character interaction possible. In retrospect, I think my dissatisfaction with Homestuck’s ending came mostly from the unresolved character interactions!

Now of course, my more positive reaction to Act 7 today no doubt relates to how the epilogues resolved the threads it left open in a way that brutally deconstructs the concept of plot resolutions. The epilogues allowed me to appreciate Act 7 much more for what it is: a beautiful animation that mostly shows things we already knew would happen, but in a fashion that’s stunning enough to be a worthwhile ending flash. But even putting aside the epilogues, I think I’ve outgrown all those childish complaints that I once had about Homestuck’s ending content. I guess that’s what happens when you’re 22 years old, huh? You realize that some things really aren’t worth getting hung up about.

Compared to Caliborn, god tier Calliope’s interactions with the fourth wall are far more lowkey… at least until the epilogues roll around.

The curtains open to show god tier Calliope, ready at long last for her grand moment. I find it quite symbolic that the flash starts with her, given that she spent almost the entire comic lurking in the shadows, hosting the play silently as she so described. And now that the comic is at its grand finale, she is roaring to life, showing all who is really the master. In Act 7, god tier Calliope is the master. It’s her.

God tier Calliope’s eyes flash in anime fashion, and god damn. Now that I’ve seen some anime instead of no anime, I don’t even find it humorous for Homestuck’s ending flash to be anime. I just think it’s genuinely cool and badass.

Aside from god tier Calliope’s scenes, Act 7 mostly consists of things we already knew would happen, which used to really annoy me, but now I feel that the stunning manner these scenes are rendered makes up for it. For example, just look at those rings getting destroyed, fueling the Forge and allowing the Genesis Frog to come out. We knew it would happen, sure, but is there any way to deny how awesome it is to see?

WV and PM are fitting characters to complete the last remaining task for Sburb.
These two have persevered very long, and this is their payoff.

God damn, just look at that explosion. There’s no way the birth of the new universe could have been made this stunning in Homestuck’s usual art style. If you’re going to show events that we already knew would happen, you better make them REALLY spectacular, and Act 7 does that perfectly.

John looks like a true anime protagonist as he watches the volcano from the frog platform. As the protagonist of this story, it makes sense that he’d want a good, clear look at the goal being achieved. He can probably barely make the volcano out from this distance… at least until the frog shoots up a bit later. All these comparisons to anime might sound humorous to you, but believe me, I’m genuinely entranced in this anime flash.

The Genesis Frog blasts out of the volcano, up Jade’s built-up house, and zooms past the victory platform in a breathtaking montage.

… What?

Do you want me to say that this frog montage isn’t completely breathtaking? Do you really want me to tell a lie and pretend Act 7 didn’t leave me fully immersed in the animation this time around?? The first time I watched Act 7, I was mostly sort of confused at everything, much like how I was confused watching most of Homestuck’s flashes in my first read-through because I skimmed through all the text. With Act 7, I think the problem was that I was distracted by my wacky unrealistic expectations for what it would be, so I couldn’t stop to appreciate the animation for what it is.

These standalone pictures really do not do the animation in this scene justice.

The jaw-dropping factor continues as the frog flies through the clouds surrounding Skaia, then the hole in Skaia that John had drilled. I have no analysis to offer here: just sincere appreciation for how well-animated both these scenes are. You know when a show or video you’re watching has a scene that’s a blast of visual spectacle and you get lost in how awesome the spectacle is? That describes the scene shown above.

After silently waiting for an eternity, god tier Calliope’s time has finally come, and what does she do? With a series of elegant conducting gestures using her wand, she creates a black hole that destroys the Green Sun. She’s doing exactly what she had described in that conversation with Jade earlier, and she does not disappoint.

The sun faces the opposite direction from Caliborn’s sun at the end of [S] Caliborn: Enter.

God tier Calliope even creates a parallel to a memorable image from the timeline where Caliborn predominated: the cherubs’ red sun being consumed by a black hole caused by the collapse of Caliborn’s kernelsprite. Calliope’s equivalent to this image isn’t just with any old red sun, but with the Green Sun. Red spiral, green spiral. Red sun, green sun. The parallels line up so beautifully it’s haunting.

When the frog reaches Skaia, the planet cracks apart and gets a dazzling makeover, just like it did in the trolls’ session. Yet another event that’s unsurprising, but rad as fuck to see firsthand in anime style.

John is standing front and center, appropriately enough.

Most of the kids are stunned at the birth of the new universe, but Terezi is weirdly staring to the side, which gave birth to a swath of fandom memes. I think it started with some video where her name was humorously misspelled as Terepy Pypes? I’m guessing the reason these memes came about is because even though one would presume Terezi is preoccupied thinking about Vriska, she’s still sharply smiling like nothing’s wrong, and many fans found that dissonance humorous.

