Smile Precure!/Glitter Force Episode 5 Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: The Precures have one more member to recruit, and Miyuki believes their classmate and Student Body Vice President, Reika, is the one to fill the role. However, she’s too busy with Student Council to take them up on their offer – especially now considering that they’re supposed to put on an annual storytelling show for the kids at the local elementary school, but their Student Council president is too sick to take care of things. When a new enemy, a witch named Majorina, attacks the Precures, will Reika take her place as Cure Beauty and save the day?

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Title Change: A Beautiful Heart: Cure Beauty!! is changed to Glitter Breeze vs. The Witch….Guys….please…creativity is all I ask for. You couldn’t even write her name, you just wrote ‘the witch.’

They change Miyuki gawking before Aoki notices her to Emily greeting her, Chloe ignoring her and the close up shot of her gawking to her going ‘Helllooooooooooo!!’

Miyuki praises Reika for being so pretty and compares her to a water sprite. In the dub, Emily praises her on her concentration and even says ‘just what we need on the Glitter Force’ Subtlety like a brick to the teeth.

Miyuki says that Reika waters the flowers to make everyone ultra happy. After Chloe says she waters the flowers on her own and even comes to school early to do it, Emily says ‘You are SO in Glitter Force!’

Emily…..

Shut…..

Up.

Reika says ‘The early bird catches the worm.’ Chloe says she has no idea what Emily’s talking about in regards to the Glitter Force.

The original text is some sort of fantasy story. In the dub, she’s reciting stuff about photosynthesis.

Also, books, which means goodbye text! And hello blurred gibberish!

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They didn’t even curve the text so it looks like it belongs in that book. It’s clearly just stamped on there.

By the by, Chloe is merely reading out of the textbook yet Emily calls her super smart because of it.

So….the butterfly thing Cure Decor Nao got….gives Candy….hair loop….things…with butterflies on them…..*cough* Do these ‘powers’ have a point or is this about merchandise or something? Because I don’t get it.

Emily: “Okay, big news – Chloe’s ready to become the final member of the Glitter Force!” Miyuki just says she may have found the fifth Precure. Likewise, the girls respond asking if Emily asked her about it and become disappointed when it becomes clear that she hasn’t. In the original, they’re confused because Miyuki says the new member should be like a water sprite.

Glitter Force has a lot of ‘Dialogue where the originally was none’ moments I tend to let slide, but I thought I’d mention that I thought it was funny that Emily is watching Chloe so intently when she’s shooting her bow and arrow and goes ‘Is she gonna let it go?….*shot* OOP! She let it go!’ She’s practically fangirling, and it’s both funny and cute.

Reika thinks Candy is a robotic doll. Chloe thinks Candy’s a puppet.

Ya know, if you guys really want to instantly convince her of the Precure/Glitter Force thing, just transform in front of her. It’s not that hard.

Emily: “You’ll help us give the world a happy ending?”

snicker

They edit out Reika bowing in apology, which is strange because they left in the other girls doing it a minute ago. I guess they thought it’s okay because they passed that off as begging when they really can’t do that with Chloe.

They insert an external shot of the school before the shot of the poster.

Oh and they edit out the posters. Boooo!

The sign for the Student Council Room is painted.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nice font choice, by the way. Not often you see a student council office in prison.

Name Change: Terada is changed to Teresa, and Kurata is changed to Kevin.

They edited out them bowing in greeting.

They completely edit out the text ‘Snow White’ on the book, because, again, the irony of editing out text on a book where there are lines praising, of all things, READING, goes right over their heads.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Reika says they’ll be taking turns reading Snow White, which gets Miyuki excited because she loves fairy tales. In the dub, Chloe says they’re doing a puppet show and Emily says kids go crazy for puppet shows….do they? They seem to enjoy them, but ‘go crazy’? Really?

Miyuki decides to help out and asks the other girls if they want to help too. They agree, and Nao is the one who comes up with the puppet show idea. In the dub, the reason Emily wants to help is because, supposedly, the already-planned puppet show can’t go on without Jared, the president.

I’d like to know what’s happening in this shot.

Is Akane worried Miyuki will ruin the cutout or worried she’ll slice her fingers off?

Miyuki and the others are helping out of the goodness of their hearts. In the dub, Emily states during the montage that they’re helping so they can make a believer out of Chloe, get her to join them and bring happiness to the world. Uh, she didn’t not believe you nor did she refuse because she didn’t understand what good she’d be doing. She didn’t accept the offer because she was busy with other responsibilities.

They edit out more bowing.

Almost certain they also repeat the part with her speaking beforehand so they can keep the shot’s length.

Eyecatches – Candy’s is a repeat, so just noting Beauty here.

Wow, the animation in the very background as they set up the show is distractedly lazy. It is literally just two keyframes played over and over so it looks like they’re flashing the puppets back and forth.

And yet they don’t edit out Chloe bowing when she tells the audience to enjoy the show. I guess people do that in America too, but come on.

“Her hair as black as coal” she says as Miyuki waves around a puppet that clearly has light brown hair.

It’s not as obvious, but the puppet’s skin color also isn’t very pale. Also, the backdrop sucks because you can see the tops of Miyuki and Yayoi’s heads and see their whole arms.

Name Change: Majorina is changed to Brooha.

Yayoi starts to suspect that Majorina is an enemy. In the dub, Brooha starts explaining that all the good things that happen in the end of Snow White don’t happen in her version and Lily complains that she’s giving the ending away.

Nao: “So Precure wasn’t just a dream….” Uh…Nao, sweetie….why are you still with these girls and trying to convince Reika to be a Precure if you thought the Precures were a dream? Also, you know Candy can talk and is a pixie. Also, also, you just magically conjured up hair loops with a compact earlier. This line just seems out of place because none of the other girls have moments like this after they’ve had their first transformation episodes.

Interesting that the dub doesn’t include this line. It’s just an intimidation line.

Majorina says she hails from the Land of Bad Ends. Having only heard of this now, Akane repeats her statement. In the dub, Brooha says she’s the meanest of the trio and Kelsey says that’s nothing to brag about.

I really don’t understand the logic with the darkening in the dub. It flashes off and on with the transformation scenes, but it shows up in spots where you think it wouldn’t. Like there will be a flash of light so large and bright so that the entire screen is filled then the brightness will go down for the next shot of just some light and the skirt appearing. I’m no doctor, but I’d say flip-flopping between bright and super dark is even worse for epileptics than just showing the original bright to less-bright scenes.

They edited the shots of them applying the blush again for some reason.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: I lost this week. I had scissors, she had rock. 😦

I know I sometimes complain about transformations being cut down, but damn the unedited transformation sequence in this episode clocks in at a minute and thirty seconds. That may not sound like much, but it is. And that’s just with four of them. It’ll probably peak at two minutes, if not more, with Cure Beauty.

Nao: “I really transformed again!” I’m still confused why this surprises you. For the record, in the dub, she just continues to be surprised that her hair is so big when she transforms.

Since Lily doesn’t play Rock, Paper, Scissors with the audience, she tries out some intimidation tactics by claiming she’ll pound the enemy with the power of love. Dammit, I already used up my immature snickering gif allowance for the day.

Akane asks if she’s going to play that game every time, and Yayoi says, if you beat her, you’ll have good luck all day. Candy, again, claims she’s playing, but this time she says she lost because she ‘chose’ scissors. Akane points out, again, that Candy isn’t making any signs with her hand because she has no fingers.

In the dub, Kelsey yells out that her intimidation tactics are weak. Lily asks if ‘the fingers of peace’ are a better declaration. Candy wishes she could make a peace sign or a fist, but she can’t because she doesn’t have fingers. Kelsey says they have bigger things to worry about.

In the original, Majorina says things are going to be different now. Miyuki wonders if she’s tougher than the others. In the dub, Brooha makes a comment about their ‘fabulous hair’ and Emily says ‘*Gasp* You think our hair is fabulous?!’

They really don’t see the clear risk in attacking each of these Akanbe one by one when only one of them is the real one, there are three of them, about eight Akanbe and they each get only one shot each? Not sure if I’d be as bothered by this if Candy didn’t command them to do it.

So now Emily’s chant has changed to ‘Sparkle sparkle sparkle sparkle’ How does that give you spirit?

I do like how Majorina/Brooha just looks at them confused as they try to gather spirit energy, though. It’s kinda funny, like it’s poking fun at magical girl tropes.

I feel like I’m just twiddling my thumbs throughout the rest of this scene because I know it results in all of the girls each trying to hit the real Akanbe, but they all fail so it’ll be up to Reika to transform and save the day. Also, before we even get to Yayoi, I’m just begging them to stop and actually try to formulate a plan instead of shooting blindly and hoping for the best. World’s best superheroes, everyone.

You’d think at least Nao would have the sense to stop and think. Miyuki would head out first because she’s just doesn’t tend to think things through, Akane would go next because she’s headstrong and hotheaded, and Yayoi might just try to follow what the others are doing. Nao LITERALLY goes ‘I can’t tell which one’s the real one…and it’s a one-in-five shot….better blindly attack one like the others, wasting our final attack and damning us all to a bad end.’

You know what’s even sillier? For all they know, this Akanbe has the ability to switch which one is the real one in mid-attack.

It’s like the writers went ‘Well, we have four Precure now. How do we get them in such deep shit that they need Reika to transform?’

‘Have them waste their attacks for no reason like idiots and put themselves in undue peril?’

‘Brilliant!’

April: “Wow….epic fail.” ……Did you really just say ‘epic fail’? They don’t use a lot of slang in this show, but when they do…..urgh.

Brooha: “What a Glitter Farce!” Why are you getting all the good cheesy lines? Not complaining. I love you so far.

Like before, Miyuki can’t tell Reika who she is, but in the dub, since she already knows due to them telling her about the Glitter Force, Chloe gets their name wrong and calls them a club. Emily denies this and corrects her.

We hear an audio flashback to Miyuki telling Reika that they’ll make everyone happy at the storytime puppet show. This isn’t present in the dub.

Believe it or not, they actually kept the school’s name(basically) intact. Their school is called Nanairogaoka Junior High. In the dub, it’s Rainbow Hills Middle School. Indeed, Nanairo means ‘rainbow’ and gaoka can translate to ‘hill’ Go Figure. Only slight difference is Junior High to Middle School, but I feel like I’ll give that a pass because different countries have different school systems.

