Hell Girl Episode 3: The Tarnished Mound Review

Hell Girl Episode 3

Plot: Iwashida and Moroi are best friends and part of a high school baseball team with a fast-rising baseball star named Hanagasa. One day, Hanagasa suddenly smacks Moroi in the stomach with a baseball bat and tells Moroi and Iwashida to keep their mouths shut, which Moroi is happy to do in order to prevent the baseball team from getting in trouble and Iwashida reluctantly does. It merely seems like a bad situation that they’ll have to deal with for the sake of the team when something horrible happens.

Breakdown: If you weren’t angry enough with the bitches from episode one or creeped out enough by the stalker in episode two, prepare yourself because we finally have someone who’s fully ‘go to hell’ worthy with Hanagasa.

He is a smug conniving asshole who only cares for himself and has absolutely no remorse for anything he does.

The story goes that Hanagasa, for some reason, suddenly slams his baseball bat into Moroi’s stomach in the middle of the woods. Iwashida witnesses this, but Moroi tells him to back down. Hanagasa tells them to lie to anyone who asks and say that Moroi fell off of the pitcher’s mound. Moroi happily agrees since he doesn’t want to create any complications with the team seeing as how Hanagasa is the star player.

Iwashida reluctantly agrees to this, but tells Moroi’s mother that they were horsing around too roughly which is how he got the wounds. This doesn’t seem like a big deal until they later reveal that, after three days of pain and suffering, Moroi died from his internal injuries.

As if being responsible for the death of his friend wasn’t enough, Hanagasa plays it completely innocently and even hams it up at Moroi’s memorial service, stating that he’ll work hard and become a pro baseball player in his memory. Yeah, do something you were planning on doing anyway but preface it with ‘in his memory’. That’s noble as hell.

Iwashida is enraged by how Hanagasa is acting, but he’s in trouble of his own. Since Iwashida told Moroi’s mother that he got hurt from them playing around, he’s the main suspect when the detectives reveal that they know he died from blunt force trauma, probably due to a baseball bat. Everyone immediately suspects him even though they only have a piece of a story and Iwashida has no reason whatsoever for smacking his best friend in the stomach with a baseball bat.

Even his own parents immediately believe their son is responsible. Without knowing the story, even with no evidence or motive whatsoever, they just instantly believe Iwashida’s the killer. His father punches him in the face as he’s trying to give his side of the story and his mother openly gets down on her knees and begs Moroi’s parents for forgiveness. What the hell?

You’d think this was just horrible luck and everyone’s tempers are high due to the circumstances, but no. Apparently, Hanagasa, by his own admission, somehow planned this whole thing. And the reason why is insanely ridiculous.

He somehow knew Moroi would die three days after receiving his injuries, I guess, knew that Iwashida would get blamed for it, even though the story he told them to tell other people didn’t involve Iwashida and would turn it into a complete accident that was Moroi’s fault, then he knew the team would get banned from the upcoming tournament for shared responsibility of Moroi’s death, even though no proper investigation has been carried out outside of the autopsy confirming that he died of blunt force trauma.

Why did Hanagasa, their star player, need to resort to this incredibly complicated and contrived scheme to get the team out of the tournament?

Because participating in the tournament would put undue stress on his shoulders and he didn’t want them to be in any way negatively affected for his bright professional baseball career. For a high school tournament, it’s not worth it in his eyes.

….He committed murder and framed another boy for the crime, subsequently ruining his life…..to relax his arms…………I don’t know what to say. Why he couldn’t just remove himself from the tournament is beyond me. He was a shoe-in for college or pro deals with the scouts who were basically humping the fence for him. Why not just say you felt the need to rest your body for your future career and skip the tournament? Or make up an excuse? Or something….anything. There are hundreds of thousands of things you could’ve done to get out of the tournament that are far more understandable and acceptable than first degree murder.

Hanagasa gives zero shits that either Moroi’s dead or that Iwashida’s life is completely ruined. He got what he wanted, and that shit-eating grin never leaves his face. I hate that Justin Cook is so good at playing assholes. I want to love you so much, yet you keep taking these roles.

In the end, you know how it goes, but even the absolute end isn’t as hopeful as the previous episodes. Whereas in those episodes where it seems the victim’s troubles all get washed away when the string is pulled, Iwashida isn’t as lucky. Hanagasa was properly accused of the crime, and his hellish torture was definitely scarier this time around with some pretty good visuals and creepy moments. but apparently there was still so much heat on Iwashida at school that he had to move away to his aunt’s house and no one, not even his parents, are seen apologizing to him for treating him that way. He’s just left to wait everything out with that black mark emblazoned on his chest. His best friend’s still dead, he’s still somewhat vilified for a crime he didn’t commit, and he’s now damned to hell.

This episode also gave us a little bit more about Ai. Her ‘grandmother’ states that she has no choice but to do what she does, even though it seems like Ai doesn’t like it. It is her duty.

Rating: 8/10 – They go way overboard with Hanagasa as a despicable character, and his reasoning is just ridiculous, but it’s still a really good story with nice payoff.

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Cartoons Step-By-Step: Dave the Barbarian Episode 2

CSBS DTB EP2

Plot: 2a – Pet Threat: It’s dragon appreciation week and Dave the others have completely forgotten to do anything special for Faaffy. They rush out on the final day of the week to get him a gift, and Dave decides to buy him a new best friend – a diseased weasel he names Carl. However, Carl is not nearly as sickly and innocent as he seems, and no one will believe Faffy when he tries to warn the others.

2b – Lula’s First Barbarian: Lula spots her first owner and lost love, Argan the Ageless, at the marketplace and the flames of her love instantly start growing again. Despite the fact that he’s an obvious jerk who left her for stupid reasons thousands of years ago, she is more than willing to drop Dave the instant he seems to want her back. Worried about her welfare, Dave, Fang, Candy and Oswidge band together to save her heart from getting broken again.

Breakdown:

2a – Pet Threat: This is a rather tired plot that is predictable from start to finish. Not to mention the fact that a good chunk of it doesn’t make any sense.

Dark Lord Chuckles, the Silly Piggy, is actually the diseased weasel, Carl, and he plans on stealing the magical grape of bobobidobo from Faffy’s room. Okay, that’s fine. But uh, how did Chuckles know Dave would be in that marketplace? Or that specific store? Or that the owner would pull him out of that basket to show Dave? Or that Dave would even be remotely interested in buying a diseased weasel? Or that he was buying the diseased weasel to be the new companion to Faffy? Or that the grape was even in Faffy’s room?