A zoom in through the croaking Genesis Frog reveals the light aspect symbol in the center, but that image has significance beyond just being an aspect symbol. We first saw it all the way back in Homestuck’s title screen flash in Act 1, alongside the title of Homestuck, and the symbol has shown up as the face of Yaldabaoth, the scene you’re seeing right now, the light aspect symbol (obviously), and probably a bunch of stuff I’m forgetting. This won’t be the last time Act 7 shows us the light aspect symbol outside of Rose’s god tier outfit.

Something about these circular zoom-outs with the kids (and Jane’s dad) on the frog platform and the surviving exiles by the Forge strikes me as very anime. These are the survivors of Homestuck’s main cast, and now that they achieved victory in Collide, the role they play in Act 7 is simply as the audience to the birth of the new universe.

After the Green Sun’s consumption is complete, a massive explosion is created—the same explosion that Doc Scratch tricked Dave and Rose into thinking they would cause in Cascade. This appropriately ends the first half of Act 7’s music, and almost exactly marks the flash’s halfway point.

This is where the song’s drum solo begins.

In the little that’s left of the Furthest Ring, things are not looking good for Lord English. The Green Sun’s destruction has disabled his first guardian powers, and his eyes are frozen as 8-balls. The symbolism of his imminent defeat is clear, both considering the mechanics of pool, and, well…

this girl.

Yep, here Vriska is. With a massive ghost army behind her, she’s ready to end the comic with the absolute peak of controversy: seemingly defeating none other than Lord English himself, with a big emphasis on “seemingly”. There’s quite an artistic statement to be made in the fact that Vriska’s arc in Homestuck ends on such an extremely controversial note, and as I said a few posts ago, there is a BIG difference between “bad on purpose” and “controversial on purpose”.

The epilogues open with a prose description of this scene, which turns out to be one of John’s anime dreams.

Vriska looks like an anime protagonist as she dramatically opens the juju chest while paradox space falls apart at the seams. I always found arguments that Vriska is the true protagonist of Homestuck to be incredibly silly, but her portrayal in Act 7 matches well with that idea. Her opening the juju chest is genuinely jaw-dropping, just like this entire flash has been.

Caliborn’s anime rendition looks super cool and badass.

Vriska opening the chest transitions to Caliborn closing the chest, eons in the quasi-future/past. Caliborn’s sections of Act 7 show us the last remaining link in his rise to power as Lord English: how he gained unconditional immortality and rainbow eyes. He sees a clock that judges his fate if he’s ever killed, and what does he do with the clock? He grabs the pendulum and breaks it in half, saying “fuck you” to the rules of god tier death. No one told him he could break the pendulum, but no one told him he couldn’t. That’s just how Caliborn rolls.

It’s always been muddy whether messing with god tier clocks has any effect on a death’s ruling, but Caliborn’s clock shenanigans are a point in favor of, well, the influence of clock shenanigans. I’m specifically referring to Spades Slick (rest his soul) ambiguously influencing Vriska’s death, and Aranea (rest her soul, I guess?) ambiguously influencing Jade’s death.

Out of the juju chest comes a white Sburb logo flashing with the beta kids’ aspect symbols. The obvious inference is that the beta kids from Caliborn’s Masterpiece are about to be released and take on Lord English, but we only see it about to happen—we’ll have to wait until the epilogues for the kids to be released. I remember being really annoyed that Act 7 shows so many things only about to happen, but now all I can think about is just the artistic merit of the flash itself.

The giant Sburb logo hits the ground, and all I can say is wow. Why do I not have it in me anymore to be salty about Act 7? Why can’t I say it’s completely ridiculous for the flash to leave so much unresolved until the epilogues roll around, or rant about how unsatisfying of an ending this is??? Why am I in so much awe at this flash that I can’t write lengthy aggressive rants like I so imagined? Am I just numb to all my Homestuck salt from years ago, or have I truly learned to appreciate Act 7? Maybe it’s a mix of both things. Maybe now that I’ve gotten over all this old salt, I can finally sit back and enjoy the anime flash, which I really should have been able to do years ago.

Lord English’s face is about to elegantly transition to Caliborn’s.

The last we see of Vriska is followed by the last we see of Lord English, leading to endless debates about whether Vriska really defeated Lord English. Some fans interpret this scene as her killing English, while others (like me) insisted that this can’t be the end yet, and it led to so much fandom turmoil. I love how the debate over whether Vriska killed Lord English is referenced in the Candy Epilogue, when Rose claims Vriska defeated Lord English while John insists that no one knows what happened to Lord English. Rose and John in that scene do a great job representing conflicting sides of the Homestuck fandom; Rose represents those who moved on after Act 7, while John represents those who stuck to their salt for years to come. As I write this post, the last traces of my Homestuck salt are fading away, and I find that quite poignant. I’ll revisit the topic of my salt fading away after I get through the credits.