Wow…Beauty’s transformation sequence is….forgive me – Beautiful. It feels like it’s more intricately animated than the other girls’ transformations.

Beauty’s post-transformation speech is ‘A gentle heart as pure as the driven snow…Cure Beauty!’ In the dub, it’s ‘Cool and swift as the winter winds…I’m Glitter Breeze!’

Name Change: Cure Beauty is changed to Glitter Breeze. I’m not sure how I feel about this because 1) Breeze doesn’t have anything to do with beauty (You can’t even see a breeze…) and 2) Breeze is more March’s thing, isn’t it? I know she’s spring themed, but wind is still her forte right? Beauty’s is ice and snow. I don’t get the logic with changing it at all, but changing to Breeze just seems strange.

Beauty’s hair makes me think of an octopus…..

Breeze: “Mirror monsters?”…..Yes….You saw them for several minutes before you transformed…..Being fair, Beauty says something equally strange.

Beauty: “I see, when I transform, I get superhuman powers.”

Sunny: “She’s quick on the uptake!” She doesn’t say this with sarcasm, which scares me.

Okay, this just begs the question, if the Akanbe mirrors can be taken out with physical attacks, why didn’t the other girls try that before using their special abilities?

I know the answer: ‘Because then Cure Beauty wouldn’t be needed and her debut episode wouldn’t…debut her.’

Attack Name Change: Pretty Cure Beauty Blizzard is changed to Sparkle Blizzard.

Wouldn’t a mirror monster be more interesting if the monster reflected attacks back at them?

Are you kidding me?…….Her Cure Decor….is a CELL PHONE?! Aren’t these powers supposed to come from a fantasy realm? What the hell is a cell phone doing in the works? Wow….

They sped up Reika smiling as she turned around. Why? I don’t know.

Even though they didn’t do the same scene where the new recruit asks Miyuki to call them by their first name, Miyuki still decides to noticeably correct herself from saying ‘Aoki-san’ to ‘Reika-san’ Obviously, this, again, isn’t present in the dub.

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You can find my thoughts on the episode as a whole here.

As for the SDC, this episode didn’t fare that badly. In fact, most of my notes are more on a review level. Most of what was changed is stuff that has been changed in the past, and the few newer things aren’t that terrible. The only thing that kinda irked me was the insinuation that they were only helping Chloe for the sake of getting her to join the Glitter Force. I know that’s not true, but Emily really made it sound that way.

At least the whole ‘psychic Emily’ thing is probably over now. That was getting irritating.

I still don’t get Beauty’s name change, but it’s not life-altering.

Next episode, now that the Precures are all together, they start creating a strategy for stopping Pierrot and his minions.

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SSBS – Smile Precure! Episode 5 – A Beautiful Heart – Cure Beauty!

SSBS - SP EP5

Plot: The Precures have one more member to recruit, and Miyuki believes their classmate and Student Body Vice President, Reika, is the one to fill the role. However, she’s too busy with Student Council to take them up on their offer – especially now considering that they’re supposed to put on an annual storytelling show for the kids at the local elementary school, but their Student Council president is too sick to take care of things. When a new enemy, a witch named Majorina, attacks the Precures, will Reika take her place as Cure Beauty and save the day?

Breakdown: This episode was kinda dull.

There were some aspects I really liked. For instance, Majorina is my favorite of the three villains so far. She has a lot of great dialogue and personality. I also like Reika quite a bit, even if she is a bit too perfect for my tastes, as of now anyway. The animation and colors in Beauty’s transformation and attack are simply gorgeous to the point where I almost feel she was a meant to be the leader.

However, the main story with Reika is just dull as dishwater. She’s going to read to kids, the girls help her turn it into a puppet show…..There’s no conflict. Whether or not the girls helped is irrelevant. Reika and the other two Student Council members could’ve handled a book reading by themselves. The girls made the show better, but there was no conflict resolved as a result of their being there.

I can’t get the thought out of my head that they just wanted to get Reika’s debut episode out of the way to round off the Precures so they just threw a plot together. Maybe they could’ve made the argument that she was very overworked so the other girls decided to help her out and take some stress off her shoulders by helping her. Even then, it’s kinda moot because now she has an entirely new task eating up her time and energy by being a Precure.

The plot with the Akanbe is particularly lazy because they’re clearly making the other Precures act irrationally for the sake of leaving Reika as their only option to step up and help. They go up against six mirror versions of the Akanbe and have to find the right one, so they all decide to just guess at which one is real by using up their one-shot attacks one by one.

What’s even stupider is that, later, we find out that the Akanbe can be physically attacked just as easily without wasting the special attack, so they wasted their attacks for nothing. And how did none of them have the forethought to think ‘Hm, maybe literally the only Akanbe that looks different is the one we should attack’?

I definitely didn’t dislike this episode, but it’s certainly not a particularly interesting or well-written story, and it’s fairly dull for most of the run time. Majorina and Beauty’s aesthetics (puns?) make up for a bit of it, but it just didn’t do it for me.

Next episode, with all the girls now together, they have a meeting to establish their game plan for stopping Pierrot and saving the world from a bad end.

Memories Episode 1: Magnetic Rose Review

Rating: 9/10

Plot: The Corona is a ‘garbage’ ship in the outreaches of space. The captain, Ivanov, is about to head home when Aoshima, their tech specialist, notices an SOS signal. They don’t want to investigate, but fear the repercussions for ignoring a distress call, so they decide to give it a quick check. Ivanov sends his two engineers, Heintz, a serious worker and family man, and Miguel, a goofy womanizer, to explore the odd cluster of debris where the signal is originating only to be astounded when the inside is revealed to be a magnificent mansion where holograms, hallucinations and fake décor are peppered throughout. Who is sending the SOS, and is it really a call for distress?

Breakdown: Memories is actually an anthology film, but I felt it better to review each section on their own.

This project has a lot of talent attached to it. It was produced and based on a manga written by Katsuhiro Otomo, most famous for writing and directing Akira, as well as directing Steamboy and doing the screenwriting for Metropolis,. There’s also, of course, the marvelous Satoshi Kon, creator of works such as Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers and Paranoia Agent.

The talent is definitely reflected here, because the film is off to a strong start with this episode.

It’s a haunting and intriguing tale from start to finish. The characters’ memories and even Eva’s, the lady of the ‘house,’ are manipulated, used and warped to suit Eva and seemingly the station’s desires.

The movie does a good job of connecting you with the characters from the getgo, allowing the film to be filled with tension and be immersive. There are also several aspects of mystery along the way – not just with Eva, but also with Heintz. A particular revelation with him was heartbreaking when I realized it was a real memory and not a manipulation.

The art and animation are fantastic….barring the CGI, which hasn’t aged well. It stands up well against other 1995 CGI, but by today’s standards it’s downright ugly sometimes. Luckily, it’s not very prominent throughout the episode. Only the shots of the station itself and some action shots are noticeably CGI.

The music is beautiful and very impacting. I particularly enjoyed the song at the very end. Yoko Kanno did the music for this segment, so the quality is no surprise.

Overall, this episode is wonderful and a great start to the movie. However, I am a bit wary of the other two entries as they’ve been noted as being much weaker than Magnetic Rose. Hm.

Additional Information and Notes: Memories Episode 1 – Magnetic Rose was directed by Koji Morimoto, who also directed the “Beyond” segment of The Animatrix and did animation work on Akira. He also co-founded Studio 4°C – the company that produced Memories. The screenplay was written by Satoshi Kon.

The entirety of Memories was based on a manga by Katsuhiro Otomo.

Year: 1995

Runtime: 1 Hour, 53 minutes.

Recommended Audience: There’s one fly-by shot of naked breasts via a photo Miguel has, but it’s literally on screen for about a second. Other than that, there’s some corpses and skeletons lying around and a kid is shown to semi-graphically die from a fall. 10+

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) Grojband

Episode One-Derland Grojband3

Plot: Corey and his band, Grojband, do everything in their power to be stars in the world of music.

Breakdown: This is one of those rare times when I’ll watch a show that has an 11/11 setup (Two eleven minute episodes to make up one full episode), watch one half and be so unsure of how I felt about it that I decided to watch the other half to get a better idea of my feelings. Since it is as such, let me talk about the first episode, or episode 1A before we talk about the second.

Episode One-Derland Grojband1

Episode 1A, Cloudy with a Chance of Malt Balls, and yes that title is very stupid and barely correlates to the story (Malt balls are at the movies, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs came out around this time, so we have our title) is about Corey trying to convince a movie star named Cherry Grapestain to let them be her movie trailer band, which makes about as much sense as it sounds. To do this, they decide to crash a drive-in theater premiere and play before the movie.

This episode started out with good promise in regards to jokes. There’s a joke where a couple of girls are clamoring outside of the garage after the band plays and Kon, the drummer, hopes it’s their future selves cheering for them. Maybe I looked too much into the joke, but I thought this was a clever, if not somewhat dark, joke about their future selves cheering on their life decisions. Then we get a couple of fourth-wall-breaking jokes like telling Mina, Trina’s ‘best friend’ that she’s not in this episode and saying there’s a transition when a transition comes up.

However, these jokes were well ruined as the episode went on. Kon kept bringing up the future selves thing, which made the joke stale and made me realize the initial joke wasn’t what I thought, he was just being dumb. And then the joke got weird and stupider when their future selves, somehow, someway, do show up to help them. No explanation as to why they’re here or how, they don’t even look any older, they just wear leotards and have Geordi visors on their heads.

The ‘not in this episode’ joke has a reprise, but that one was welcome because it was a slap to Trina’s face. Also, I think you need to have at least a few episodes under your belt before you can use a ‘your character isn’t in this episode’ gag. We should know who this character is before you knowingly shove her out of an episode.

They also kept using the ‘pointing out a transition is happening’ gag over and over.

There were still some decent jokes like Corey deciding to forego free tickets to the movie because he had a convoluted plan to get in instead, and Corey exiting the costume he was in through the torso, leaving his ‘legs’ behind to stand the costume up on its own but still having his own legs.