Not to mention the fact that Faffy gets treated fairly badly in this episode for no reason. Oswidge eats the ham Dave’s parents sent him for dragon appreciation week. The others forget dragon appreciation week, which depresses Faffy. They buy him a ratty diseased animal as a gift and don’t take Faffy’s feelings into consideration. Dave even completely writes him off when Faffy explicitly points out that Dave is treating Carl better than he’s treating him, when it’s completely obvious. (Then again, Dave is an idiot.) No one believes him for a second when he tries to warn them about what Carl is doing. He runs away, no one notices or seems to care. He comes back, no one notices or seems to care.

They show a little bit of concern when Faffy appears to sacrifice himself to beat Chuckles, and you think for a second they’ll actually do something nice for him on the final day of dragon appreciation week. They seem like they do by preparing a nice meal for Faffy only to reveal it’s Chuckles dressed as a ham. Dave breaks the fourth wall and tells the audience that Faffy’s not really going to eat him and that it’s all for a joke and Faffy’s in the background with a distraught look on his face.

So, in the end, Faffy gets treated like crap for dragon appreciation week and the one moment of redemption for the others is just a visual gag that screws Faffy out of a meal. Lovely.

Not only that, but there weren’t very many jokes in this segment that worked for me and several were gross-out gags.

This was not a very enjoyable segment to me. It just seemed mean-spirited and lacking in several departments.

2b – Lula’s First Barbarian: This segment basically has the same problems as 2a, but at least the plot makes more sense. Again, you know from the very instant you learn anything about Argan, which is the first minute he’s on screen, that he’ll be a complete dickhead to Lula, she’ll fall for him anyway and Dave and the others will rip off her love goggles before she gets in too deep.

Lula’s being an idiot and a bitch in this episode because not only is she completely denying that Argan is anything but an amazing love muffin, no matter how he continues to treat her and has in the past (he literally uses her as a nose for a snowman tens of thousands of years ago and just left her there, never to return.), but she’s also more than willing to leave Dave because he’s such a prissy barbarian.

And, again, Dave doesn’t seem to care. He cares about Lula’s well-being enough to help create a plan to get her away from him, but even he doesn’t see what a jackass Argan is until his newer sword, Judy, explains that he traded her away to some toothless villager for a potato. I don’t know if this is a testament to how much of an idiot Dave is or he just doesn’t have strong connections with the people (and dragons….and swords) who are supposedly closest to him.

Candy was surprisingly supportive of this clearly unhealthy relationship, even making a montage out of her using tips from a teen magazine to help Lula bag her man.

Fang’s the only one with an ounce of sense in this episode and she doesn’t get to do much.

This episode was light on jokes that worked but, like 2a, there were some smile-worthy moments.

Overall, I’d give 2a a rating of 3/10 and 2b a 4/10, giving the overall episode a 3.5/10

Hell Girl Episode 2: The Possessed Girl Review

Hell Girl Ep 2

Plot: A high school girl named Ryoko is being stalked and harassed by a mysterious man.

Breakdown: I feel like, for some reason, I wasn’t as creeped out by this guy as the show wanted me to be. He sends her some creepy gifts, breaks into her room when she’s not there and he even has the scary aspect of being a cop, with the power and authority to get around being suspected or charged.

However, he still doesn’t come off as fully scary to me. There was no moment when I went ‘Oh holy crap, this sick bastard needs to go to hell.’

I also felt more sympathy for the victim this time around because she was trapped in every sense of the word and basically had to send him, and subsequently herself, to hell for something she couldn’t control.

How she knew who he was before even her father knew is beyond me as well. She had to have known his name in order to input her grievance into the Hell Girl website, yet their lone suspect was the wrong person at that time. Maybe it was a flashforward I didn’t quite get. I dunno.

The torment this time around was fairly fun, but nothing fantastic or particularly memorable.

Rating – 6/10 In the end, it’s a blasé episode that didn’t get me riled up enough to want to root for this guy to ride the river Styx, though, by all means, take him there.

Baccano! Review

Rating 9.5/10

Plot: It’s the 1930s (for most of the show) and old-style gangsters are all over the place. Mostly following the story of incidents on a train that is currently being hijacked (by two separate gangs) called The Flying Pussyfoot, a much larger and more complex story is unfolding behind the scenes with one of the main focal points being the power of immortality.

Breakdown:

…..I’m in love with this show. I really am. They nailed everything in this show. If I make it sound in any way bad from my plot synopsis, I am sorry and do not even begin to think that way. Baccano! Is a breath of fresh air in a wave of mediocrity and crap that I’ve had to sift through in recent time.

I don’t want to spoil anything at all, so let me just give you my main highlights and my few bad points.

Isaac and Miria are awesome. I usually hate characters meant to be comic relief, but they are hilarious and I adored every second of their screen time. Their schtick never got old, they never resorted to dumb cliché jokes, they were just awesome.

In such a dark anime, you need to have talent in order to make comic relief characters truly work and they work overtime. They also actually affect the plot….in good ways! That is just awesome. They’re the kind of characters that you’d love to meet in real life. They’re thieves, but they’re incredibly nice and funny. Hell, they’re not even really bad in a thief regard.

Jacuzzi has the best name ever. Jacuzzi Splot has the worst last name ever. He also was the breakout character for me because he was really grating on my nerves in the first handful of episodes since all he seemed to do was worry, cry and panic about everything, but as we learned of his backstory and as the episodes go by we learn that he’s incredibly brave and one of the sweetest guys ever. When you learn why he got his famous sword tattoo, you’re going to smile. You’re going to go ‘awwwww’ and you may even cry. This is normal. Simply cuddle the nearest cute animal, preferably one that does not have rabies, and enjoy it.

Baccano! definitely tries to do something different than most other anime. Not many anime take place in 1930s New York. Immortality’s not a new thing, but the way they handle it is pretty unique. And the relationships to all of the immortals both old and new are really interesting.

The show is crazy and insanely entertaining to watch. There’s hardly a moment where it feels slow, and when it does it’s for good reason such as tension or to create atmosphere. The story is great even if things get confusing sometimes, and I loved watching every step of the way.

Another aspect of this series that is fairly unique is in the fact that the story is out of order. And not Haruhi Suzumiya out of order, like in you can just watch episodes in different orders, I mean episodes jump around 1, 2, 3 or even hundreds of years without a moment’s notice. This is both a positive and a slight negative to me. It’s pretty clever in its execution since it allows you to piece together the plot on your own and slowly gain more pieces and views of the story which makes it more interesting and fun to watch, and it is fair to the viewer because they notify you when a date shift is taking place and what year they’re jumping to.