I bet a lot of Homestuck readers forget that the real purpose of a crowbar is as a prying tool.

I, for one, forget that all the time.

After having snapped the pendulum in half, Caliborn goes right ahead and smashes his clock using his crowbar. His destruction of his clock is the ultimate demonstration of how Caliborn goes about life: he does things that are within the constraints of what paradox space allows, but that no ordinary person would dare think of doing. No one told him he could destroy his god tier clock, but no one told him he couldn’t.

A door appears on the white Sburb logo that popped out of the juju chest, and this doesn’t appear to have any plot significance. It does have a lot of symbolic significance, matching the juju chest’s Sburb logo with the victory platform’s Sburb logo as we’ll see shortly.

Remember when Aradia said she wanted to see what happens when this whole place breaks apart? In Act 7, she gets this wish, and it is glorious. Can you blame her for watching in complete awe? She’s pretty far down the list of characters that you’d think would get a character arc resolution in Act 7, but she gets one anyway. It’s a perfect sendoff for Aradia.

On the kids’ victory platform, the red Sburb logo flips horizontally and changes its color to white. Considering the Homestuck adventure map, the symbolism of the white Sburb logo is very clear: it represents the beta kids, alpha kids, surviving trolls, and a few miscellany coming together to achieve victory and exit canon. It strongly parallels the white Sburb logo from the juju chest, which gave John his retcon powers and caused Lord English’s downfall. Somehow, I had never made that white Sburb logo connection before. I swear, I’ll probably keep realizing new things about Homestuck even years after finishing these posts. Maybe even decades later, when I am a middle-aged man who stubbornly insists to be done with Homestuck in a way that makes it hilariously obvious that I’m not. But I’m getting dangerously close to topics that are better discussed after I finish the credits.

In a very tiny lapse of humor, John gives a thumbs up, ready to open the victory door, and Karkat, who had almost opened the door last time, responds with a shrug while wearing his standard Karkat expression. The humor in Act 7 is far more subtle than in most other flashes, and I really appreciate that. I don’t want to come off going all “true art is about subtleties that only those with the most divine tastes can appreciate” or some horseshit, I’m just saying that in this specific flash, only the slightest tinge of humor is appropriate.

Jade is ready to do the one thing god tier Calliope said she would do: use her space powers to place Earth in the new universe. Act 7 has been foreshadowed plenty by Caliborn and both versions of Calliope, and as I said in this post, it’s the flash where all the cherubs’ foreshadowing comes together. It’s much more of a cherub-centric flash than a human-centric flash, and I think that’s pretty damn cool.

Homestuck usually renders Earth in grayscale, so this is a cool change.

Jade holding Earth zooms us into a montage showing the kids’ lives on the restored planet. To start things off, we fast forward through time as the Condesce’s damage to the planet is undone, which nicely corresponds with the empress’s demise.

Here’s a Statue of Liberty, proving irrevocably that this is Earth.

We then zoom in further on Earth and see WV, PM, and Serenity do exactly what they were meant to do: restore the planet’s civilization. Not all of the exiles survived to build a civilization on Earth C…

… but the ones that survived do not disappoint. Remember in the conversation select screen, when John and Jake overheard Karkat talking with his mayor buddy about building a full-scale Can Town? Turns out that was foreshadowing Act 7, and WV is fulfilling those ambitions to glorious effect. Carapacians may seem meek on the surface, but they have the power to build civilizations and lead armies all on their own. Spades Slick is another good example.

The anime renditions of the characters change the colors of their clothes a little, perhaps for added realism.

Next up, the montage shows us shots of all the characters on the frog platform, living lives on Earth C. The humans have all changed out of their god tier outfits, which is nice and refreshing to see. This portion of the montage is stunning like everything else in Act 7 is, but from the perspective of a reader invested in the characters, it unfortunately isn’t enough, and the credits show the kids’ lives on Earth C in much more depth. I’ll get to the credits in not too long, so for now I’ll analyze this montage for what it is.