But then there are weird jokes that seem really stupid like Trina seemingly getting legitimately possessed when she gets super pissed and viciously writing in her diary about whatever pissed her off, causing flames in the pen and actual lightning to rain down. I’m not kidding about the lightning either – it’s real. It knocked out the projector. The fact that this thing can summon lightning is a recurring theme.

Getting a feel for the characters is a bit odd at this point. I think I like Corey because he means well and has the better jokes, but he also seems stupid and egotistical sometimes.

I don’t like Trina, but I’m obviously not supposed to. She’s the typical insanely bitchy older sister character. Think Vicky from Fairly Odd Parents if she was an older sister to Timmy not a babysitter.

I found something interesting while reading the Wiki for this show, though. Her ‘best friend’ Mina who is briefly seen here, apparently is not named Mina. Trina had her legally change her name from Bernadette to Mina so their names would rhyme….What a bitch….Mina goes along with pretty much whatever Trina says because she wants to be as popular and cool as she is. She’s basically Trina’s slave and the poor girl just takes it.

Laney’s pretty cool, and Kon and Kin, twin brothers who play drums and keyboard respectively, are alright. Kon’s character is easy to pin down as the overly excited random guy, while Kin is just kinda there.

All in all, I didn’t outright dislike this episode, minus one gross-out gag, but I felt like this was one of those shows that was trying too hard without trying….You know what I mean? They jam a lot into your face, and some of it would be pretty clever and funny in small doses, but it gives off an air of laziness because they constantly reuse gags and mistake randomness for humor.

Episode One-Derland Grojband2

Episode 1B or Dance of the Dead is a bit of an oddity because you rarely ever hear of shows having a holiday special in their pilot episode.

The story is a bit odd and doesn’t make sense, but I’m beginning to think Grojband doesn’t care much about logic.

In this episode, the band is set to play at their school’s Halloween dance, but Trina shoves them out into the cemetery, which is, for some reason, right outside the school. Using Corey’s new amp, which somehow has magical powers, just go with it, they play in the cemetery and reanimate the dead with their song.

Doing what zombies do, they bite others and make them into zombies, lusting for brains but also following music, even when not played in the magical amp.

Corey and the band decide to….mix Trina’s diary, having been ‘powered up’ I guess by Trina’s latest hissy fit, lightning and the magical amp to play a song that will lure the zombies back into their graves, deanimate them and restore everyone to normal SOMEHOW.

This episode was definitely more solid than the first part. They didn’t reuse stupid jokes, barring one, and rely solely on a few bits of randomness to get them through. There are many more one-off jokes that work quite well.

While the story somehow manages to make even less sense than the first part, I’ve resigned myself to just taking this as a cartoon that goes with the flow and doesn’t aim to be logical. Sometimes, that’s fine. It’s a bit too noticeable, though. There’s a difference between cartoon logic and no logic.

The main pains in this one are random fart jokes here and there and the resident hottie, Nick Mallory’s dog reanimating and biting him. He’s been a pretty alright character so far – nice, suave, though also being full of himself and speaking in third person – so having him visit his dog’s grave, for real, only to have him come back to life as a zombie and bite him was a bit sad.

The one recurring joke was claiming Laney, the token girl of the group and token love interest for the main character, was wearing a costume when she clearly wasn’t. It wasn’t funny the first time, it wasn’t funny the next three times. I did like the gag where we see her heart beating really fast when Corey touches her lips and then exits out her mouth and leaves the room when he insults her.

The art and animation are, might as well coin this, typical TeleToons. I hate to say that because TeleToons is a network, not an animation studio, but it seems like every TeleToons show is the same style. Slide-y flash animation with big head/skinny bodies (weird shapes for the overweight people) I don’t dislike it, but it’s nothing special.

The voice acting is actually quite good. And the music, which needs to be impressive in a show about a band, is, shockingly, very good. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find decent music in shows about music…I found myself replaying the songs in the episode a few times. They’re not heading for the pop charts, but they’re very solid songs.

Last note, but I thought I’d mention that one of the creators behind this show, Todd Kaufman, also created Looped. I found this out before I watched the episode, so my expectations were quite low. However, this series also has the star power of the producers behind the Total Drama franchise (Kaufman and co-creator Mark Thornton also directed numerous episodes of Total Drama) so I became as mixed as I was when I watched the full episode.

Final Verdict:

ebzss3e

I’m just not firm enough in my opinion of this show to give it a ‘yes’ in all good conscience. This is heavily leaning ‘yes’, though it was leaning ‘no’ for the first half. It has promise, but it needs to make a bit more sense, get rid of the fart jokes and focus more on quick jokes that work instead of hammering the same joke into us over and over.

It’d also be a good idea to tone down Trina, throw poor Mina a damn bone and stop whatever that stupid diary thing is because I cannot make heads or tails of it and it takes up way too much time to be justified.

Dissecting the Disquels: Lilo and Stitch 2 – Stitch has a Glitch

Rating: 6/10

Plot: Stitch starts experiencing odd bouts of uncontrollable destruction. While everyone, even Lilo, starts believing Stitch is reverting back to his old ways, Jumba and Pleakley know the truth. Stitch’s molecules were never fully charged when he was created, and now he’s experiencing massive glitches in his programming that are causing these destructive episodes. They scramble to find a way to recharge him before he loses so much energy that he dies.

Meanwhile, Lilo and Stitch are preparing for a hula competition. Her mother won the competition years ago and she wants to win to make her proud. However, Stitch’s malfunctioning behavior continues to get in the way.

Breakdown: I’ve never had such massive mixed feelings for a Disquel before.

The main plot is solid. Have Stitch revert back to his destructive behavior, but make it more of a Jekyl and Hyde situation based on him glitching instead of having him turn bad for no reason. There’s a lot that could’ve been done with that, but they dropped the ball pretty bad.

We have three plots running through the movie – Lilo and Stitch’s hula plot, Nani and David are having relationship issues again and Pleakley’s being an annoying dumbass trying to ‘help’ him, and Jumba is trying to make a new fusion chamber to recharge Stitch before it’s too late.

Let’s start with Nani and David’s plot because that’s the shortest and most pointless. First of all, are these two ever happy together? I don’t remember a lot of their interactions from the TV series, and I love David a lot, he’s a great boyfriend and father/big brother figure to Lilo, but he and Nani, as a couple, seem very rocky. I feel like every time the focus is on them in this franchise, they’re having relationship issues.

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen1

This time, as Pleakley puts it, their relationship is just fizzling. Nani doesn’t seem to be paying much attention for him or making time for him. David keeps making the effort and Nani either doesn’t acknowledge it or can’t attend to it.

I know that Nani is very busy being a young single guardian to a small child, especially in the house filled with aliens they now inhabit, but she can usually make time for Lilo and does have downtime, yet never seems to be willing to give similar attention to David. Even when they’re just having a relaxing family fun night at home, he gets shafted.

The plot is mostly just David, for some reason, listening to Pleakley’s horrible dating advice, then Pleakley himself ruins it more and Nani gets mad for some reason. The plot is resolved by David helping Nani up a mountain. Not kidding. One minute she’s giving him the silent treatment at Lilo’s hula competition, then they’re making eyes at each other when he helps her up the mountain. Truly a romance for the ages.

That doesn’t solve anything, by the way. Their relationship is still ‘fizzling’ You can’t solve actual relationship issues with goo-goo eyes.

The hula plot, which takes up more of the runtime than the glitch plot, oddly, involves Lilo and Stitch trying to come up with a hula for an upcoming competition. Her mother won the competition one year and she wants to win in order to make her mother proud of her.

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen2

A lot of this plot is montages of them coming up with ideas, creating the hula and practicing for the hula. Some parts were entertaining and a little funny, but it really felt stretched out when we got to our third montage in this hour long movie. Not to mention that I think they’re hitting the Elvis button a bit hard in his movie. I know she loves Elvis and it does make for a good soundtrack, but I’ve seen Elvis movies with less Elvis.

There are also numerous emotional moments in this plotline because Stitch keeps destroying her plans when he has freakouts and Myrtle and her goons keep making her feel like she’s not good enough. I also really liked the ancient story they based the hula on.

I feel like Lilo was a bit out of character with Stitch, though. I know she’s emotional right now, but she never once, until the end, even questioned if something was wrong with Stitch. Instead, she just believed him to be flatout bad, told him so and said he would always be as such. Ouch.

Speaking of the moment of realization, even though the freakout that prompted that revelation was the same as all the others, she questioned if something was wrong with him this time for some reason. He cuts her cheek, even drawing blood, and the very next shot, not but five seconds later, the cut and blood are gone. Either Disney didn’t commit to this ‘shocking’ moment, the animators got lazy or they forgot.

Either way, that was an opportunity for something emotional and impacting, like Nani freaking out that Stitch actually hurt Lilo or Stitch having a horrified look on his face after he injured her and reprised the shame later after she found him on the cliffside. But, no, just Disney magic’d it off her face.

This was meant to mirror a part of Stitch’s nightmare where he does the same thing, but, again, the impact is lost if you magic it off her face.

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen3

The ending of this plot was alright and pretty sweet. At least they didn’t go the cliché route of having her return to the competition and win, and it’s implied that Mertle definitely didn’t win because her hula was crap. I realize now that Mertle’s pretty much the only surviving embodiment of the annoying jerkass mainland tourist characters, besides the silent fat beachgoers, that they had in the original cut.

There are numerous deleted scenes from the first Lilo and Stitch movie where Lilo encounters obnoxious mainland tourists, some of which being borderline racist, but they were more or less all cut before the actual animation started. Mertle does live in Hawaii, but she’s the only white character in the entire series, and the hula implies that her father brought her family from the mainland to Hawaii to sell cheap ‘authentic’ Hawaiian merchandise.

I might be reading too much into that, but it’s interesting to consider.

Now to the actual plot of the movie, the glitch. This is the part with which I have the most problems.

First off, while it’s a solid plot, it’s ultimately wasted potential. All Stitch does is mess up a few things and give Lilo an insta-healing scratch. I didn’t want him to do too much damage or hurt people, but they had the foundation of a really decent plot here, one that could’ve been much more emotionally impacting and interesting for Stitch, but they decided to just have him be a slight nuisance.

