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Dueling Quills: Usuki vs. Quiguki

by yoyote


Also by nativsis

There is a rage going on in the Neopian Times Appreciation Guild's melodramatic theatre! Two users—Nativsis and Yoyote—have started a debate, or perhaps a battle is a more appropriate way to put it? Neither is willing to give up, despite the argument being about one of Neopia's more unimportant topics...


Yoyote: *clings to Quiguki doll* Usuki are so disgustingly pink and girly! I may be a girl but I can't stand that pinkness! Quiguki are so much better, with their honest yellow eyes and lovely green complexion.

Nat: *cuddles Usuki doll fiercely* Ridiculous. Do you know what Quiguki are? Hideous things, a total ripoff of Usuki. And really, not all Usuki are pink. Have you seen the Usuki Rogue? If that's girly, then so are Darigan Skeiths. And not only that, but they're educational! The Lab Ray Usuki Set allows neopets to construct their very own lab ray! It helps them understand the mechanics of rays! *brandishes ray gun*

Yoyote: *roars manically at Nat's Usuki doll* There are so many Usuki flooding the Neopian marketplace it makes me sick. Even if one or two of them are thankfully free from the fashion craze, that doesn't make them any more endearing than Quiguki. Quiguki take the stage only once a year on April Fools' Day, brightening people's hearts with their warm, adorably silly expressions. The rest of the time, Usuki make people squeal like idiots!

Nat: *waves Usuki doll* Look at the cute dolls more carefully! Not all are girly, fashion toys. Unlike Quiguki, Usuki dolls have variety, for all sorts of neopets. Have you seen the Alien, Grundo Independence Day, or Space Usuki? Perfect for sci-fi fans, to re-enact the Virtupets plot! For the more pirate-inclined, there's the Shiver Me Timbers Usuki! Petpet obsessors can choose to buy one Usuki, to be the petpet shopkeeper, and buy the petpet sets! Now, do Quiguki dolls have petpet sets? They have but a few dolls that aren't fashion-inclined.

Yoyote: You have just provided further examples of the ongoing Usuki obsession. Quiguki don't overwhelm the marketplace as much as Usukis do. That said, Quiguki have their virtues too, or they wouldn't have a share in the Neopian economy in the first place. These beautiful little toys are few but precious, charming the citizens of Neopia in their simple way. In fact, Neopia has even honoured the Quiguki by coming up with a Year 6 and Year 9 Quiguki. Not bad for a toy so often overshadowed by the Usuki.

Nat: At least Usuki know to bring true respect to the heroes of Neopia, even the lesser-known ones. We see Quiguki modeled only after Fyora, Hannah, and Jeran, completely ignoring the other great heroes. Take the Zafara Double Agent! Or perhaps King Skarl! Kayla, Lisha, Kauvara, Taelia... the Soup Faerie! And, finally, Jerdana. Usuki knows to bring respect to those who deserve it.

Yoyote: Respect? The faeries are happy to be modelled in fashionable poses, maybe, but I'm not so sure about King Skarl or King Altador... Quiguki models, now, that's another thing completely! They are sweetly ridiculous caricature forms, meant for a bit of good fun on April Fools' Day. I'm sure a political leader would much rather have a Quiguki model of him than an Usuki one!

Nat: Simple-minded, are we? Whoever said anything about fashion? The Usuki dolls are there for enjoyment, and I've seen my Kiko play with the Jeran and Kass Usuki... he loves to reenact every plot he can find, even the Cyodrake's Gaze! They are not there for fashion purposes, I can assure you of that. Now, Quiguki are meant for comedy, are they not? Would a political leader enjoy being made fun of? Now, if he were a Quiggle, I'm sure he wouldn't mind. But would a respected, powerful leader such as King Altador enjoy having his image smeared? I think not.

Yoyote: According to your argument, then, only Usuls would enjoy having an Usuki model of them made. Usuki toys started out as a form of enjoyment, yes, but they have also completely confuddled otherwise intelligent young Neopets. My Yinna used to be downright crazy about Usuki when she was little; she begged me to buy the newest Usuki product whenever she had a chance. No amount of NP could feed her obsession. Now that she is older, she is finally able to recognize the pointlessness of chasing after Usuki. Quiguki, now, never caused quite so much trouble! My pets spent hours playing with that delightful Mime Quiguki, acting out all sorts of imaginative scenes that they made up themselves.

Nat: Actually, you misunderstood my argument. Usuls are not considered to look 'goofy'. And, your pet is merely one sort of situation. My Wocky played with Usuki as a little child; her first set was the Gym Goddess Set. Now, she's older and more intelligent; she's very into drawing, and often uses the Usuki outfits for the sketches. Also, she's quite a writer--sometimes she uses them to act out her stories. Now tell me, how is that not imaginative?

Yoyote: I never said Neopets couldn't play with Usuki in an imaginative way. I merely pointed out that Usuki have a dangerous potential of making pets go bonkers. Why, just look at the game Usuki Frenzy - quite aptly named, I think. And look at the article Operation Usuki Outta Here, featured in issue 276 of the Neopian Times. Apparently my pet wasn't the only one to go through that craze. This great disparity between Usuki and Quiguki is apparent in their respective avatars - the Emo Usuki is, well, emo, and both Usukicon avatars feature madly grinning or yelling Usuki-fans. The Quiguki April Fools avatar is ten times saner by comparison.