To start off, we see John, Roxy, and Calliope walking through a forest together. John looks especially joyed to be done with his adventure and have achieved victory… at least for now. The scene makes it open-ended whether Roxy gets together with John or Calliope, but leans slightly towards Calliope since the two are holding hands. Act 7 is an open ending in a lot of ways, and that includes endgame ships…

… except Rose and Kanaya, whose relationship is as clear as can be. Just like how we saw the word “HOMESTUCK” by a sun shaped like the light aspect symbol when John first stepped outside in Act 1, now in Act 7 we see a similar-looking sun with the words “THANKS FOR PLAYING” beside it. The phrase “thanks for playing” is carried over from the ending of Problem Sleuth, making for a heartwarming callback, especially to those who followed Problem Sleuth back in the day. It’s also the only text featured anywhere in Act 7; arguably the true final words of Homestuck.

Rose and Kanaya standing under a tree led to a lot of memes about how underwhelming many fans found Act 7, but in retrospect, I just find it a nice and artistic way to show that the two have remained together.

The last section of the montage indicates that Jake and Dirk have fully reconciled and are back to being bros, Jane and her dad are reunited at last, and Dave, Karkat, and Jade’s relationship has been left open much like the situation with Roxy’s love interests. As before, these scenes are well suited for this montage, but the average fan would probably crave more, which is why the credits exist.

In this montage, it is extremely easy to overlook something somber: Terezi isn’t present in any of these scenes. Fans who noticed this got greatly worried about what happened to her, which is another thing that’s clarified in the credits. Terezi’s absence is so easy to overlook that even I almost forgot to mention it!

I like how the two leaders are standing in front of everyone else.

The Earth montage ends with zooming back out to the kids on the platform, ready to enter the new universe once and for all. This signifies that the Earth montage was just a glimpse into the future, and the true final moments of Homestuck’s canon are when John reaches for the victory door.

As I’ve said many times in these posts, Caliborn is SUCH a fantastic character.

So is John.

Well, that and Caliborn gaining his rainbow eyes. The heroes’ victory and the villain’s victory are shown at the same time, which symbolizes that even though Caliborn is by all conventional means a villain, his tale has admirable and heroic elements, and he’s an easy character to root for. He got most of Act 6 Act 6’s sub-acts to himself, while the kids got the intermissions, meaning that Act 6 Act 6 (or even Act 6 as a whole) was shared between them.

The “PURE ART SKILL” foreshadowing in Act 6 Act 6 Act 4 has been fulfilled at last!

Obvious callback to Karkat opening the door.

And this simultaneity continues to the flash’s final moments, which is some massive artistic symbolism that I could not appreciate back in 2016.

We only see this scene for a split second.

The very moment John opens the door, the kids have officially exited canon, much like how Problem Sleuth ends with the three main characters finally exiting their office building. I remember being peeved that we only saw John about to open the victory door, but the symbolism is now clear to me—it’s been clear for quite a while, actually. Once the kids have exited, we’re left with a simple little spirograph logo against a black background for thirty seconds before the flash ends.



Well… almost. I still have two more pages to go through: the teaser page with John’s house on Earth C, and the credits. Still though, getting to Act 7 in this post series is one hell of an accomplishment.

In retrospect, what do I think of Act 7 now? Well, to be blunt, I love it. It’s an absolutely stunning animation to send off Homestuck’s canon events, and even though it leaves quite a bit unresolved, I can’t help but deeply appreciate all the anime symbolism—the same symbolism that flew over my head when I first watched this flash. I no longer think it should have been a full-fledged act like all the other acts. From what I know, Hussie always intended for Act 7 to be one flash, and his insistence on sticking to this plan is why he beefed up Act 6 so much.

Now, there’s no denying that Act 7 doesn’t resolve everything, and a lot of plot point resolutions are instead reserved for post-canon media. This brings me back to the title of this post—I’ve seen many fans compare Act 7 to the TV ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion, an anime that I have not seen. In fact, I’ve been so overwhelmingly flooded with Evangelion comparisons that I felt it was only right to reference the show (specifically one of its movies) in this post’s title. I had initially considered “The Circle of Evangelicity Is (Not) Complete”, but then I decided that title was too clunky. Maybe someday I’ll watch Evangelion and write a lengthy blog post comparing the final episode with Act 7… or maybe I’ll watch the show like a normal goddamn person would. Who can say for sure? Right now, I’m blissfully unaware of any Evangelion comparisons, just like how I was blissfully unaware of any anime back in 2016.

For now, let’s stop and relax; take some time to appreciate that I’ve gotten to the end of Homestuck (with a moderately sized asterisk). I almost want to write my lengthy wall of text about my relationship with Homestuck right now, but I must get through the next two pages first.

Ready to continue? If you are, then I am too.