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen4

Secondly, half of this movie would never have happened had Jumba and Pleakley just told Lilo, Stitch and Nani what was going on. I never understood why they were keeping this a secret or why they were letting this malfunctioning destruction machine stay running loose with a small girl.

If they had just told them what was happening, they wouldn’t have treated Stitch like a monster, Stitch and Lilo would’ve never fought, Stitch would realize he’s not inherently bad and wouldn’t feel like garbage and maybe they could’ve helped save him. They also could’ve kept him contained to prevent him from causing damage and hurting people. But nope, it’s a secret for no reason.

Lastly, the resolution to this plot is so predictable it’s depressing. I predicted it by just reading the little blurb for the synopsis. Stitch causes problems, everyone gets mad at him, his glitches get too bad, death fakeout, Lilo’s love awakens him, all is well.

To make it even worse, they foreshadow the ending with Lilo’s hula story. It also has two friends being torn asunder by outside forces, resulting in one of their deaths, and love brings the other back to life.

Do I even need to mention that this lesson isn’t exactly a good one? Look, Disney, I know you love love, I know you love love=magic too, but teaching kids that love can be so powerful it can bring the dead to life is not really a healthy message.

To anyone who cares to disagree, let me remind you that Lilo is an orphan. She is probably one of the worst characters to be partaking in this trope. I just keep imagining:

Doctor: “I’m sorry, Nani and Lilo. We did everything we could to revive your parents, but I guess you just didn’t love them enough.”

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen5

I was actually going to give this moment a pass because Stitch did spend some time in the fusion chamber before he was revived in Lilo’s arms. Maybe he got enough power and then Lilo woke him up. But then we get this exchange.

Pleakley: “But…how is it possible?”

Jumba: “It’s not!”

So, the fusion chamber seemingly had nothing to do with it. Also, not only did Lilo’s love for Stitch bring him back to life, it also fully recharged his molecules.

Yay, science?

Despite all of that, I can’t say I hated or even massively disliked this movie. It has plenty of funny moments and some pretty heartwarming ones too – the aforementioned death fakeout nearly had me getting misty-eyed, especially with the song they put in there – it’s just sloppily written and disappointing.

The art and animation are better than Stitch! The Movie. It’s somewhere between TV quality and the original movie’s quality, siding more with the movie quality.

The music is also definitely better than Stitch! The Movie with many more tracks, some new, some old, and a new vocal song made just for the movie, “Always.” which was very nice and relaxing.

The voice acting was well-done. Most of the cast reprises their roles from the original movie, except Daveigh Chase is replaced by Dakota Fanning. She does a remarkable job, though. I couldn’t even tell the difference.

I can’t believe I never realized David Ogden Stiers voiced Jumba. That’s so awesome.

All in all, the technical quality is great, but the story falls flatter than pancakes. It’s predictable out the gate, only gets more predictable with foreshadowing and most of the problems would’ve been fixed had Jumba and Pleakley just told them about what was going on. It’s not unsalvagable because it does have its moments, but it’s still a mess. It’s definitely on the higher end for a Disquel, but firmly middle of the road for a movie as a whole.

Recommended Audience: There’s kinda blood, a little, but the wound magically vanishes. Death is mentioned and there’s a reversed death. 5+

Update (3/28/19) What I’m Doing (If I even know)

Hey everyone! Twix here, explaining…things.

Where I’ve Been?

I haven’t really been ‘gone’ per se, but my activity has been rather erratic.

Basically, the reason I’ve been updating so inconsistently is because my attention has been pulled in a few different directions lately. I’ve been an active…I guess I’ll say ‘staff member’ (?), in the #SaveDaredevil campaign, which you probably are aware of by now if you follow me on Twitter because that’s pretty much all I’ve Tweeting about for the past three months. I was particularly busy during the last week of February because I was helping organize a fanworks event over the course of that month.

My dog, Skye, recently had some medical issues and she pretty much needs round-the-clock attention. She’s elderly and has a lot of stomach issues. There’s nothing life-threatening that we’ve been able to see, in fact, the vet said her health is much better than most dogs her age, but it’s still a long-standing issue that eats up a lot of my time.

Work has kinda been a nightmare, and student loans are starting to eat away at me.

I’ve been trying to get back into my art with varying degrees of success. I’ll probably share some here when I get back into the swing of things.

What I’m doing

As an update to what I’ve been doing lately for anime and stuff, I recently finished Terror in Resonance, which was really good. I’m currently watching Attack on Titan season 2, which, so far, is much better than season 1, in my opinion. I’m watching the dubbed version of Pokemon movie 11: Giratina and the Sky Warrior.

For manga, I recently completed Enigma, which was fairly good, and I’m currently reading Vol. 9 of Boku Wa Imouto ni koi wo Suru, because I enjoy wallowing in the abyss. This is the second to last volume, so I’m nearly there. It’s about the achievement now, guys.

I’m nearly done plowing through the rest of Tokyo Mew Mew for SSBS, but I’m not sure what show I’ll try to plow through next. Maybe a cartoon.

What I Plan on Doing

As for future projects, I’d like to do more editorials, but it’s kinda hard for me to 1) Decide on topics and 2) actually post the editorial once I’m done because for some reason I’m more self-conscious posting those than I am my reviews. I have a bunch of topics jotted down but I’m trying to work up to getting them done.

I’m also planning on making a spin-off of my SDC series, which is Sub/Dub Opinions. Basically, I’m going to give my opinion on an English dub that isn’t SDC material, but done in same format. IE I’ll be watching an episode Dubbed and Subbed side by side and noting the differences.

Since it’d be ridiculous to do full series analyses for this, I’ll be randomly selecting one episode and comparing that, basing my opinion on the analysis from that episode. Unless I have prior knowledge of a full sub and dub job, which is rare. Only rule for this series is that I had to have finished watching the series is either sub or dub.

I was also musing about doing select character analyses, opinions on fictional worlds and exploring the inspiration and backstories behind series, but these ideas are much more spotty. I tend to go off on new ideas for series without realizing I have a bunch of other blog series that haven’t been tended to or had many completed entries lol They’ll probably be sporadic like the My Poke-Pinions series if they come to pass at all.

I also considered making an art series for this blog where I make a picture per anime I’ve reviewed. Kinda killing two birds with one stone.

My birthday’s this Saturday and I wanted to do something special for it, but I have no clue what to do lol I’ll get back to you.

That’s about it for me. I promise to keep updating fairly regularly and bringing you guys new and hopefully fun and interesting posts. Thank you guys so much for continuing to read, like and comment on my posts – it means the world to me. 🙂

Hell Girl: Two Mirrors Episode 10 – Anna Sone’s Intimate Holiday Review

Hell Girl two mirrors episode 11.png

Plot: Hone Onna tells the story of how she fell into a situation with a good-for-nothing bum of a screenwriter named Testuro. He has a nasty habit of getting women to fall for him, using them for a place to stay, food and money, then leaving them for the next best thing or when the relationship inevitably falls apart due to Tetsuro’s behavior. While she remains good friends with his other failed relationship prospects for quite a while, she soon learns that he is their next target. But who is the client?

Breakdown: If there is one episode I distinctly remember during my first watch of this series, it was one I was irritated enough by to mention in my personal blog numerous years ago when I was getting started in reviewing. I didn’t give it a real review, I just mentioned the insanely stupid reason behind the person getting sent to hell.

But let’s back up because there’s a lot more to this episode than I gave it credit for back then.

This is an odd episode in two ways – One, the tone is noticeably much lighter than many Hell Girl episodes. Two, Hone Onna plays a big part, and an actual one at that. Not just being relegated to the sidelines and commentating, but actually participating.

Hone Onna giving this guy the time of day in the first place seems odd. They do note that Tetsuro has an irresistible pathetic puppy dog face, but Hone Onna should have no issue with combating that. She didn’t even meet him through a Hell Girl case – that comes much later down the line.

As for Testuro himself, it’s hard to really have sympathy for the guy because, like everyone says, he truly is a good-for-nothing mooch. He does appear to have a strong passion for film making and writing, but he’s too lazy and self-absorbed to do anything with it.

The last girlfriend he has almost convinced both the girls and the audience that maybe he really does just have a self-confidence issue and would go very far if he had someone who was supportive by his side, but he completely ruins that and any hope you might have for him near the end.

She gives him 3 million yen, which is almost 30,000 US dollars, to use for a budget for a new movie he wrote. He actually gets a producer to hear him out, but once he learns how much work it will be to get the movie made, he throws his script into the river and loses her money gambling on horses.

Hell Girl two mirrors episode 10 screen1

This one scene makes you lose any sympathy you might have had for his situation. It’s not a lack of confidence or life getting him down, it’s pure laziness and lack of caring for other people. He doesn’t even care a little bit that he lost his girlfriend’s money. When she kicks him out, he goes crawling back to his trio of exes, including Hone Onna.

And, truthfully, the best part about this episode at this point really is watching Hone Onna get to be human for a while and have some fun while not working. She gains actual friends here, and I loved that. It’s a different dynamic than with her and Ren and Wanyuudou. Here, she gets to cut loose and enjoy herself.

But, eventually, we have to get to the dumb part.

As I mentioned way back in the day, a storyline like this would lead you to assume the one who called Hell Girl would be a jilted ex-girlfriend, perhaps even his last ex who lost all of that money.

Nope.

Let me paint a picture for ya.

He takes the girls on a road trip to scout for shooting locations for some reason. As he parks the car in a ramen shop parking lot, he badly scrapes the side of someone’s car. Instead of owning up to it, he pulls a hit and run.

Hell Girl two mirrors episode 10 screen2

When they stop at another location, he accidentally dumps coffee all over some guy and, again, tries to scoot away instead of owning up to it or apologizing.

The guy who got coffee spilled all over him was the owner of the car.

And the owner of the car is the client.

Yup. This dude was so pissed that Tetsuro scraped his car that he called Hell Girl, though how he knew his name is beyond me. He’s an unknown character with his face half cast in shadow with a baseball cap, and the only interaction he had with Tetsuro was the hit and run. I guess he could’ve looked up his license plate number? And then the coffee thing was the tipping point, I suppose…..