However, I can definitely see how it’d be annoying to some people, especially in the beginning. Once you get used to the format, it’s way easier to follow the story and piece everything together and it is fun to watch scenes and figure out how certain events came to pass. Even so, during the first few episodes, it kinda throws you off and makes it somewhat confusing.

All of the characters were enjoyable to watch, and some were a downright blast to see in action. The only ones I might say were on the lower end of the spectrum would be Dallas and maybe Ches. Dallas just didn’t do much and Ches was the only character who started to annoy me a bit.

The ending is left a little open-ended, but according to the dialogue, that was intentional. The ending to all of the events that happen on the Pussyfoot actually end in episode 13, which seems like it was set up to the final episodes of the series as we get no next episode preview, no ending theme song and the credits roll over the final scene. However, there’s a three episode epilogue of sorts where the only real connecting action plotline involves a new character named Graham Specter, a crazy mechanic who uses an unreasonably huge monkey wrench as a weapon. He worked under the crazy murderous gang leader Ladd Russo – one of the hijackers of the Pussyfoot. Some new things do get explored such as the origins of Jacuzzi’s tattoo, a continuance of the storyline between Chane and the Rail Tracer, we see how Nice got her scars and lost her eye, and a few other things.

This epilogue technically doesn’t need to be here, but it’s a good continuation, Graham’s entertaining to watch to say the least and dammit I did not want this series to end. 😦 Oh well, guess I can read the manga next. I can also kick up Durarara! On my watch list since that’s a spiritual successor, possibly an actual successor since they take place in the same universe, and Isaac and Miria also make an appearance in it! Yay!

Art: The art and animation are fantastic. The animation is very fluid and a joy to watch while the art has it’s own distinct style without straying too much from the average anime formula. The fight scenes in particular were very well done. Even the lighting was beautifully done.

Music: The music is fantastic. The OP, ED and BG music are all amazing and I would love to buy the soundtrack to this series. It fits the chaotic mood while also suiting the time period and characters perfectly.

Bottomline: I’m gushing over this. I hardly ever get to gush on my reviews. If I ever get around to making a favorite anime list, this will be at or near the top. There are some aspects that may not be perfect and the format may get confusing, but it is well worth it.

Additional Information and Notes: Baccano! Was directed by Takahiro Omori, director of Koi Kaze, Hell Girl Durarara! It was written Noboru Takagi, who has also written for Attack on Titan, C – The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, all of the Durarara and Hell Girl series. It was based on a light novel written by Ryohgo Narita.

Baccano! Was produced by Brain’s Base and is currently licensed by Aniplex of America.

Episodes: 16

Year: 2007

Recommended Audience: No nudity, no sex, some swearing, but the most you need to worry about is gore. It gets pretty damn bloody up in here. Because some of the characters are immortals, we see some graphic displays of violence and gore. I really shouldn’t limit it to that as some of the characters are crazy murderous psychopaths who may as well wear nothing but black and red to avoid paying outlandish dry cleaning bills for all the blood stains. It drives me nuts that Ladd Russo, one of the craziest and blood hungry sons of bitches ever, actually leads a gang where they all wear white suits. WHITE SUITS. For the gore alone, I’d say at least 15+ If you want a comparison, I’ve seen Elfen Lied and Shigurui Death Frenzy and this made me cringe.

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) The Amazing World of Gumball

Plot: Gumball and his brother, Darwin, ruin a DVD they rented. Afraid of facing their mother, they decide to plot and scheme to either replace the DVD or get the money needed to pay off the fee.

Breakdown: Gumball is a show I’ve seen in passing a few times on Cartoon Network, and I always felt divisive about it. I liked some of the jokes and comedic timing, but the art style put me off, and sometimes it seems like they’re being far more annoying than they are funny.

After sitting down and watching the first episode (first segment, DVD, I should say), I just can’t help but feel the same way. Again, I ended up liking some moments – there are pretty good jokes and clever writing in there, but Gumball and Darwin sometimes piss me off with their voice acting, Gumball annoys me with how stereotypical he is as a character (irresponsible scheming troublemaker – that’s new) and the art style has its moments where it works and others where it’s just odd.

This particular episode was also very cliché. Two brothers do something wrong so they get into a bunch of wacky shenanigans while trying to fix it without their parent knowing. I think that plot is a legal requirement of any sitcom or comedy cartoon with children that was ever made.

The actual art style is fine, it’s the fact that it’s always coupled with live action shots that puts me at odds – add that to the fact that you also have fully CGI characters and shifting art styles between characters and I just don’t know what to make of it. At the very least, it’s pretty unique.

Final Verdict:

ebzss3e

I’m not sure I’ll ever get off the fence about this show.

Hell Girl Episode 1: From Beyond the Twilight Review

Hell girl ep 1
Cannot unsee the derp face of the girl in the lower right.

Plot: A young girl named Mayumi is blackmailed by a classmate named Aya and her two friends when they give her a loan to replace money that had been raised for the school and trusted to her. When Aya’s abuse becomes too much, Mayumi contacts Hell Correspondence.

Breakdown: Hell Girl or Jigoku Shoujo, is an anthology series that I’ve already reviewed as a whole in the past, for season one anyway. But I don’t really like tackling series such as these without analyzing every story that comes along with it (See: Yami Shibai) So, here we are.

Hell Girl’s concept and subsequent structure for each episode is simple. Someone has been wronged or is currently being harassed or tortured by someone else, they use the Hell Correspondence website to demand vengeance upon them, Hell Girl/Ai gives them the trademark straw doll with a scarlet string around its neck and tells them that their vengeance will be taken upon their tormentor when they pull the string. When the string is broken, their target will be instantly sent to hell (after turning the tables and tormenting them for a while) and, as payment, upon the set/natural death of the contractor, they will also be ferried to hell.

The main reason to watch is for the characters of the day, their specific stories and that sweet, sweet release when that red string is pulled. Because of the structure, however, the stories are slightly predictable. Hardly anyone refuses to pull the string, and plot twists and mysteries are hard to come by. Still, it’s the ride that you want and that’s what you typically get, outside of the off-color episode about Ai and her associates and their respective backstories or involvement in the story, rare as that may be.

Here’s the thing. This is a horror anthology, which almost always means wildly fluctuating quality in regards to story. There are several episodes throughout each season where you sit there actually feeling bad because you don’t believe the target deserved to get sent to hell, or you feel unsatisfied because the reasons for sending the dickwhistle of the week to hell were unsatisfactory.

Then again, every episode usually makes you feel sad either way. Remember, the price for using the service is damning your soul to hell as well. The only difference is that you get to live out whatever remainder of life you had before you go instead of going instantly like the target does.