As you should already know, Homestuck ended up having one last update six months after Act 7 came out—on October 25, 2016, the fifth anniversary of Cascade. It started with some Snapchat posts on the Homestuck official Snapchat (yes, that was a thing), on the day before, and it eventually led to two flashes: one little point-and-click game exploring John’s house on Earth C, and then a six-minute credits flash. At that point, my Homestuck blog post series was on Act 6 Intermission 2. The credits flash alleviated some of my Homestuck salt, but not all of it, oh no.

Homestuck’s title screen image is so iconic to me that seeing it with the words “THANKS FOR PLAYING” looks weird.

Obligatory mention that everything from this page onwards is “post-canon”.

The pre-credits flash is all about going full circle. Set to the same ambient wind noises as Homestuck’s title screen flash, John’s house has been relocated to a cute little salamander village on Earth C that resembles his own neighborhood, right by a little lake. I’ve always been fond of Homestuck’s motif of going full circle, which is part of why I came up with this post’s title.

John’s house has been restored to how it was when Homestuck started, which is again going full circle. The rooms inside are rendered in a style more resembling late Homestuck, which is poignant and nostalgic to see.

The picture of Dave below the SBaHJ poster is signed with “youre welcome”.

The flash ends with a shot showing two things of note: a poster teasing a then-upcoming SBaHJ book which I’ve unfortunately heard turned out a disappointment, and a phone with an alert bubble showing the Homestuck Snapchat logo. The phone can be clicked on to lead to the credits flash, which is Homestuck’s final instance of its social media parody motif—a motif that would be used in a very different way in Psycholonials.

Oh boy, the credits start off with a detail I had never noticed before. The background of the credits pages, behind the phone on which we’re viewing them, is John’s bedsheets. Don’t ask me how that flew over my head.

The first thing we see on the phone is something that’s long defunct—a Snapchat code image that you can hold your phone up to so that you can, uh… receive notifications from the Homestuck Snapchat, or something. I’m going to guess that’s how Snapchat works; I’ve never used it myself. I always forget that after the credits, there were some additional Snapchat posts, and boy were those a failed experiment. I think they were deemed non-canon shortly before the epilogues came out.

Oh… so THAT’S what the orange guy is called.

Now let the credits begin! I feel like Hussie intended to kill two birds with one stone with the credits: give a list of credits to the many people who contributed to Homestuck aside from the author himself, and give a montage of the new, revitalized Earth that’s far more fanservicey than what Act 7 gave us. The planet even has a new name: Earth C!

We see that the carapacians have already started building civilization on Earth C, which is exactly what they were meant to do. They’re fittingly led by WV and PM, and the presence of hundreds of carapacians plus the leadership skills of the beta kids’ exiles no doubt makes the reconstruction of civilization go by a lot faster than it would in an ordinary session.

This is a very cute little selfie. Dave is about to say goodbye to his beloved mayor buddy, while Jade is having a short reunion with the last survivor of her Prospitian pals. It’s cool to see PM spend some time with the kids again, especially since in the pre-retcon timeline she and Jack Noir killed Dave in a fit of misguided dog loyalty.

I don’t think any of the kids have it in them to tell Calliope that this isn’t a drawing of a crushed bone, rather human genitalia.

I love how the ICP is listed just because their song “Miracles” was sampled one time.

The kids go to the trolls’ meteor to bring back the human and troll races, but not before a quick little trip down memory lane. Very fanservicey and very fun.

I wonder if any readers had no idea Toby Fox made music for Homestuck until they saw his name right here?

Hey look, one of the babies looks like Joey from Hiveswap!

The kids create ectobiological slime clones of themselves, then John does the honors and presses the button to create a bunch of human and troll babies. John doing the honors shows that he still has the heroic enthusiasm he has whenever he’s given a purpose, though that enthusiasm will fade away as the credits progress.

After creating human and troll baby clones, the kids travel 5000 years into the future. Given the massive team of carapacians rebuilding civilization, I’m not sure the flourishment would have taken nearly this long, but I guess they just wanted to be safe.

John’s familial relationship with Jane’s dad unfortunately doesn’t last.
Why else would he be mourning his own father at the end of the credits?

Oh dear. Here’s a sequence in the credits that still doesn’t make much sense to me. The creators (and a few miscellany) are lumped into groups and crowned rulers of each of Earth C’s four kingdoms, though given the epilogues, the designation seems little more than honorary, making the whole thing feel pointless. I’m especially befuddled about the sprites. Weren’t there supposed to be two copies of Nannasprite? Is Gcatavrosprite no longer allergic to himself? Why is Jasprosesprite^2 nowhere to be found? I guess indications are that the sprites quietly stopped existing early in the kids’ lives on Earth C, but this is still just plain confusing.

Rose and Kanaya working in the troll brooding caverns later in the flash makes it especially clear that the kingdom groupings don’t mean anything.