Japan must have an epidemic of sociopathic idiots wearing baseball caps, because someone who looked eerily similar to this guy was also in the first season and killed a nurse for seemingly no reason.

We’re not stopping there with the silliness, either. This guy was driving a Toyota AE86. Why do I bring that up? Because they named this character Toyota Hachiroku, which literally translates to Toyota 86…..So, either his parents hated him or he loved his car so much that he named himself after it.

Speaking of the car, if you were going to have such a dumb plot based on scraping a car, could you not have chosen one that wasn’t an ugly POS? Apparently, this is a very popular style of car, and much of its popularity is stemmed from its appearance in Initial D, but, dammit all, it’s just ugly to me. What’s even weirder is that the Wiki page of the car lists many pop culture references to itself, including many very obscure ones, but Hell Girl, despite the most blatant reference ever being included in one of their episodes, fails to make the list.

Hell Girl two mirrors episode 10 screen3

Testuro’s hell torture is actually one of the more entertaining ones we’ve ever had. They put him in numerous movie scenes and have him suffer in various ways like burning him up in a scene where he’s trying to save the girls from a fire and a dated-even-back-then Titanic reference where he gets swept away by the water.

This all leads up to one of my favorite scenes in Hell Girl where the final appearance by Ai is done in silent movie form. It’s fitting, really cool-looking and it adds a very eerie atmosphere to this otherwise goofy episode.

Hell Girl two mirrors episode 10 screen4

Whether or not he deserved to go to hell is not really up for debate this time. Yeah, you can’t really sympathize with him. Yeah, he treated his girlfriends like disposable food, sex and money machines, yeah, he was lazy and self-absorbed, but it’s hard for me to say he really deserved to go to hell for all that.

In the end, Hone Onna is forced to wipe her friends’ memories of her and leave them forever, which saddened me deeply.

This is an interesting episode with a very stupid Hell Girl plot. I know it would’ve been predictable to have one of his exes send him to hell, but it’s better than a random dude he doesn’t know sending him to hell because his precious Toyota AE86 got scraped and he got a little coffee spilled on him.

Two more notes before we end – There’s a bizarre scene where we see a live-action music video briefly as the original Hell Girl theme plays. This is the real music video for the song, Sakasama no Chō, sung by SNoW. This isn’t the first time they’ve played this song in the second season, but this is the first time they’ve included live-action footage. It was really strange.

Second, this episode was supposedly in memory of Ed Wood. I’m not sure how to take that.

Rating: 4/10

My Poke-Pinions: 013-015 – The Weedle Line

Weedle

Name: Weedle’s name is either a mixture of ‘worm’ and ‘needle,’ pointing to the spike on its head, or a different way of saying ‘weevil.’ I like Weedle’s name. It’s pretty cute and fitting. Plus, it’s fun to say.

In the original Japanese, it’s called Beedle, which is a mixture of ‘bee’ and ‘needle,’ which may seem more fitting, given its evolution, but I can’t help but think it’s saying ‘beetle’ which doesn’t fit at all.

Design: Weedle’s design is pretty cute. Not nearly as cute as Caterpie, but I think that’s kinda the point. (Hahah, the point! Get it!?) I was never a fan of this shade of brown/dark orange it’s got going on, and its mouth kinda weirds me out.

As a side-note, though, look at this early design work.

…..It looks like a clown with no arms or legs.

In terms of sprites, Weedle’s stays pretty unchanged and fairly boring throughout each gen. The only exception is B/W/BW2 where Weedle gains a very weird and creepy animation.

Shiny:

Weedle, like Caterpie, also went the gold route for their shiny, but they messed it up a little. Weedle’s shiny has a more subtle golden color most of the time to the point where it looks dull. Other times, it looks very yellow to the point of being an eyesore.

Cry/Voice: I like Weedle’s game cry, but I don’t find it very fitting for a little worm. It sounds more like a cry for a vicious small animal or something.

In the anime, Weedle’s voice is very weird, and I attribute this to the fact that they chose to have Weedle say its name instead of making a noise, like Caterpie. I don’t think this option works well for Pokemon who don’t have visible mouths. It makes it sound too obvious that this is a human saying a word instead of an animal making a noise. The actual voice is fine. It has a nasally ‘bug-ish’ voice, but the fact that it says ‘Weedle’ instead of just making a noise hurts it.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Similarly to Caterpie, it’s to be expected that Weedle’s backstory and Dex entries are a little dull…and they are.

Weedle’s most notable feature is, of course, its poisonous barb. Its bright colors are meant to fend off predators, even though, honestly, Caterpie is brighter colored than Weedle. It eats its weight in leaves every day, and it uses its powerful nose to sniff out the best tasting leaves. Also, yes, apparently that big red ball on its face is mean to be a big ‘ol nose. Thanks for giving my clown joke more validity.

In terms of design, Weedle is based off of a wasp or hornet larva.

Fun Fact: Weedle’s name was used in the naming of a real life insect – The stentorceps weedlei, a species of wasp. It was named as such because it, like Weedle, has a needle-like protrusion coming out of its head.

Kakuna

Name: Kakuna’s name is just a changeup of ‘cocoon.’ I really like Kakuna because, even though it’s only changed through spelling and one letter, it sounds really cool. It’s very snappy and fun to say.

It’s Japanese name is literally just ‘Cocoon’ which is somehow even lazier.

Fun Fact: In France it’s called Conconfort….which sounds like a furniture name they tied into Pokemon.

Design: I really like Kakuna’s design. You’d think that having two cocoon Pokemon in the same gen would lead to redundant designs, but they do a fantastic job differentiating Metapod and Kakuna. First and foremost, though it’s damn near impossible, Kakuna seems to have more of a dynamic pose than Metapod. It’s upright and seemingly curved towards you, like it’s being offensive.

Kakuna also has a very clear expression – and it’s pissed. Fitting of a Pokemon about to become a pissy bee. The overall patterns and shape are also more interesting than Metapod’s design, and the color is striking.

In terms of sprites, Kakuna had a weird feature in the first gen. It seemingly had barb-like arms, which are weird for a cocoon to have, and I’m glad they got rid of it in future installments.

Otherwise, Kakuna’s sprites through the gens have stayed relatively the same. The only real note I have for them are that I love how Emerald’s sprite glows.

Shiny:

I really like Kakuna’s shiny. It has a cool bright green color to it that makes it almost seem like it’s glowing.

Cry/Voice: Kakuna’s cry is actually pretty cute. It’s like its purring. I don’t really think it fits the Pokemon, but I like the sound.

As far as I can tell, Kakuna barely makes any sound in the anime.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Kakuna’s Dex entries are exactly what you’d expect them to be – It’s….a cocoon….

Outside of having a poison barb that it can extend when threatened, that’s pretty much it.

Its backstory is equally uninteresting because, as you’d expect, it’s based on the pupa of a honeybee.

Beedrill

Name: Beedrill’s name is a combination of ‘Bee’ and ‘Drill.’ I’ve always really liked Beedrill’s name. It’s not the most mind-blowingly creative thing in the world, but it’s snappy, intimidating and cool.

In Japanese, its name is Spear, which I think is a bit too on-the-nose, but fitting. I think, given the style of Beedrill’s drills, it’d be more fitting to call it ‘Joust’ or something. It’s also noted that, in reverse, the katakana of Spear スピアー is アピス or Apis, which is the genus for the honey bee, which is kinda cool.

Design:

*Design Meeting*

Designer 1: “Hey guys, how do we make bees even more frightening?”

Designer 2: “Make them…three feet tall?”

D1: “Good, good. What else?”

Designer 3: “Make it so that they can sting you without losing their stingers and dying? Also their stingers are the size of traffic cones.”

D1: “Great! Maybe a little more. What else?”

Designer 4: “Give it drill arms?”

D1: “That’s straight out of a nightmare. Good job everyone!”

I love Beedrill’s design. Even though I don’t like bees, they somehow made a bee Pokemon look awesome. It has a sleek look, is very intimidating and has friggin’ drill arms. What more could you ask for?

Sprite-wise, nothing of real note until Crystal where it gets a pretty cute animation where it twitches its head back and forth and flaps its wings.

Ruby and Sapphire are fine, but then Emerald becomes terrifying with that vibrating and separating animation.

Still just good, but nothing notable, beyond that. The back sprites for Gen IV are pretty dynamic and cool, though.

Gen V gets a constant animation, and that’s awesome.

Mega:

What more could I ask for? How about this sleek, stylish son of a bitch?

Damn, Mega Beedrill is incredible. Look at that thing. It’s like someone mixed a Beedrill with another Beedrill and then fused that with a fighter jet. It’s awesome. Even small details like the indents on the stinger and the visor-esque shaping to the eyes are fantastic.

Shiny:

I adore Shiny Beedrill. The shades of green and blue work with each other very well. It looks somewhat alien, to be honest, which is cool.

Cry/Voice: Its game cry is low-pitched and intimidating without seeming unfitting for a bee. It’s a bit buzzy so it fits rather well.

Its anime voice is disappointing. While it’s to be expected that an insect gets a high-pitched voice, Beedrill kinda loses its intimidation factor when you hear ‘Beeeedrill.’ It should just be a low pitched-hum or something.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Nothing really surprising in the Dex entries. It flies super fast, is very territorial, tend to fly in swarms and has three extremely large and venomous barbs.

As for its design origins, it’s, of course, based on a bee. However, the Wiki states that the design was most likely inspired by the Asian giant hornet. I was going to comment that the one negative about the shiny is that it’s not very fitting to a bee, but, surprisingly, the shiny version does seem to be based on a real bee – The agapostemon. It has a very unique bright, metallic green look to it. Go figure.

Next up, the Pidgey line!

Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 3 Sub/Dub Comparison: Transfer Student from Naniwa! Aiko Debuts

 

Plot: There’s a new kid in town, a girl from Osaka named Aiko. Doremi and Hazuki don’t exactly have a warm welcoming with her as they find her brash and insulting. But when Doremi uses her magic to follow her one day in order to get dirt on her, she finds that Aiko’s has a very humble home life with a single dad who works extremely hard to make ends meet while Aiko herself is responsible for a lot of housework. When Aiko purposes neglects to tell her father about the upcoming parents day at school, Doremi decides to help out her new friend with a little witchcraft.