There are some upsides for the client. First and foremost, the tormentor is obviously gone from their life and it even seems like Ai and her associates do some sort of retroactive rewind because not only is the disappearance of the target rarely ever brought up, but most of the problems that stemmed from the target also seem to just vanish, leaving the contractor with basically a happy life. I’d dare say some clients even aim to live their lives better than they were before purely because they know of their fate. If all you have in regards to happiness is the here and now, you might as well make it the best you can.

This episode involves a young teenager, which makes it hard to truly want the target to go to hell….but that doesn’t mean I didn’t. This bitch is so heartless and cruel for absolutely no reason. Mayumi did nothing to her yet she steals the class’ money without Mayumi knowing, gives her a loan of the money so she has her under her thumb both financially and under the blackmail that she’ll tell the class if she doesn’t obey her orders. After a slue of little potshots and overall assholery, she aims to ruin her life by bringing her downtown in the middle of the night, nearly getting her sexually assaulted by some creeper just to get a free dinner then leaking a picture of her in the guy’s arms to the school, which puts her over the edge.

I do have to say, though, uh, Ai, what the hell took you so long in giving her the damn doll? You seriously had to wait until she was desperate enough to ATTEMPT SUICIDE to say ‘oh hey, here’s your doll.’ She usually does it immediately because, what’s the point in waiting? Yet here she waits a full day before giving it to her.

It is sad that Mayumi is marked for hell now. I find it particularly heartbreaking when the client is a child. They likely have the most life ahead of them, but it’s still hard to cope with the fact that a child is destined for hell. It’s even worse when you consider that kids don’t really have a good grasp on making huge life-altering decisions like this, yet there seems to be no age requirement for the service. At the very least, it seems Mayumi has made peace with this fact and has decided to live a happy life as long as she has it.

Rating: 7/10 Not a terribly creative story, barring the main plot of the series, and it’s a bit too black and white, but still has that sweet vengeance we’re here for.

 

Pixar’s Lamp: A Bug’s Life

Rating: 8/10

Plot: A colony of ants has been essentially been enslaved by a group of grasshoppers lead by the cruel…well, Hopper. They’re tasked year after year with gathering a food offering for the grasshoppers in addition to the amount of food that they need for themselves before the rainy season comes. An ant named Flik who tends to cause trouble all the time with his gadgets and inventions accidentally knocks the annual food offering in the waters surrounding their home. As punishment for their lack of offering, Hopper demands a double offering after summer and fall have ended when the final leaf on the tree above the ant hill falls. Flik gets an idea to find help outside of the colony by bigger and tougher bugs and the colony’s princess and soon-to-be queen, Atta, agrees in order to keep him out of trouble while the rest of the ants gather food.

Flik eventually finds a circus troupe whom he believes are actually warrior bugs. Likewise, the troupe believes him to be a talent scout with his story of the grasshoppers being the story of the show and agree to help him. However, everything falls apart when the truth is revealed and the last few leaves begin to fall from the tree.

Breakdown: I’ve already reviewed Antz and explained the little ‘who ripped off who’ war with Dreamworks. I also noted how it’s somewhat unfair to compare these two movies in terms of being ‘rip-offs’, whichever one you may believe is the rip-off, because they are two fairly distinct movies with seemingly different target audiences, plot points, characters, art styles and side characters.

So since it wouldn’t be entirely fair to compare these two side by side, let’s do it anyway!

Let’s tackle the art and animation first, shall we? The art is set more towards being cartoon-y with huge eyes and blue colored ants. I mentioned in the Antz review that the blue thing bothered me because ants aren’t blue and at least Antz was more realistic with having brown ants. I did find something called a blue ant, but it’s not blue (if anything it’s black with a metallic-like coating and red legs) and it’s more of a wasp than an ant. Then again, it seems like Antz was going more towards an older demographic that would probably want realism over cartoon style whereas A Bug’s Life is clearly aimed more for a younger audience. I can’t say either of them is really better in the art department. A Bug’s Life is definitely more visually appealing, but Antz was more of a stickler for details.

Animation-wise, though, there’s no denying that Pixar’s is a lot smoother.

In terms of characters, our main lead, Flik, is more relatable and likable than Z, end of story. Z, while meaning well, was a big whiner who was constantly complaining about how the conformity within the colony was stifling. While he had a point, that doesn’t mean I liked to hear his constant complaining.

Flik, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to help the colony do bigger and better things. He makes inventions and has ideas that sometimes end up screwing up and ruining everything, but he only wants to make things better and easier for the colony as a whole. He does mope for a bit, but it’s relatable moping of feeling like you’re a big screw up no matter how good your intentions are. In addition, he only does it a couple of times. He doesn’t spend half the movie doing it like Z. Dave Foley is also much easier to listen to than Woody Allen.

Princess Atta is much different than Bala. Bala wanted nothing more than to shed her royal duties and just relax every now and then with the commonfolk, which is pretty much a common princess plotline. Atta is the complete opposite as she wants nothing more than to do a good job as a princess and later on as a queen. She’s obsessed and a bit of a worry-wart about running everything and doing everything right. Therein lies her connection with Flik. Despite their drastically different stances in life, they both feel like they’re big screw ups.

Atta is definitely the more fleshed out and unique character, plus she actually evolves through the movie. Bala is pretty forgettable and has a cliché princess personality. She doesn’t change much throughout the movie.

The big conflict in A Bug’s Life is the fact that a group of grasshoppers, lead by the most originally named grasshopper ever, Hopper, have been terrorizing a colony of ants for a long time under the excuse that they protect them from harm, even though they live about a day away from them and would never be able to prevent trouble in time. Every year, the ants are forced to gather food for the grasshoppers in addition to themselves. The major issue is that they live on a very small island that has a limited supply of food. When Flik accidentally knocks the food offering into the water, which they can’t retrieve because they can’t swim, Hopper and his gang get pissed and demand that they offer twice as much food before the final leaf on the one tree of their island falls.

So they have to not only collect the double offering, but they also have to collect food for themselves, which will be difficult, if not impossible, under the circumstances as they barely manage to make their singular offering in time.

The conflict in Antz really doesn’t come to light until later, but the major issues are that the ants are a bunch of mindless conformists who only do what they’re told and nothing else. One of the soldier ants creates a Nazi-esque plan behind the scenes to wipe out all of the worker ants so only the princess and the more deserving soldier ants will live.

Two very different stories, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought A Bug’s Life’s was more interesting and could hold a longer run time. That is one of my main issues with Antz. To me, it was good, but forgettable. There are problems with A Bug’s Life that are glaring and will be addressed in a minute, but at the end of the day, despite those problems, A Bug’s Life was just more entertaining and enjoyable to me whereas Antz I could really give or take.