The kingdom introduction sequence also provides us a hint at the most upsetting thing about the credits (at least for me): the indications that John and Roxy didn’t get together on Earth C, with Roxy and Calliope in an ambiguous relationship instead. Their relationship is of course revisited in the epilogues, but it still feels weird that early in the creators’ lives on Earth C—early enough that Terezi is still around—the token heterosexual couple already seems to have forgotten about each other. I’m not sure to what degree that’s an effect of the art being outsourced.

Even though the supposed “rulers” of each of the kingdoms don’t mean anything, the names of the kingdoms at least do. I suppose this sequence works as worldbuilding, which is continued in a much less fluffy fashion in the epilogues.

Homestuck’s credits play the “and last but not least, you” cliche straight, representing “you” as the MSPA reader character.

The credits show us John’s 17th through 20th birthdays, starting off lighthearted but gradually getting more melancholy. The 17th birthday is a fun storm of callbacks and meme references, like a cake in the shape of Matt McConaughey and a Dirk decapitation reference, which makes for good leadup to the more somber parties as John’s heroic enthusiasm fades.

Funny that the “credits” part of the credits ends only a third of the way into the flash.

This is a cute little teaser image that elegantly leads to…

Aw, look at John’s goofy grin.
(The ladies too, of course.)

… Rose and Kanaya’s wedding. These two are the official couple of Homestuck, and the stability of their relationship on Earth C sharply contrasts against all the tangled relationships the other creators get into; the two get hitched pretty much right off the bat, making for a very sweet scene that needs little commentary.

I imagine that Jane and her dad baked this cake together, and John helped out because he got over his childish hatred of cakes.

The return of trickster mode in Rose and Kanaya’s wedding brought about a lot of confusion among fans, but I think I can guess why it happened. Calliope insisted on bringing the trickster lollipop to the wedding and giving the attendees a taste of pure cherubic joy, and Roxy went along with it because I guess Calliope is Roxy’s sidekick now.

God, I absolutely love Rose’s silly side.

I can only imagine the colorful metaphors filled with troll terminology spewing out of Karkat’s mouth here.

Next up comes an incredibly silly scene where Dave, Jade, and Karkat excavate one of the shitty statues of Liberty littered over Earth C. Dave is keeping the same straight face that his post-scratch self surely had while making all those statues, Jade is reveling in the humor and shittiness, and funniest of all, Karkat is clumsily trying to climb up the mess of JPEG artifacts.

Then comes another silly scene with Dirk and Jake being rascal fighting bros all over again, only this time in person. There’s a robotic version of Lord English that they probably built together given the icon referencing Jade’s grandpa on the robot’s chest, and it’s somewhat eyebrow-raising that their friendship has apparently gone back to where it started. I guess that’s the result of Hussie not having it in him to write a Dirk/Jake reconciliation, and I can’t blame him for not wanting to write one. Not because these characters are bad, just because there were so many other character reunions to write.

John’s 18th birthday starts off lighthearted with him swooning over Nic Cage…

This girl will stop at nothing to find Vriska, which is as admirable as it is tragic.

… but then it gets more somber as he checks in on Terezi. Remember when I said two posts ago that I would never quote dialogue from Homestuck again? That wasn’t quite true; there’s a little bit of dialogue worth analyzing in this scene, spread across Snapchat pictures.

JOHN: how’s it going out there? we miss you.
JOHN: find her yet?
JOHN: what’s going on out there?
JOHN: wtf is that?
TEREZI: ???????
JOHN: yikes. come back soon ok?

Here’s the much-needed clarification of why Terezi was absent from Act 7’s Earth C montage: she left for the Furthest Ring to search for Vriska. This clarification is relieving to readers who were worried about her without compromising her lack of a happy ending. I’ve already discussed plenty how unusual it is for Terezi to be denied a happy ending like this and feel hollow without Vriska, but since John ends the credits desolately mourning his dad, this lack of a happy ending creates a special bond between them as we see in the epilogues.

As Terezi shows us the destruction of spacetime around her, we’re treated to one last dead Nepeta joke, because Homestuck’s ending obviously wouldn’t be complete without one.

I’ve already talked plenty about the contrast between businesswoman Jane Crocker and the much more humble Jane Egbert. No need to repeat that.

CrockerCorp’s logo has been changed to a spork, perhaps as a compromise between humans and trolls?

Just like what was said near the start of Act 6, on her 18th birthday (which is also John’s 18th birthday) Jane inherits Crockercorp and becomes a successful businesswoman. It’s a big moment for her, and one she’s more than ready for. So radical is this change in her life that through the course of the epilogues, she gradually becomes villainous. I think becoming villainous if given the power to rule is a common pattern with life players; think of the contrast between Meenah and the Condesce.