———————————-

Before the theme song in the original, we see Aiko getting excited about moving to a new town as she goofs around on a jungle gym. This is removed from the dub.

Originally, Doremi was upset because her family ate all of the steak that they made for Hazuki (in guise as Doremi). In the dub, she’s mad at her sister because she said ‘Look under there.’ Making Dorie respond with ‘Under where?’, leading to the classic joke of haha, she said ‘underwear.’

In the original, Aiko says she can see Doremi’s panties, then laughs and says she’s dumb since Doremi’s wearing shorts making it impossible for her to see her panties. In the dub, Mirabelle says she can see their epidermis and laughs when they freak out saying epidermis is another word for skin.

Okay, so let me get their straight. Saying ‘underwear’ is okay, in fact they edited the scene to specifically say the word, but implying that another girl can see Dorie’s underwear is not okay……So I suppose we won’t be getting the classic gem of ‘I see London, I see France, I see Dorie’s underpants’ anytime soon then?

Also, this line change kinda makes this scene look worse. Saying ‘I can see your epidermis’ then covering your groin? Seems more like they’re making innuendo for her junk….

Name Change: Aiko Senoo is changed to Mirabelle Haywood.

Side note, Mirabelle’s voice is the most grating and annoying so far. Congrats.

The joke edit carries over into the next scene where Kotake, the boy who’s been teasing Doremi throughout the series, tries the same trick. Doremi yells the explanation of the prank, making her seem smart for not falling for it. In the dub, she just says she’s heard it earlier.

Name Change: Tetsuya Kotake is changed to Todd Washington.

After the teacher walks in the room, some girl who looks really snotty gets up and tells everyone to bow. They do and greet her good morning. This is removed.

Aiko points out that Doremi’s in her class and the teacher asks if they’re already friends, which Doremi denies. In the dub, Mirabelle acts like Dorie’s going to bully her and asks her not to do so since she’s new. Her teacher then asks if she’d like to go to the principal’s office and Dorie declines. Nice to see that our new character is a continuous brat.

They paint over and reanimate the shot of Aiko writing her name since A) it’s in Kanji and B) her name was changed anyway.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Also –

Mirabelle: “In case you can’t read, my name is Mirabelle P. Haywood.” Apparently you can’t read because there’s no P in there.

Also, originally, Aiko was saying that the Kanji for her name is written with the symbols for ‘L’il sister’ and ‘tail.’ In the dub, since this can’t be mirrored, it’s omitted.

Aiko is from a town in Osaka. Mirabelle is from a very small town called Butter Corn Ridge.

Some brat in class is amazed that they have a real Kansai person in the class now, which slightly irks Aiko. She then tells them to call her a ‘Naniwa-ko’ which I surmise means ‘Osaka kid’. Then the boy and his stupid friends mockingly apologize while following up by saying puripuri~ which, I don’t know if I’m not getting the right word here because the only meanings I’m getting that make any sense are ‘cranky’ and ‘bad smelling’. The latter makes a little more sense considering Aiko responds by saying ‘Yuck!’ but surely just saying ‘bad smell’ can’t make you want to say ‘yuck!’

In the dub, the boy asks her, calling her by the obvious joke of her name which is ‘Hayseed’ → Haywood, how to milk a pig. She corrects him on her name then says you can’t milk a pig, only cows. Actually, you can technically milk a lot of things, including pigs.

milk

The boy follows that up by mockingly saying ‘just so you know, you can tune a piano but you can’t tune a fish!’……As many times as I’ve heard that stupid-ass joke…..the fact that it needed such a lengthy set up and doesn’t even work at all with said setup…..is just…..I felt my soul rot a little is all.

Surprisingly, they kept in the group name of these dumbass boys, the SOS trio. Their names, Sagawa, Ota and Sugiyama make up their title in the original whereas their dubbed names, Simon, Oliver and Stewart make it up in the dub. Also, they call themselves keepers of justice in the original whereas they call themselves the class clowns in the dub….Ya know, there’s a difference between ‘class clowns’ and ‘idiots who think they’re funny.’ The former usually gets laughs from people who aren’t them.

Aiko makes a joke out of their names by saying she thought that it stood for ‘sukuyounonai oboke sanbaka,’ which translates to ‘three worthless idiots.’ In the dub, she does the same thing but says they’re ‘stupid, obnoxious and smelly.’ I will give them props for actually adapting this as much as they could.

If they’re even attempting it, Mirabelle’s VA is doing a pisspoor job at putting on a southern accent.

Wait, so Dorie says ‘Ah, it’s you!’ and nearly gets sent to the principal. These boys disrupt class, make fun of Mirabelle’s name, where she comes from and her accent. She retaliates by calling them stupid, obnoxious and smelly. And the teacher just laughs and brushes it off like nothing? Does she just have it in for Dorie? What the hell?

The dub teacher is seriously telling Mirabelle to share her favorite crayon color? Is this pre-k?

Mirabelle keeps the line about liking to sing, but Aiko says she’s not good at studying but loves gym whereas Mirabelle says she loves computers and shucking corn.

Aiko tells Doremi that she has a funny name. Mirabelle tries the same trick on her but with a different word, this time ‘cilium’ IE eyelashes, but Dorie just gets angry that Mirabelle’s even trying another trick.

While Aiko tells Hazuki to call her ‘Ai-chan’, Mirabelle doesn’t do anything similar in the dub.

While Aiko says Doremi’s reactions and personality made her forget that she saw Hazuki earlier, Mirabelle just flat-out calls her forgettable.

Aiko says she likely didn’t pay much attention to Hazuki since her clothes scream ‘Stuck-up bookworm’. Mirabelle says Reanne is plain and that there’s nothing special about her. I get that Aiko is written to be either a brat or someone who just doesn’t realize when they’re putting their foot in their mouth, but damn this kid’s irritating.

What kid in the class yelled ‘Mirabelle for class president!’ just because she caught chalk? Is this why politics is so screwed?

Also, the papers behind the kids are now and will always be painted.

The teacher says even the boys never cleared so many vaulting boxes. In the dub, she says it’s a new class record.

Aiko’s tag is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The other girls have their tags removed too.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The bitchy blond girl….er, excuse me. *to wiki*

Name Change: I assume this is Reika Tamaki or Josie Huffington in the dub.

Reika says girls are only truly great when they’re popular with boys…..well, uh….you sure are going to have an eventful high school career ahead of you…In the dub, she says Mirabelle being good at jumping doesn’t matter because she’s the most popular, prettiest and smartest girl in the school.

Mirabelle and the SOS trio omit talking about how Aiko’s father raised her. Also, they omit saying that she can join the SOS trio since her name has an S in it (Senoo) because Mirabelle’s dub name doesn’t start with S at any point.

Doremi acts like Aiko has nerve for shopping when she just moved there…..That….bitch….?? Dorie thinks that she can’t let Mirabelle see her spying on her since it’s really weird.

The magic words for spells remain the same, and in the dub they’re ‘Yellow lemons, blue sky, make me like a butterfly!’

Between the magical girl shtick, the rhyming and the butterfly stuff, I’m feeling sufficiently over-girled.

I understand the flub of only giving Doremi a butterfly costume instead of actually making her into a butterfly, but if that’s the case why did it also shrink her to insect size?

The Kanji on the woman’s apron is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Aiko calls the woman ‘Onee-chan’ which surprises her since it’s an implication that she’s a girl or a young woman when she’s clearly around 40-50. Then she says she might be a young wife, which continues to flatter the woman. In the dub, the woman asks if Mirabelle has any ideas on how to get rid of the cat trying to eat her fish and she says to get a big junkyard dog, which the woman agrees with. Yeah, that junkyard dog’s gonna kill that cat. Also, yeah, Mirabelle, you’re a friggin’ genius for figuring out that cats don’t like dogs….

Aiko needs mackerel. Mirabelle needs salmon.

The store’s sign is painted blank.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The woman gives her some extra mackerel. In the dub, she gives her some bonus shrimp.

Doremi grumbles about Aiko using such obvious flattery tactics. Dorie says ‘Even fish lady’s being nice to her!’ A) Why wouldn’t she be nice to her? Mirabelle’s been nothing but kind to her and we have no reason to believe she’s a mean or bad person beyond this. B) Maybe it’s because Mirabelle doesn’t refer to her ‘fish lady’.

More signs painted blank.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Also, they mirrored the shot of the taxi to put it on the right side of the street. They’ve done this same thing numerous times in Yugioh and Mew Mew Power, so I assume this will be a constant thing. Gotta keep those American kids from driving their cars that they can drive on the wrong side of the street. Oh and as for everyone in other English-speaking countries who drive on the left side, enjoy your increased car accident tally.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The sign on the side of Aiko’s house is completely removed. I can’t even tell what it says.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The text on the food in the fridge is removed. This is on screen for literally two frames.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Aiko’s making takoyaki, which is basically a ball-shaped pancake filled with stuff like octopus and tempura. In the dub, Mirabelle makes her grandma’s chocolate doodles. Sure hope there’s no octopus in that….

Aiko’s dad has no nickname for her beyond ‘Aiko-chan.’ Mirabelle’s dad calls her ‘Bell-bell’

Oh and hi Sean Schemmel.

Aiko says she can make the takoyaki since her dad’s so tired from work. Mirabelle says she doesn’t want him to make them since he’ll probably poison Dorie, implying that he sucks at cooking.

Aiko’s dad says it’s nice that Aiko’s found a friend so quickly and that he was worried she’d end up getting bullied since she just transferred. Aiko then says that she’d pound anyone if they ever tried to bully her and they laugh. In the dub, Mirabelle’s dad says some woman asked why he had to assault her ears with redneck music in his taxi. He said yes since it’s company policy. Mirabelle then cheers on her dad for saying that, he says he turned it up after that and they laugh.

Aiko says that she’ll start laundry. Mirabelle says she’s going to go around back and get….something. I cannot discern at all what she’s saying.

Aiko says her dad’s takoyaki is the best in the land, which is ironic considering 4Kids just said a minute ago that his cooking was awful. Mirabelle warns Dorie that her dad will talk her ear off.