Finally, the message of A Bug’s Life was a combination of strength in numbers, the ‘power of one’ to unite them all, and standing up to bullies, as well as maybe being proud of the fact that you’re different no matter how much you may screw up because of it.

Antz’s message was a little confusing. It seemed to be that conforming, especially to the point of basically being robots, and living for nothing but work was bad, but then you have the fact that the ants were mindless drones no matter what they were told. They did shake off their blind obedience when Z showed them the error of their ways, but then they showed that non-conformity lead to complete and utter laziness and uncaring for your community. Then when they started to question Z in the slightest, they revolted against him in an instant as well. Perhaps the message is that conformity and living for work are wrong, but going too far in the other direction is just as wrong. Living a life in balance is a good lesson, but if that is the main message, they muddled it up horribly.

I should also mention that the little kids didn’t annoy me as much as I remember them doing. Those two little snots who tease Dot are still brats though.

Well, let’s stop with the comparison and get to what’s wrong with A Bug’s Life as a movie, in terms of story anyway. Three things, really.

First, this movie eventually gets to a point where it relies on the “main character lies to his friends and eventually gets found out” trope. Flik enlists the help of a circus troupe made of a (male) ladybug named Francis, a praying mantis named Manny, a black widow spider named Rosie, a dung beetle named Dim, a walking stick named Slim, a pair of pill bugs named Tuck and Roll, and a gypsy moth named….Gypsy. Besides the issue of ‘I hate this trope and it only makes for that incredibly awkward ‘reveal”, it also raises another issue. Flik never lied to begin with. At all. He told his story straight out to the troupe and even a second time to the pill bugs who don’t speak English and speak some kind of made-up language, but he wasn’t aware of that.

If anything, the troupe was at fault for making the totally unprompted assumption that he was a talent scout just really invested in this grasshopper story. They even fully believe it when they arrive at the colony and everyone’s cheering their heads off for the arrival of ‘the warriors’. It’s only until after a welcome dinner that the troupe figures it out and gets mad at Flik for lying to them even though he never ever did.

Hell, in addition to getting pissed and insulting him, the pill bugs slap him! FOR THEIR MISTAKE. Granted, once Flik finds out the truth, he eventually decides to actually lie to the colony about the troupe, which leads to the predictable awkward reveal, but the fact is that the troupe should have been the ones who looked like they were lying or at the very least made a grave error, not Flik.

Second, one other thing I will say in favor of Antz was the fact that they highlighted a big problem with A Bug’s Life. In Antz, the ants were divided up into workers and soldiers at birth and they remained widely segregated in their regular day to day lives.

In A Bug’s Life, there’s a noticeable lack of soldiers. They’re all workers. They have to be in order to be so firmly under Hopper’s thumb. That creates a problem and dare I say plot hole that could’ve just been patched up by saying that the soldiers all got overpowered by the grasshoppers or were killed or abandoned them or something. I’m not an entomologist, so I don’t know how likely it is that this species or specific colony of ants would just straight up have no soldiers, but it’s a noticeable issue to me.

Finally, the climax has a pretty big problem to it. All of the bugs, understandably, have a huge fear of birds. Hopper especially has a fear of birds since it’s implied that he got the big scar on his face and lost sight in his right eye because of a bird attack and is traumatized because of it. Flik, who is already in the trenches of his deception, decides to just screw the whole idea of the warriors in lieu of a new idea – making a mechanical bird made of sticks and leaves that will scare Hopper and the others away.

They complete the bird and are really optimistic about their chances. However, the colony finds out that the ‘warriors’ are really circus bugs and that Flik lied to them. Flik is then banished from the colony and goes off to join the circus troupe in shame while the colony panics because they spent all summer and fall mostly making the bird and hanging out with the warriors instead of gathering Hopper’s food because they no longer intended on paying him his tribute.

They scramble to gather food, which ends up not being nearly enough to offer to Hopper without leaving themselves to starve to death otherwise and completely lose hope.

The problem I have with this is…what the hell happened to the bird? Why is the bird thing no longer a feasible idea? I know it was Flik’s idea and he lied to them thus they might have lost some faith in the bird. Hell, Flik even loses faith in the bird as he’s riding with the troupe. But you have to remember something – the idea of the bird was presented to the circus troupe, who thought it was a great idea. The idea was then presented to the queen, Princess Atta and the royal council, who also thought it was brilliant. The idea was then shown to the entire colony who also had so much faith in it that they were cheering at the presentation. Why did they suddenly lose faith in the bird idea?

It can be argued that the stuff with the ‘warriors’ was moot by the time the bird was done, and the reveal was actually at a celebration party for the completion of the bird! In fact, Flik was figuring out a way for the troupe to escape without being noticed at the party so they could leave before the grasshoppers came. The troupe stayed of their own accord because they liked the colony and had recently lost their jobs anyway.

The bird was completely unrelated, so there’s no reason why they couldn’t have stuck with that plan in the end despite Flik’s deception and banishment. Did they really think they had more of a chance of gathering a double offering in a matter of days? It’s not like they couldn’t have done it since Flik comes back and actually pilots the bird just fine with only a girl scout troupe to help him operate it.

Bottomline: Despite those plot issues, I have to stick by my stance and just say it’s a more enjoyable, memorable and funnier movie than Antz. I commend Antz for trying to be more realistic in their designs and I still enjoyed the movie just fine, but in the end the one who will always win out for me is A Bug’s Life. I’ve gained much more appreciation of Dreamworks productions in recent time, despite the fact I haven’t gotten to their later work, but I still remain as a loyal soldier in Pixar’s colony……Oh wait. Damn you, ant puns!

Recommended Audience: There’s some drawings of bug gore by the little kids (their teacher actually told them to draw one of the good guys as dead to make it more dramatic. The amount of flying that wouldn’t do in an actual school setting is amazing.) no swearing, no innuendos that I remember. Some minor violence, some grasshoppers get killed although not graphically. It’s fine for all ages.

Unique Blogger x2

Unique Blogger

Two Unique Blogger Awards? But that means there are two of them….and thus, not unique. Am I not unique? Is there another FiddleTwix out there somewhere?…..My username’s been taken before, so probably. Is nothing unique? Are we all just clones? Copies? Dopplegangers?! Was 11Eyes right!? It–….oh sorry. I gotta stop having existential crises when blogging.

Ahem.