Jake’s inheritance of Skaianet, on the other hand, seems mostly just for show. He’s gained a lot of attention as a celebrity TV star with a lot of reality shows to his name, and he’s noted especially for his nice ass. Jake’s “reality shows” are of course far exaggerated from reality, and that surely includes his supposed role as the owner of the resurrected Skaianet.

I love that SBaHJ welcome mat.

I love this guy, and it’s depressing to see him lay in bed alone.

While John’s ecto-parents are both achieving fame and glory, the boy himself is a way different story. Now that he’s spent three years having achieved victory, he has no idea what to do with his life, and it won’t be until the epilogues that he is given a purpose again. This is the problem with John Egbert: when he isn’t given a purpose, he isolates himself in depression, and it takes many years in the Candy Epilogue for him to move past this mindset.

DAVE: jade says we should head over to your house for your bday
JOHN: oh… i guess. it’s kinda late though?
JADE: happy birthday john! were on our way!
JOHN: the sign is still up at least.
JOHN: thanks for thinking of me, but we really don’t have to do anything this year.
JADE: yeah right!!!!!!!!!!!!! omw

Oh man, this conversation tugs right at the heartstrings. Can you please appreciate how sweet Jade is being here? She knows how excited and happy John gets at his birthday parties, and this year, she insists on coming over and spending some time with him instead of letting him mope in bed by himself. While the other creators are busy with their own lives and assume that John is doing fine by himself, Jade knows him well enough to tell that he could use some cheering up.

The melody of the Flintstones theme song plays right about here.
I feel obligated to point this out because, uh… I loved the Flintstones as a kid. Yes, that’s totally it.

I’m pretty sure the troll girl on the left is supposed to be Swifer from the epilogues.
Only took her two and a half years to get a name, huh?

Rose’s birthday message to John shows that she and Kanaya share their life through their marriage. She’s even dressing like a troll while tending to troll grubs, preparing for the hatching of the new Mother Grub. I just remembered that the credits don’t address Karkat’s troll leadership arc at all, but that’s one of those things reserved for the epilogues to deconstruct the concept of resolving arcs.

Looks like Jake and Dirk’s friendship has settled down by now.
I wonder if Jake wishes that he could spend time with John again?

Aw, John is really cheered up spending some time with Jade.

Of the kids’ birthday messages to John, Roxy’s tugs at the heartstrings by far the most. She’s gathered a crowd of carapacians to wish John a happy birthday, putting a grandiose show just for the sake of an old friend, perhaps even hoping to get his attention. It feels like deep down, she wishes she could spend time with John again, and maybe even start a relationship with him…

… but for now, she’s happy enough with Calliope, and that’s sadly all John can see. It was also all I could see back when the credits came out, and it was crushing. John misses Roxy a ton, but he has no way of knowing that she misses him too. And how is she supposed to have any idea whether John still has feelings for her? This is a real romantic tragedy that’s picked up in the epilogues.

John’s 18th birthday banner is still there, and the fact that he didn’t take it down after his 18th birthday was over shows that he was already starting to get depressed then.

Finally, we’ve arrived at John’s 20th birthday—a birthday that corresponds with the release of Act 7. He’s at home all by himself, grieving over his departed father. When talking to Jake about Jane’s dad, he got an inaccurate impression of what Mr. Crocker would be like, but he was right about one thing: Jane’s dad is no substitute for John getting to see his dad again. This makes for a striking contrast against the other kids bonding with their young guardians: for John, it’s the real deal or nothing, and Mr. Crocker sadly doesn’t quite cut it. Due to his strong attachment to the events of canon, I can easily understand why John failed to bond with Jane’s dad.

Gamzee’s presence ominously hints that the credits won’t be the last we see of him.

John’s grieving is interrupted with some humor that also serves as a teaser for the epilogues. Caliborn taunts him via Snapchat, leading to the following exchange:

JOHN: step off.
JOHN: i’ll do it…

After gaining rainbow eyes in Act 7, I imagine Caliborn has been enjoying the feeling of victory, but he’s also getting a little impatient for the next step in his ascension, which is the events of his Masterpiece. He somehow figures out how to contact John via Snapchat and hassles him with a reference to Con Air, a movie that he somehow figured out John loves. Caliborn knows firsthand that John gets pissed off at the stupidest things, so he hopes that this will provoke John into coming along and starting the fight.

Just like Act 7, the credits end on John and Caliborn simultaneously.

If you count the credits, then the final moment of Homestuck is a Con Air reference.
Let that sink in.