Doremi kinda talks in an Osaka dialect as she says how great the takoyaki is and Aiko points this out. Dorie says the food is great in a normal voice and Mirabelle asks if she thinks they can put away a whole plate. So, I guess they really aren’t trying for a southern accent.

The poster behind the girls is wiped of text.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Aiko’s dad is only a taxi driver. Mirabelle’s dad has two jobs – one as a taxi driver and another making ‘something or another’ for ‘some company.’

Mirabelle adds that one of the reasons they sold the farm and left their old town was because there were too many memories floating around of her mom, who left them when she was four.

The scene gets cut after talking about her mom. Doremi says she admires Aiko because she never does anything to help out around the house yet Aiko does a bunch of stuff while her dad is doing the work of two parents. Aiko asks if she should be proud of herself and does a dramatic pose. She and Doremi then laugh.

We cut to Aiko’s dad sleeping, though I have no clue how these two elementary school girls dragged him to his bed from the living room. He mumbles something in his sleeping about asking where someone wants to go and we cut to the next day. The commercial is placed right after the discussion about her mom in the dub, so I can only guess 4Kids either cut this for time or to avoid an awkward commercial placement.

I think they shortened the shot of Aiko talking about how her dad can’t take time off of work to come to parents day.

I find it a little ironic that Aiko’s dad has to walk to his taxi job.

Slightly nitpicky, but Aiko’s dad says he could’ve asked to trade shifts if Aiko asked him earlier, but considering he doesn’t want to put his new job in danger it probably would’ve been impossible either way. In the dub, Mirabelle’s dad also says he could’ve switched shifts if she had asked him earlier, but it’s simply too late now. The original puts the blame on the situation while the dub kinda puts the blame on Mirabelle.

Aiko’s dad asks Doremi to tell Aiko that he’ll come to the next Parents’ Day. Mirabelle’s dad doesn’t.

Her transformation sequence is rather short, but do we really need it twice in one episode?

Apparently it’s mush mouth day in the dub. While the magic words are still the same in the original, the dub’s is ‘Just when….???….feel so bad, make a perfect copy of Mirabelle’s dad!’

The text on the top of the missing dog poster is removed…..so I guess it’s just a random dog poster.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Aiko’s dad’s clone doesn’t have an Osaka accent. In the dub, he talks like a robot.

So where exactly is this dad-clone being stashed for like five hours?

Reanne has a good point. Why is it only moms back there? It’s Parents’ Day, not Mother’s Day. Does no one besides Aiko have a dad? Or at least one that gives a crap? Also, where are Doremi’s parents?

The teacher asks Sugiyama to do the next question and his mom tells him not to do it wrong. In the dub, she asks Stewart to pay attention and his mom scolds him for embarrassing her. Well, ladeeda. Your kid loves you so much he’s actively trying to say hi to you in class. What a disgrace.

Aiko yells out that she’s very happy. Mirabelle yells out that her dad’s stupid. She obviously doesn’t mean it, but still.

While both the sub and dub teacher ask Aiko/Mirabelle to do the final problem, dub teacher adds on ‘Feel like comin’ up here and making your father proud?’ Little bit of pressure, there, teach. She said earlier that she wasn’t good at studying, so you could be putting her on the spot. Though, I doubt it. She seems really confident that she can do—ah, nope, she can’t solve the problem. Welp.

================================

I actually very much enjoyed this episode. While Mirabelle is bit grating, she does grow on you throughout the episode. She doesn’t really mean to be a jerk, she just teases people and sometimes puts her foot in her mouth. It’s her dub voice that kills it for me for the most part.

The story with her dad was very realistic and endearing, and I like how Doremi’s magic didn’t really interfere with the plot at all. Her desire to help her friend leads her into telling Aiko’s dad about Parents’ Day, but her dad-clone wasn’t the one that showed up in the end. I will say that Doremi and Hazuki overacted quite a bit to Aiko’s behavior, but it’s more understandable in the dub where it even seems like Mirabelle’s trying to get Dorie in trouble.

Next episode, the trio of witches seems complete now as Doremi tries to turn Hazuki and Aiko into witches.

Pokemon Episode 51 Analysis: Bulbasaur’s Mysterious Garden

Pokemon ep 51 Screen6

CotD (s): None.

Plot: Ash is in the middle of a battle with a man and his Rhyhorn with Bulbasaur at the helm. Bulbasaur takes a Take Down attack full on, and Ash tries to recall him, but Bulbasaur refuses. He wants to prove he can defeat his opponent. He manages to hit a Razor Leaf and Vine Whip and Bulbasaur wins the match. However, it appears to be in great pain and its bulb is glowing.

Ash rushes Bulbasaur to the Pokemon Center and begs Joy to save him. Once treatment has been completed, Joy reveals that Bulbasaur’s not badly wounded, he’s just preparing to evolve.

Every year, Bulbasaur from all over the world gather in a mysterious garden to evolve into Ivysaur. The garden is nearby, and they’re just in time for the festivities. Bulbasaur, however, is less than pleased with this turn of events.

That night, he has a heart to heart with Pikachu about his views on his evolution when he’s suddenly dragged away by a slue of Bulbasaur who forcibly take him to the garden to partake in the festival.

Pikachu wakes up Ash and the others and they run into the forest to find Bulbasaur. The forest is going crazy and they make it just in time before the entire area is blocked off with a wall of vines.

They arrive at the meeting area to find a massive group of Bulbasaur gathering around a large dead tree. They chant and the sparkling pollen in the air revives the tree. Out from the tree emerges a massive Venusaur, who starts the festival off.

They all chant together and the Bulbasaur start glowing. Soon, they all evolve into Ivysaur. They cheer in celebration until they realize one Bulbsaur has yet to evolve – Ash’s. In fact, he’s doing everything in his power to not evolve.

Venusaur and the Ivysaur all call him out for denying his evolution, and Bulbasaur fiercely argues back. Venusaur attacks Bulbasaur with a Vine Whip, but Ash jumps in the way and takes the hit. He protects his Bulbasaur stating they have no right to force Bulbasaur to evolve. It’s up to him to make that decision.

Suddenly, Team Rocket flies overhead in their balloon and start sucking up all of the Ivysaur with a giant vacuum. Venusaur makes a valiant effort to save them, but an increase in power to the vacuum makes it start to lose its footing.

Team Rocket seems like they might get away this time as only Bulbasaur is left standing. They mock Bulbasaur and refuse to steal him, seeing him as a runt and a wimp. Bulbasaur gets incredibly angry and gives a deafening yell.

The sun rises and Bulbasaur’s bulb starts collecting energy from the sun, revealing him to have learned Solar Beam. He launches the beam at the balloon, destroys the vacuum and frees the Ivysaur. Team Rocket crashes down and looks in horror as all of the Ivysaur as well as the Venusaur and Bulbasaur glare at them angrily. Venusaur sends them blasting off with a swift hit from its Vine Whip.

Venusaur walks up to Bulbasaur and extends a vine to him. They shake vines, showing that Venusaur respects Bulbasaur and his decision to stay as it is.

Later, the festival ends and the vine walls fall. They bid farewell to the Venusaur and Ivysaur as the mysterious garden disappears as quickly as it appeared.

Bulbasaur looks on with a smile, knowing he’s great just the way he is. No matter if or when Bulbasaur evolves, that will never change.

——————————–

– I want to preface this episode by saying Ivysaur is my favorite Pokemon, so seeing a bunch of them gathered like this is really cool.

However, we never really explore what makes Ivysaur cool and interesting (and, really, most starter mid-evos have this problem) and we are robbed of Ash getting an Ivysaur on his team, which disappointed me immensely.

– Misty: “That Rhyhorn must be at a high level!”….Tsk……We’ll come back to this.

– Heheh, now Bulbasaur won’t obey him. Get your shit together, Ash.

Being fair, out of all of Ash’s Pokemon, Bulbasaur is the one you’d think would’ve had behavior problems from the get-go. Squirtle being a close second. Not. Charmander…..

– Also, Rhyhorn’s Take Down is like getting hit by a tank, according to Brock. Bulbasaur gets hits head-on, literally, and only has a bump on his head.

– Opponent: “You must be a lousy trainer, kid. It won’t even listen to you.” I know, right?

– Bulbasaur did Vine Whip without being commanded to do so too.

– Lumberjack-Themed Opponent: “You sure chopped me down to size, kid.” Hehehe, I’m a lumberjack. I chop wood. Get it?

– Even though we’ll never see it again in the series, I love the added touch of flowers blooming around soon-to-evolve Bulbasaur and later with Venusaur just willing it to happen.

Pokemon Ep 51 Screen1

– I have a bunch of questions about this festival.

1) It seems to completely ignore the concept of levels entirely, which is weird given that Misty just brought up levels again out of the blue literally a minute ago. Maybe they are taking levels into consideration and only those who have reached a certain level can participate in the festival, but it’s still odd. Why do they need a special festival to evolve if they’re already at the proper level to do so? No other Pokemon does that, to my knowledge.

How annoying would it be if you trained really hard to have your Bulbasaur evolve but you couldn’t just because, ahp, ya missed the festival. Try again next year.

It’s not like you get a formal invitation or anything, either. Ash and the others just happened to be in the exact area of the mysterious garden on the night of the festival.

Plus:

Joy: “No one knows why they choose that time. It’s different every year.” Great.

“But it seems to have something to do with the alignment of the planets and the phases of the moon.”

Just say ‘They gather in spring because it’s the blossoming of plant life’ or whatnot. No need to all this astronomy in there.

2) If there’s a festival for Bulbasaur to evolve into Ivysaur, is there another festival for Ivysaur to evolve into Venusaur?

3) Why exactly is it so vital to the other Bulbasaur to literally drag Ash’s Bulbasaur to the festival? I imagine some of it is tradition or something, but does that mean they can’t leave any Bulbasaur as a Bulbasaur?

4) I would ask a lot of questions about this specific location and why merely being there and yelling ‘SAUR!’ triggers the evolution, but the title of the episode says it’s mysterious so I guess it’s not meant to be questioned.

5) I do have to ask how it is no human being has ever set foot in it. That seems ridiculously unlikely. If this event calls Bulbasaur from all over the world, trained or not, surely some of their trainers or some researchers have followed them. The walls do pose a problem, but Ash and the others will later make it through without much issue, and you can fly right over it like Team Rocket does.