Nat: That was simply a biased article. Actually, it was a short story, of a neopet with an unfair life. Using that as an example is extremely rude. Not all pet owners pamper all but one of their pets. And 'ten times saner'? Honestly, that's an /avatar/. Avatars are meant to be silly and ridiculous. Using avatars as examples is a pathetic thing to do. Now, let me ask you one question: do you know why Usuki are popular?

Yoyote: Avatars, silly and ridiculous? Oh, you have to be joking! Just look at the Neoboards category: Avatars and Neosignatures, where thousands of avatar enthusiasts gather to chat. But that is out of the point. By all means, go ahead and tell me why the Usuki madness is so contagious.

Nat: Many avatars are used for comedy and silliness, such as those Usuki and Quiguki avatar. But I digress. The Usukis have a wide variety, made up of cultural, fashion, sporty, and seasonal dolls; they are simply adorable; and finally, they offer toys for those who are not as into the dolls (ex. Red Anubis Usuki Set). As far as the Quiguki sets go, every single thing requires a doll.

As a side note, Usuki dolls have stood as the second best toys in Neopia for over eight years, only below plushies, which are just as lovable. They have also continued production, creating new types of dolls as we speak, er, write. Quiguki dolls have remained out of ideas for so long that it's become easy to get bored with them. The producers have run out of ideas! They can't think of any original dolls at this point!

Yoyote: It's true that Quiguki is much newer than Usuki. It was brought into Neopia originally as an April Fools' joke in imitation of Usuki, but then it grew popular in its own right. It wouldn't be fair to say that there are no cultural, fashion, sporty, or seasonal Quiguki dolls; look at the Traditional Welsh Quiguki, Ballerina Quiguki, Cheerleader Quiguki, and Easter Bunny Quiguki! These dolls grew out of the Usuki craze, certainly, but Quiguki is much more than an inferior imitation. In the season of Easter, for example, Quiguki is most obviously the dominant toy. Just look at the Easter Bunny Quiguki, featured in last year's Easter random contest, and the Quiguki Negg Hunt Set, which has no Usuki counterpart. Quigukis fulfil a far more important role than you think!

Nat: True, Quigukis were once a huge craze, and now, there are still a few Quiguki lovers out there, such as yourself. But let me ask you one thing: if the Quiguki dolls are no longer being created, and slowly being forgotten, what's the point of saying they're better than the Usuki doll, which has more variety and has been kept alive?

Yoyote: Just because the Quiguki is more subdued in the marketplace doesn't mean it's a dying toy. The Quiguki doll is still unique and worthy of appreciation. The things that you find undesirable about it - its silliness and simplicity - are the same things I like about it. And the things I dislike about the Usuki - its extreme popularity and pretentiousness, or interesting presentation, as you may see it - are the same things you like about it! Even though I still think the Quiguki is better...

Nat: First off, the extreme popularity is not one of the reasons I adore Usuki. That would be lacking a mind of my own, and going with the crowd. My reason that the Usuki has variety, and covers nearly all of the fields that toys can fulfill: the arts, culture, sports, fashion, culinary (check the Usuki Bakery Set, and the Barbecue Chef Usuki), history, and, of course, entertainment. Quiguki, on the other hand, only fulfill a small group of those, and even so they have very few for each group, whereas there's a handful of Usuki dolls and sets for each category. As for my reason for disliking Quiguki? They lack true originality. After doing an amount of research, I have learned that nearly every Quiguki doll has an Usuki counterpart, and they are merely different species with the same outfits. There are other things to wear to the prom besides a maroon and blue gown, for crying out loud! The only Quiguki doll lacking an Usuki counterpart would be Seasonal Quiguki, and that's merely a snowman! What makes neopets happy is new things, not ripoffs of things they've already played with.

Yoyote: To be completely original is to create something from scratch, but let's be realistic — very few works of art are original by that definition. Even Usuki products cannot claim to have "true originality"; most, if not all of their toys draw from ideas that already exist in Neopian society. Quiguki dolls go one step further; they are parodies of Usuki dolls. That doesn't mean they are unoriginal "ripoffs" — in fact, parody is a creative art form in its own right. Parodies are important in that they put familiar things in a new light. It is the very existence of Quiguki that pressures the Usuki company to churn out "new things".

Nat: So, maybe Quiguki is part of Usuki's existence, and Usuki is part of Quiguki's existence. They need each other to function properly. For example, Quiguki needs to think of more Usuki dolls to rip off. *brick'd* Just kidding. *sheepish grin* And Usuki needs Quiguki, because there's no fun in business if you have no competitors. In fact, word on the street is that the Slushie Shop owner and the Smoothie Store owner are the worst enemies in Neopia! DUELING QUILLS INSPIRATION!!!

Yoyote: MORE DUELLING QUILLS? *looks at battered quill* Hehe... well, it was fun. Apart from the torn curtains and burning carpet, I mean.

And thus ends another epic battle in the Neopian Times Appreciation Guild! Thank you for subjecting your eyes to the rage of two quills, and we hope you enjoyed it! (Is that an oxymoron?)

The End

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