I’ve been nominated for two Unique Blogger Awards! 😀 The first one was by Shadowcat99 of Exploring the World of Anime and Manga, and the second was from Jenn of Welcome to Hell Zone. Thank you both very much for the nominations, and if you haven’t yet, check out their blogs. They both have a lot of prime, nutritious, grade A blog posts for you. Go on and read their stuff. I’ll wait.

Alright, let’s get started!

The Rules (copy pasted)

  1. Display Award
  2. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer questions they’ve written for you.
  4. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 bloggers and asks them 3 questions.

Let’s start with Shadowcat99’s questions.

1 – If you could strike anything from existence; person, place or thing, what would it be?

That’s a tough one. I’d probably have to say cancer. I’ve lost nearly all of my grandparents to lung and throat cancer, and I’ve lost several other loved ones to it. The suffering it causes everyone involved is just catastrophic. If I had to place a close second, it would be cigarettes/tobacco, for obvious reasons.

2 – What’s is the funniest new years resolution you have ever heard?

I don’t really hear too many New Year’s resolutions, to be honest. Most people I know either don’t make them or they do the obvious ones like lose weight, travel, learn a new language etc. I do recall reading someone online posting something like ‘I resolve to start doing the resolution I made in 2016, which I meant to start in 2015, forgot to do in 2014 and was too lazy to do in 2013.” I thought that was kinda funny.

3 – Who was your biggest hero growing up, not now unless it hasn’t changed, but when you were a kid?

In a fictional sense, The Power Rangers. Corny as they may be, they were my heroes. They supported each other, helped each other out without question, were always doing good deeds and doing whatever it took to save the world.

In a realistic sense, my parents. They always were working their asses off to give me and my sister as good a life as they could. No matter how tired they were or how emotionally drained they were, they always had time to help us, play with us and take care of us.

Now for Jenn’s questions!

1 – If you were to blog about a different subject other than what you blog about now, what would it be?

Horror movies. I’ve mentioned that I started doing reviews long ago on an old defunct Pokemon forum (which then transferred several members to a new Pokemon forum, which I helped moderate). Well, I branched off into live action movie reviews after a little while, and that eventually lead me into reviewing horror movies. I never reviewed them nearly as much as I did anime, and I rarely review them now, but I still really love horror movies and love writing about them.

As a side note, I’d love to review comics, but that’s way too huge of a pool for me to jump into.

2 – What’s the scariest movie/anime/tv show/etc you’ve ever seen?

Serious answer – The original Halloween. The ambiance, Michael’s black eyes and emotionless white mask, the tension increasing every passing second. It’s a fantastic work of horror.

Silly answer – the first Halloween special of Family Matters where that Urkel puppet shows up. Laugh if you will, but that is just a screwed up piece of television that honestly gave me nightmares for years.

3 – Have you ever watched a movie/anime/tv show/etc that reminded you of home?

That’s an interesting question. Does this refer to home as in hometown feeling/my house or my family? I’ll answer in both ways. Most recently I watched Summer Wars, which doesn’t really have a family similar to mine, but did remind me of my family a lot. While my extended family is rather large with both of my parents having numerous siblings with their own children, plus estranged family members due to divorces and whatnot, unlike Summer Wars, hardly any of us talk to each other. While watching that movie, I was frequently reminded of all of my aunts, uncles, cousins and such and wished that we had that sort of family.

In terms of homes or hometown feelings, I’d have to go with Air. I don’t really know why. There’s just something about it. Other than living in a small town, the area in which I live and grew up doesn’t seem anything like the area where Air takes place. There’s just something warm and homey about the setting and the relationships between the characters.

My questions:

1 – What anime or cartoon character have you most related to and why?

2 – What’s your favorite way to waste time?

3 – What little things in life make your day much better?

Nominees: I hope I’m catching people who haven’t done the award yet. No pressure if you want to do it or not– you deserve the award anyway 😀

Fujinsei

Benigmatica – The Anime Rambler

Unshaved mouse

Gentleman Otaku’s Anime Circle

Moe Sucks

Otaku Lounge

AngryJellyfish

Krystallina of Daiyamanga

Digimon Adventure 02 Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Three years after the end of Adventure 01, the Digital world comes under attack again – this time by a human threat known as the Digimon Emperor. It’s up to a new team of Digidestined, plus an older TK and Kari, under the guide of the old Digidestined to save the Digital World. We’re also introduced to the concept of Armor Digivolving which is supposedly on par with or more powerful than Champion level (Champion seems to be more impressive to the group later on) through the power of Digieggs made by the old crests.

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Ah, Digimon Adventure 02….how I both love you and have several issues with you. I love Ken, his storyline and the darker tone. Armor digivolving is pretty cool. The new digivices are neat. I also like how the old Digidestined still get to do stuff, albeit minor, in this series.

….I don’t like the new Digidestined, the rookie Digimon or their storylines for the most part. When I start releasing some of my Digimon Mega Review Thread, you’ll understand why in more detail. For now, let’s start.

I should mention that any changes that transfer over from changes already made in Adventure 01 won’t be mentioned here to avoid being redundant.

The original introduction to the new series was sentimental and Takeru didn’t give much information beyond it’s three years later. In the dub, the intro seems more upbeat and TK explains what everyone’s up to lately. Tai’s in high school (a bit pointless to say that since most of the group is in high school now, middle school in the original) and that’s pretty much it. He still plays soccer, I believe, but you barely ever see him do it. Matt’s trying to be a rock star, Sora’s playing tennis a lot, Izzy’s in high school/middle school too, Mimi moved to New York and Joe’s still studying to be a doctor.

The opener, as the last season, was changed. The original song isn’t fantastic, but it’s okay. The new dub theme for this season is just a slightly modified version of the old theme. Basically exactly the same barring the inclusion of “Armor Digivolve!” in the middle.

Strangely, it seems like more clips were removed, added and rearranged for the dubbed theme. Last season, very few clips were omitted from the theme, if any, now there are numerous removed, some added and changed. Basically most of the clips of Submarimon, Shurimon and Raidramon are removed, a shot of a crying Ken imposed over the Digimon Emperor is removed (wouldn’t want to preemptively sympathize with the bad guy!), the ending animation with the kids running with their Digimon is replaced with a photoshopped title card and old shots from the previous theme were inserted.

As with Adventure 01, we get custom title cards each episode. This one has a silhouette of Davis and Veemon with the title “The One Who Inherits Courage” Again, as with the previous season in the dub, we get no title cards and instead have the titles over scenes in the episode. This episode is “Enter Flamedramon.”

Title Card:

TK’s mom doesn’t mention what her article is about in the original. In the dub it’s about the historical significance of toilet paper….