John responds to Caliborn’s taunting by smashing his phone with a hammer, showing that beneath all his moping, we still have a boy who throws tantrums for the most mundane reasons. This reminder of one of John’s prime personality traits strengthens the credits as a teaser for the epilogues, where we wrap up what was left unresolved.

So… looking back, what do I think of the Homestuck credits? I think the flash has its issues and parts that don’t make sense, but it’s still a fun way to wrap up Homestuck a bit more cleanly than Act 7 did, especially with the teasers for the epilogues, and it ends on a surprisingly sad note that loosely indicates that there will someday be more to come.

Below the credits video, you can click “==>” to restart Homestuck, which I’m guessing was put there to encourage fans to reread the comic. You know what I have to do then: start this Homestuck blog post series over and analyze the whole comic all over again! … oh wait, I already did that and gave up. In any case, what I’m saying here is that with the credits complete, the circle of stupidity is (not) complete.

And just like that, I’m finally done with my Homestuck blog post series… except for the closing thoughts that you are reading right now. As I’m writing these words, I am absorbing the fact that I have finished this insane huge six-year project (though I had initially imagined it as a two-year project at most). Do you know how amazing it feels to finish a project that you started six years ago?????? For me, finishing a big project is one of the best feelings in the world. It always makes me feel proud of myself… but in the case of my Homestuck blog post series, it also makes me want to cry.

Homestuck is extremely important to me. The comic got me to make a lot of music, meet a lot of great people (some directly through Homestuck, some indirectly, some who I’ve even met in real life), and appreciate the value of media in general. It’s left such a resounding impact on me, which I talked about in depth in this post if you’re interested. I truly believe there’s nothing else in this world quite like Homestuck; no other work of media that combines many different forms of art into one cohesive thing that’s hard to even describe and has impacted the world in unique ways. If there is another work of media out there with similar breadth and influence to Homestuck, then I’d be very surprised. With all the dialogue based on Internet chatrooms, the art, the animations, the music, the interactive games, and the anime, Homestuck is truly something special.

Finishing my Homestuck blog post series is my way to send off my relationship with Homestuck. Not necessarily ending that relationship, because I know deep down that Homestuck will always be with me, but now is an appropriate time for me to finish by far the biggest Homestuck-related project I have ever done. As I am writing these words on September 11, 2021, I am going to start my first ever full-time job in two days, and I plan on giving that job my full attention at least for the first week. There will be a brief pause on the 20th as I publish this post to the Internet and share it with some people I know who care about Homestuck, but I still expect this job to take up quite a lot of my time. Instead of silly Internet projects, I imagine that my priorities for the rest of the year will be important adult things like buying my own car and moving out of my parents’ house.

For real… there is no work of media that’s influenced me anywhere near as much as Homestuck. Certainly not Regular Show or My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic or K-ON! or whatever other shows I’ve been known for liking. I first read Homestuck in 2014, started my Homestuck blog post series in 2015, and spent so much time thinking about and caring about Homestuck. Now, it’s only right for me to take some time to reflect on how incredibly important Homestuck is to me. Some people might call it “cringe” to be this attached to Homestuck, but frankly, I don’t give a shit whether anyone thinks it’s cringe. Maybe I cared at one point years ago, but now I’ve fully owned up to how important Homestuck is to me. In fact, waving off attachment to Homestuck as “cringe” itself makes me cringe.

So… now that I’ve reached the end, does that mean I will move past Homestuck once and for all? With this project out of the way, I have far less reason to think about Homestuck than I ever did since 2015… but I don’t know if it’s possible for anyone to fully move on from Homestuck once they’ve read it. People often say that Homestuck is with you for life, and even though I know I won’t be an exception to this rule, I still feel like finishing my Homestuck blog post series is a grand moment of closure. I started those posts as a spacey high school student without any plans or ambitions in life, or anything resembling a goal. But now, six years later, I have graduated college and am about to start a full-time job, and I am gradually figuring out how to live life as an adult. I am growing up, and it’s a hell of a lot to take in. Ending my Homestuck blog post series corresponds beautifully with the next stage of my life, which as of this post’s publication started exactly a week ago. It’s sort of poetic, don’t you think?

Wow… I really went ahead and wrote all those closing thoughts in one sitting. And more than that, I really went ahead and finished my Homestuck blog post series. Reading the words I had just written, I’m struck by how I dumped out all my honest thoughts on Homestuck, just like that. And I have exactly the right final words in mind. Are you ready for those final words? I’ve tried to deny it for so long or downplay it, but…

… are you ready for this? …

… you’re about to read the final words of my Homestuck post series …

I love Homestuck.


3 thoughts on “Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete

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