Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power Episode 2 (1 for the Original) Sub/Dub Comparison

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Usagi, you have to become Sailor Moo–Oh sorry, wrong magical girl show.

Plot: The origin story of Ichigo/Zoey that had to be thrown back to because 4Kids decided to use episode 12 as their episode 1 for some reason. Ichigo’s just a normal girl trying to start a relationship with her crush, Aoyama. While on a date with him, a strange red light hits her and she soon discovers that her DNA was fused with the red data animal, the iriomote wild cat, and now she has to use her new found powers to save the world from aliens. Anime is weird, is what I’m trying to say.

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I want everyone to keep in mind right now that this episode and every episode until the dub’s episode 13 is supposed to be a flashback. This will be on the test.

In the original, Aoyama accepts Ichigo’s offer to see the red data animal exhibit immediately, which is what causes her to burst out in a blush. In the dub, he jokes with her by saying no, which causes her to suddenly blush, then he says he was kidding and agrees to go.

Ichigo hits her nose when she falls out of bed, that’s why she’s looking at her nose when she gets up. In the dub, Zoey does a zit check and sees that whatever imaginary zit 4Kids made up is still there and then she complains about her zit cream being a rip off.

Oh and I’ve gotten quite good at looking for random marks of text in scenes just to check if 4Kids erased them and my practice has rewarded me. There’s a small sign in Ichigo’s room in the lower righthand corner that says Cose. I have no clue what that is, but there you go. 4Kids erased it because I’m so sure little kids would’ve noticed that and cared.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

Japanese text is taken off of Aoyama’s workbook in the flashback, Japanese text is taken off the banners in the flashback of Aoyama’s kendo match (because nothing says spirit like blank banners) the word “Boton” and a bunch of Japanese text are taken off the buildings before Zoey sees Mark and the text on an awning that says Parapora is gone too.

In the original, Ichigo tries to make conversation by saying it was nice weather that they’re having and makes a big gesture to the sky with her hands. Aoyama chuckles and says “I guess” then she bursts into a blush.

In the dub, Zoey apologizes for being late by saying she was exercising and time got away from her. She makes the same gesture with her hands and then Mark laughs and says she’s not late, she’s early, which causes her to blush.

Well, here’s a moment of stupidity for you. You know how I just said that 4Kids changed that stuff about the weather to exercising? Well in the very next scene, Ichigo says the same thing about the weather on the train and then berates herself for repeating the same thing over again instead of coming up with actual conversation.

4Kids translated this scene perfectly (Well perfectly for 4Kids anyway. Which means they kept the main gist for the most part)….yup. Zoey states that it’s nice weather out today, Mark says she said that already, which she didn’t, then Zoey berates herself for repeating things, which she didn’t. Great job 4Kids. Top notch. Big hand for biggest payers of attention to their own work – 4Kids!

Hey, some actual sense making for a change. The original sign outside of the exhibit was in, of course, Japanese. 4Kids erased this, but added “Red Data Animal Exhibit” in English text on the sign. That’s such a good idea. It’s almost like that’s what they’re supposed to do.

Ooh and 4Kids lost their gold star quite literally a second later by erasing the word “Rda” that is all over the INCREDIBLY TINY banners in the next scene. 4Kids: Kids can’t read English unless WE write it.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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In case you can’t see, they’re those tiny banners on the ceiling. Yes, they’re so small I felt compelled to point them out.

4Kids edited the text on the computer screens when Ichigo walks through the entryway….Even though, again, the text was in English.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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The brochure is actually translated instead of erased….But OOH they dropped the ball on the cover of the brochure by erasing the letters “RDA” for Red Data Animals. That sure was amazingly stupid, let’s go to the replay…..Ah, see here’s where they were being intelligent….and this is really interesting because you can almost see where 4Kids was like “DDDDDEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRPPPP” and erased the letters on the cover. I haven’t seen a fumble like that since the big translation fumble of one minute, 46 seconds ago!

Subbed:

Good – tmmep2fixedscreen4

Bad – tmmep2fixedscreen5

Dubbed:

Good – korf7gd

Bad – xrym84c

Also, some tiny, illegible text is taken off of a sign on the wall of pictures.