I do like the area, though. A beautiful garden just for the ‘saur line, locked by a wall of vines and meant purely for this event. Pretty cool.

5) Bulbasaur gather from all over the world to partake in this event. Is this mostly wild Bulbasaur or do trainers have to take a considerable amount of time out of their lives to travel the world to get to this event?

I assume this can’t be the only mysterious garden or evolution festival in the entire world….right?

– I am a little peeved that Bulbasaur has such a sullen expression when Ash mentions Ivysaur. I get that he just…for some reason, doesn’t want to evolve, but Ivysaur’s great. You shut up.

Pokemon Ep 51 Screen2

– As much as I like the subtitle-free conversation with Bulbasaur and Pikachu about his troubles, much in the same realm as Pikachu’s conversation with Caterpie many moons ago…..Uh…this is actually one conversation I’d like to hear considering we never get a good reason why Bulbasaur has such an issue with evolving.

This episode is pretty similar to the one where Pikachu is given the option to evolve. In a way, Pikachu was also kinda being cornered into evolving. While Ash was very respectful of whatever option Pikachu chose, he felt like he kinda had to because, otherwise, Ash might not get his badge.

However, evolving for Pikachu was both a point of not wanting to change his appearance (and possibly personality?) and a point of pride as a Pikachu, if you will. He didn’t want to evolve into a Raichu to beat Surge’s Raichu because it would proving Surge right – Pokemon need to evolve in order to be at their best. He didn’t want to bow to his views and say ‘yeah, you’re right. Raichu’s just better because it’s a Raichu and I’m a lowly Pikachu.’

Pikachu gave a speech to Ash about this, which Ash seemingly understood, but was mostly translated to the audience through Meowth. It allowed us to fully understand why Pikachu was refusing, even though the viewer could get most of the message through the story.

….Not that any of that really matters because, as we’ll later see, Pikachu IS an evolved Pokemon.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen3

Here, there is no real ‘story’ so far. Bulbasaur’s just being faced with possible forced evolution and he straight up doesn’t want to. He’s telling Pikachu why he’s so conflicted, but the ‘story’ so far and body language aren’t nearly enough for us to understand why he’s so troubled beyond ‘eh, I dun wanna.’

In the aforementioned Caterpie moment, while that also didn’t have subtitles, the very end showed us Caterpie’s daydream of being a Butterfree, and that was more than enough for us to understand. I don’t know what they would’ve shown here, but something is better than nothing.

– Also, the music in this scene is very unfitting. It’s goofy lazy BGM that doesn’t belong in a scene where Bulbasaur’s having a heartfelt conversation with Pikachu about an important issue.

– The next scene with Bulbasaur yelling to Pikachu is a bit better because we can kinda infer what he’s saying due to the tone, desperation in Bulbasaur’s voice and Pikachu’s clear understanding….but it’s still difficult to get down pat. Pikachu stopped because of what he said, and I think he’s begging Pikachu to get Ash, but it also sounds like he might be begging Pikachu himself to help.

– Haha, Pikachu’s Bulbasaur impression is adorable.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen4

– Team Rocket showed up and got blasted off within thirty seconds. It was entirely unnecessary to have them there to begin with.

– They got blasted off, but they landed closeby enough to land immediately behind Ash and the others as they trailed Bulbasaur. That scene is even more unnecessary now.

– Misty: “There’s only one way to go now – into the garden.” You’re technically already in it.

Also, is Venusaur’s consciousness manipulating the vines or is this an actual magical forest?

– Out of curiosity, why is it so important to keep everyone out of the garden when the festival is happening? Is their evolution such a secret? I think when Bulbasaur go in and Ivysaur come out, they’ll make the connection.

– The Bulbasaur all singing is adorable.

– The whole sequence before Venusaur arrives is wonderfully done. It’s beautiful in color, tone and even audio.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen5

– I don’t think that tree is big enough to have Venusaur walk that far within it without exiting it.

– Fantastic entrance for Venusaur. He even got a commercial break cliffhanger reveal.

Why Use the Pokedex? He knows what a Venusaur is,

– I feel like there was a miscommunication with the animators and writers. Misty reminds Ash that Bulbasaur has a bandage on his head, allowing them to know which Bulbasaur is his. The bandage in question is a little band-aid. Pikachu points out Ash’s Bulbasaur, but they’re seeing him from behind, meaning we can’t see the band-aid. I think Bulbasaur was probably meant to have a bandage wrap on his head rather than a band-aid so we could actually tell from the back who it was, but the animators didn’t get the memo.

Either that or they originally set Bulbasaur to have the wrap but the higher ups thought it made it look like Bulbasaur was too injured and kids might get concerned? I dunno.

– Brock: “Hey! Don’t forget, human beings aren’t supposed to be here!” I get why the other Bulbasaur might not see them standing in plain view because their backs are facing them, but Venusaur is facing the Bulbasaur, meaning it should be able to see Ash and co.

– The chanting to start the evolution process is pretty cool. And I really like the way the Bulbasaur all glow blue before their evolution starts.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen10

 

– And the entire flow of the scene is ruined by Team Rocket. Hooray.

– I like how they show the leaves on Bulbasaur’s bulb opening when it evolves.

– IVYSAUR! YAY!

Why Use the Pokedex? He explained earlier that he knew what an Ivysaur was.

– I like that they also have a celebratory chant after the evolution is over.

– Ash: “This must be their evolution festival.”….Ash….sweetie….go back to the Pokemon Center and get a CAT scan. For me. I am deeply concerned about you.

– I’ll ignore how Brock seems to be able to tell that Bulbasaur is actively trying not to evolve, but what is forcing its evolution? We can surmise that Squirtle and Pidgeotto are also long since overdue for evolution, yet you don’t see them slamming their internal B buttons regularly when they ‘level up.’

My best guess is this magical glittery pollen is somehow triggering the evolution, but that just raises a multitude of questions.

Kinda have to wonder how one resists evolution in the first place. I imagine it’s like trying desperately not to have a muscle spasm. It’s something your body is just kinda doing, you can’t really stop it.

– The scene with Bulbasaur arguing with the Ivysaur and Venusaur doesn’t really need subtitles. We can infer most of what’s going on through the story at this point and body language. Bulbasaur doesn’t want to evolve, this makes the others salty (Venusaur looks incredibly offended, to be honest), they try to force him, Venusaur even tries to convince him that evolving is great by making the dead tree bloom with thousands of beautiful flowers, but he won’t budge. Problem is, like before, we don’t know why Bulbasaur doesn’t want to evolve, so the emotional impact is significantly lower than what it could be.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen7

If you wanted to be really cynical, Bulbasaur could come off as a petulant child who doesn’t want to ‘grow up’ per se. Afterall, the one consistent theme throughout this episode is ‘wow, Bulbasaur is stubborn.’

– I really like how Ash jumped in the way of the Venusaur’s Vine Whip. That was pretty cool. I like when we get scenes that show how much Ash cares for his Non-Pika Pokemon.

– In the end, no matter Bulbasaur’s reasons, Ash is right – no one has the right to force a Pokemon to evolve. They evolve or ‘grow up’ when they’re ready. Shame that we’ve already gone over this moral several times in the series.

– I love how even Ash and the others are annoyed by Team Rocket’s intrusion. This would be a really great episode if these buffoons didn’t keep barging in.

– Misty: *As all of the Ivysaur are being sucked into Team Rocket’s vacuum* “It’s a vacuum!”

Ash: “No kidding!”

Hahahaha! They really should just let Ash be snarky more often. It suits him, when it’s not in a dickish way.

– I love how Venusaur’s all badass and grabs them all at once. However, it let numerous Ivysaur get sucked up beforehand…

Still, it shows how awesome Venusaur is while simultaneously showing how much Venusaur cares about its brethren.

Pokemon ep 51 Screen8

– How are Bulbasaur and Pikachu not flying away? They’re significantly lighter than the Ivysaur and even Venusaur is being lifted up a bit now. Even Ash and the others should be grabbing onto trees or something, yet they’re not even really have trouble standing. Hell, even Ash’s hat is still glued to his head.

– I get that Team Rocket’s just laughing at the idea of taking a Bulbasaur when they now have a bag full of Ivysaur, but it’s still a starter Pokemon. They’re very rare and valuable.

– I don’t like how Meowth’s mouth moves up and down but his chin stays still when he says ‘What a wimp!’

– Also, Bulbasaur’s a wimp? How?

– Bulbasaur yelling out loud to Team Rocket has always been a really impacting moment in the series to me. Not only does it lead to his learning Solar Beam (which means Bulbsaur’s at least level 48, meaning he should long since be a Venusaur by now. Hey, they brought up levels this episode, so I can bring this up.) but, man, his voice actor is just having at it. It’s great.

– This is also a perfect time for Bulbasaur to learn Solar Beam. Ash is getting closer to the Indigo League and he needs some more power to back him up.

– Ash: “Smokin’” If that was a reference to The Mask, I will hurt you.

– Apparently, all Ivysaur are cats and always land on their feet.

– N’aw Venusaur and Bulbasaur shaking vines.

– Narrator: “No one knows if or when Bulbasaur will finally decide to evolve – no one, that is, except Bulbasaur.” Aw that’s sweet. Also, in hindsight, that line’s very fitting just because it decided to include ‘if’ in there. Bulbasaur, to this day, has never evolved and probably never will.

——————————-

Overall, I really love this episode. Not sure I’d place it as a favorite, but it’s still really good. We get Ivysaur, a cool look into the ‘saur line’s (weird, in regards to Pokemon as a whole and possibly non-canon in the future) evolutionary behaviors and Bulbasaur learns Solar Beam.

It has a good, but already overused at this point, message about not forcing people to be something they’re not, especially if they’re not ready for whatever change you’re imposing on them, and has a lot of awesome moments.

The only two things that really damage it are Bulbasaur’s unclear motives behind resisting evolution (All I want is an Ivysaur to be a regular character, dammit!) and Team Rocket’s annoying intrusions.

This is definitely one of the most memorable episodes simply because of how unique it is and how beautiful the visuals are, but I can’t help thinking it could’ve been a little better.

Next episode, it’s Princess Day! Misty vs. Jessie!