Nitpicky, but the name boxes that show up when the characters introduce themselves are square in the original and long ovals in the dub. Also, obviously, the text is changed to English so kids can read it.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Name change: Miyako Inoue is changed to Yolei Inoue…..I have no clue why. Usually names are changed to make them easier to pronounce or change them to something more English sounding, but why Miyako to Yolei?

Also, because of her name change, she doesn’t explain that her name is spelled like Kyo in Kyoto, but is pronounced Miyako. In the dub this is replaced by Yolei nerdily telling us precisely how long it takes them to get to school….To the best of my knowledge, she’s not as Izzy-ized as Izzy was in the previous series, but I’ve never seen the original version of this sooooo…

Name Change: Iori Hida is changed to Cody Hida….I’m not entirely getting these changes even further. In the first series, the changes had some connection to the original name. Matt for YaMATo, TK for Takeru, Kari for Hikari, Izzi for Izumi (Koushiro) and Joe was just English-ized from Jyou. What does Yolei have to do with Miyako or Cody with Iori?

Not to mention that Cody’s voice is awful. His original voice is just that of a regular kid. In the dub, his voice sounds incredibly raspy like he’s trying to quit smoking. He sounds more like Genkai from Yu Yu Hakusho than any kid I’ve ever heard. Cody is voiced by Philece Sampler who also voices Mimi!? Wait, wha? Mimi and Cody are voiced by the same person? Damn, that’s some range you got there, lady. Both voices are terrible but you got skills in the range department, I’ll give you that.

They edit out Miyako and Iori bowing in greeting to Takeru. I guess because that’s a Japanese custom, but they have no qualms showing tons of other Japanese stuff. TK’s must’ve been just shallow enough to keep in.

Visuals:

Miyako tells Iori that she’ll fix his computer if his mom makes Ohagi, which are basically riceballs with various toppings. In the dub, Yolei says she’ll do it if his mom makes brownies.

Entire Show Change: Miyako’s catchphrase is ‘Bingo!’ Yolei’s is ‘Perfecto!’

Takeru says that Daisuke can’t be Taichi since he’s in middle school now whereas TK says Tai’s a much better soccer player than Davis. Look, I get that they both have goggles, but Davis and Tai don’t look very similar at all. Tai has giant crazy brown hair, Davis has moderately spiky way shorter maroon hair. Even their facial features aren’t very similar.

Name Change: Daisuke Motomiya is changed to Davis Motomiya

Hikari responds to Daisuke stating that they’re in the same class again by saying she’s glad to see him. In the dub, Davis says it’s great luck that they’re in the same class again and Kari says “I wouldn’t call that ‘luck’”

Daisuke said some kid said his goggles looked cool, but he didn’t even know him. In the dub, Davis says some new kid confused him with someone and that he probably thought he was a movie star.

It’s odd, in the original the teacher doesn’t introduce himself before he introduces Takeru and he addresses Hikari by (last) name. In the dub, he has a name, and he calls Kari “The girl with the camera around her neck”

Originally Daisuke is having inner monologue over the entire scene after it’s shown that Takeru and Hikari know each other. He’s just getting angry since Takeru seems to already know Hikari so well. In the dub, Davis only has inner monologue over the shot of him and he’s acting like TK’s asking Kari out a date. When the scene switches to Kari and TK, we hear TK say he thinks his teacher looks like Ogremon.

Dub Tai: *when Agumon reveals that he can’t digivolve* “Did you forget how? It’s just like riding a bike. Now start pedaling and DIGIVOLVE!” Geez, Tai, pushy much? He said he can’t. Leave the poor guy alone.

Wait, where did Tai get a D-Tector?

Originally, Miyako says she’s accidentally opening an email meant for Izumi, but wonders why he’s getting once since he already graduated to middle school. I don’t even know how she has access to Izumi’s email… She notes that it’s from someone named Yagami (Taichi’s original last name.) and recognizes that someone in her class, Hikari, has the same last name.

In the dub, she just opens the email like it’s hers and wonders about the message being “Come to the Digital World right away. The Digimon need our help!” She thinks it’s about some online game. She sees that the message is from Tai Kamiya and says there’s a girl in her class with the last name Kamiya and that email must be hers.

The text on the screen got translated to English.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Daisuke says “Hey, you!” to Takeru which prompts Hikari to say “It’s not “you”, his name’s Takeru-kun” Then Daisuke asks what Takeru’s deal is with Hikari and Takeru doesn’t understand so he laughs because he thinks Daisuke is joking. Daisuke gets frustrated and says it’s not funny. In the dub, Davis calls TK “Buddy” to which Kari corrects him as the original version. Davis then mistakenly calls TK, “TJ or JB or whatever” and continues the conversation as per the original. TK laughs because he thinks Davis is jealous of him and Davis stews at the insinuation.

Most of the next segment with Izumi explaining the email from Tai is the same but there are two changes. One: He never calls his D-tector a ‘computer’. While the wide range of that word technically does stem to PDAs, which is what I assume the pre-tweaked D-tectors were, most people don’t call every electronic device that has similar functions as computers ‘computers.’ Nitpicky, but still.

Two: Dub Izzy says his battery ran out because he was playing too much Trigonometry Trivia last night on the Internet. Izzy, I know you’re an uber nerd, but Trigonometry Trivia? Seriously? And there are really other people on the internet who would want to play that too? Knowledge is power and whatnot, but come on.

Again, the email is translated.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Gatomon says that the Digiegg of Courage must’ve been there for a long time in the original. Tailmon says “It must’ve been rough on the chicken who laid that thing” Now that I’m an adult and I know the full mechanics of chickens laying eggs…..yes, Gatomon…….It must’ve been hell. I will now cringe for a few hours. Excuse me.

Daisuke says that since Taichi’s in trouble, they need to go to the Digital world as fast as they can. In the dub, Izzy just states that they’re going to the Digital World and Davis says he’s going too.

Davis once again mistakes TK’s name, this time TC, when Daisuke does not.

Daisuke says he’s going to the Digital World because he can go with his new Digivice. Izumi says yes, as long as what he has is an actual Digivice. Davis asks if he can get Donkey Madness on his Digivice (Obvious poke at Donkey Kong) Izzy says the Digital World isn’t a game and that if he was really sent a Digivice it’s for a reason and he should take it seriously.

The color schemes of the Digivices never fully made sense to me. Davis’ is blue I presume because one of his Digieggs is Friendship, of which the crest color is blue. Yolei’s is red for her Digiegg of Love, but the others make no sense to me. Cody’s is yellow. That’s the Crest of Hope’s color, which is TK’s crest. Cody holds the Digieggs of Knowledge and Reliability, purple and gray, not Hope.

However, Cody’s Digimon is yellow, so I thought that might make sense, but then we get to Kari and TK. Kari’s new Digivice is pink, for the Crest of Light. Also makes sense. However, since Cody took yellow, TK’s new Digivice is green for the Crest of Sincerity. If we were going by Digimon color, Davis’, Yolei’s and Cody’s would make sense but Gatomon’s not pink and Patamon’s not green!

During the trip to the Digital world, the dub adds in a song from Digimon’s soundtrack – Here We Go by Jason Gochin. It’s a very frequently used song.

Another thing I never understood was the clothes changing. They explain it later in the series like their new clothes reflecting their deepest wishes or something, but their outfits are just confusing. Davis has a fire-y jacket and gloves, Yolei has a pilot hat, vest and old-timey pilot pants and Cody has a plain beige shirt, which may or may not be martial-arts themed. This is supposed to be supported further by the fact that Ken got a cool Digimon Emperor outfit which disappeared when he became a good guy again.

However, it really just makes no sense to me. Yolei has no desire to be a pilot – she’s into computers. Though she may like flying through the air and has a bird as a Digimon, she’s shown no desire to be anything aviation related.

Cody’s outfit just MAY be martial arts related, I’m really unclear on that. Since Cody practices Kendo, this makes a little bit of sense.

But what’s up with Davis’ outfit? It really doesn’t change at all barring his jacket. Does he want to be on fire? We know he doesn’t want to grow up to be a firefighter since he wants to open a noodle cart. And if that whole thing with the clothes does happen for whatever reason, why don’t TK’s and Kari’s and the old Digidestined’s outfits change when they go into the Digital World? They’re almost always wearing the clothes they had on when they entered the Digital world.

If anyone has any answers to this, feel free to offer up the information. I’ve watched this series several times over and have yet to make sense of it all.

As with the first series, the eyecatches for the commercial breaks are edited out. If they change in the future, I’ll update.

Visuals:

Daisuke doesn’t ask if all Digimon come from vending machines like Davis does.

Tailmon doesn’t make the joke that all Digimon will have to punch a time clock under the Digimon Emperor’s rule like Gatomon does.

Tailmon explains that since her Holy Ring (Tail ring in the dub) was removed, she’s lost half her power….Well, that’s an unfortunate weakness, Green Lantern. And you weren’t even that powerful as a Champion level to begin with so that’s pretty sad. In the dub, Gatomon just talks about the Dark Rings.

Dub Ken: *while trying to choose a Digimon to attack the group* “Einie, meenie, miney, mon!” *sigh*

Dub TK: *in regards to the Digiegg of Courage* “It looks like a deflated beach ball!” …..Whaa? No it doesn’t. It looks like a Digiegg…..What….part of this, in any way looks even a little like a deflated beach ball?….Or even an inflated beach ball? In the original, Takeru just points out that the Digiegg has the Crest of Courage on it.

Ugh and here we get the little annoyance himself, Veemon or as he’s known in the original, V-mon….Because…I dunno. Look….I adore Digimon. It’s one of my favorite franchises ever, I’d even put it above Pokemon in terms of everything but games, but I just don’t much care for the second generation of Digimon.

They all seem more annoying than charming whereas none of the original Digimon seemed annoying to me. I also never felt the same connection between the new Digidestined and their Digimon as the original kids or the Digidestined in Tamers. Veemon in particular annoys me, especially in the dub, because his voice is awful. Granted, none of the new Digimon voices sound great, but Veemon’s is just grating to me.

V-Mon is changed to Veemon on the Index Screen.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Also, as the last series, the Index screens are originally explained by a narrator. In the dub, Agumon does it this time, but a bunch of people and Digimon do it over time.

Dub Veemon: “Tell me Davis, what hurts?”

Davis: “Everything but my earlobes.”

….Okay that was funny. Originally, Daisuke just thanked V-mon for saving him.

V-mon originally tells Daisuke over and over that he has to say “Digimental up!” to activate the egg. In the dub, Veemon never tells Davis that the trigger words are “Digiarmor Energize!” so I have no clue how Davis knew what to say. Maybe it’s like magical girl anime where the leads just inherently know what to say to call upon their powers.

Name Change: Fladramon is changed to Flamedramon. And the background words are changed to reflect this. (Also, just to be thorough, V-mon’s name in the Digivolution Screen is changed in the dub accordingly.)

Subbed:

Dubbed:

I will admit, as much as I dislike Veemon, I absolutely adore Flamedramon and Raidramon. I even have old toys of them that transform into the Digieggs of Courage and Friendship. And they’re both voiced by Steve Blum!……I hate Exveemon, though. A lot.

To get this out of the way, I’m ambivalent about both Hawkmon and Armadillomon. Hawkmon’s dub voice reminds me of Stewie from Family Guy, and Armadillomon is just forgettable and fairly lame with an annoying southern accent.

Halsemon’s really cool, Shurimon’s okay. Aquillamon’s a redder, male Birdramon rip-off. Digmon’s ehhh, made all the worse by his relentless stream of puns in the dub, and Submarimon’s so damn useless, but I enjoy the design. Ankyllomon is just a bigger version of Armadillomon with spikes. I will never understand why they tried to make the concept of traditionally Digivolving the new team so fascinating. Their Digivolutions are deep fried lame. Their armor Digivolutions are so much better in terms of design and powers.

Fladramon’s Index screen is changed to reflect his English name.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Common practice in the original series – there’s a vocal song when V-mon first armor Digivolves. In the dub it’s just regular music.

However, after we get a scene with Ken, the dub inserts the also common Digimon soundtrack song “Run Around.”

Wait, Daisuke gets a D-Tector after the Digiegg of Courage gets sent to his Digivice? Then where did Taichi and Izumi’s come from?

All Wormmon says in the original is “Ken-chan” in the dub he asks Ken what a ‘foe’ is.

Taichi doesn’t outright say that Daisuke’s the new leader of the Digidestined/Chosen Children in the original. It’s implied, and we all know because, well, goggles, but saying it is just a little insulting. Do they never get a say in this?

Gatomon/Tailmon: “The Digimon Emperor never appears at night.”

….Are you sure? Because in the first scene and the flashback Gatomon had both look like they take place at night. Maybe it’s just incredibly smoggy, I can’t tell with the art.

As with the original series, the ending theme and next episode preview are removed for plain credits on another showing of the dub opener.

I will say that the dark rings always seemed like a lame black gear rip-off, but at least we have a new and interesting enemy.

Next time, Miyako and Iori will get to do stuff, we’ll get to see Sora, and Miyako and Iori will get their Digimon as well as perform their first armor Digivolution.