In the original, Ichigo’s not laughing when they focus on her smiling face as she’s walking with Aoyama. In the dub, they make this awkward joke where Zoey’s like “Be cool” then we suddenly cut to her laughing like a dink and snorting as Mark awkwardly tells her they should go see the marine exhibit.

In the original, Aoyama mentions to Ichigo that it’s a nice day, then he laughs because now he’s repeating it too. In the dub, Mark does the same thing, but he states that that’s the fifth time one of them has said that. Really? I count two times and that’s counting this instance. How much weather are you two discussing behind the scenes?

Zoey’s been saying “I’m awesome, I rule” etc. a lot in this episode. Ichigo doesn’t say it at all. Usually during the times that she’s saying this stuff in the dub, she’s gushing over Aoyama.

Words are blurred out on Akasaka’s computer screen now instead of erasing them. I guess they wanted to see what the blur tool in their editing software did. Again, the words are so small that even if there was a point in editing out text, it would have no point here.

The scene showing the screen is supposed to be before Shirogane puts his goggles on. It’s after it in the dub.

Text on the juice cans is removed.

Text on a falling garbage can that only appears for less than a second gets removed.

The scene where Ichigo gains her powers is removed. Basically she has an…out of body experience I guess and she meets the iriomote wild cat. She picks up the cat and it smiles at her before jumping into her body. Then we cut to her on the lawn. This scene might’ve been cut due to the fact that Ichigo’s naked throughout most of it. You can’t see anything, like at all, since she’s so immersed in light, but I guess it was bad enough for 4Kids.

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By the way, we never see this, but if all of the girls had this same experience…that means Lettuce and Zakuro should’ve been scared to death to see a wolf and a porpoise jump into their bodies.

They also edit out a small scene where the vending machine nearly falls on Aoyama.

In the original, Aoyama tells Ichigo that she was asleep for three hours, which deeply surprises her, then she realizes that he’s right since it’s already evening.

In the dub, Mark tells her that it was fine that he waited because he got to watch the clouds and listen to her snore, which deeply surprises her and then she laments over snoring in front of Mark.

The next scene is just stupid. The scene where Ichigo’s rambling is changed and filled with teen girly BS. Let’s just leave it at that because I know I got stupider listening to it and I don’t want to make you feel stupider for reading about it.

This is a perfect opportunity to say that I hate Ichigo’s two girl friends from school. Sub, dub, they’re still little bitches…..Okay they’re bigger bitches in the dub, but still.

Nitpicky, but in the original, Aoyama yells “The face!” before striking in his kendo match. The dub just has him say….uh “Hiyoi”? In kendo, you’re supposed to yell out what point you intend on striking before you strike. Like I said, nitpicky.

They edit out a shot of Ichigo running away after she lands on her feet after that fall.

In the original, Ichigo gets all panicky after she wakes up because she realizes that she was going to apologize to Aoyama during lunch and lunch break had started. In the dub, Zoey hears that lunch break has started so she flips out about getting some milk.

4Kids edits out a flashback of the scene where Ichigo gets her powers. I guess it was for the sake of continuity. Since Ichigo wasn’t seen in any shot of the flashback (it was all just shots of the cat) I’m assuming that it was, indeed, for continuity purposes.

They also edit out a shot of Aoyama appearing in the doorway before his closeup.

Well, I have to give 4Kids credit for giving this scene a shot. While Ichigo is talking to Aoyama on the roof, she keeps saying “Nya” as a suffix to a lot of words and keeps freaking out because of it. She’s trying desperately not to say it, but can’t and eventually she runs away.

4Kids didn’t mirror this, but they had her keep saying stuff like “purrrfect” (Catwoman, you are not) “Meow” and “Feline” I give them credit for making the effort with “purrfect” and “Meow” but if you’re trying to make Zoey say cat sounds, why did they make her say “Feline”? Why not “mew” or “hiss” or “kill everyone and bathe in their blood, for the Prince of Darkness commands it!”

……What? That’s not a common cat sound? But my grandma’s cat says that to me all the time. Hm. Also, during the end of her freak out, Zoey basically says straight out that she’s acting really weird and that she thinks she’s turning into a cat. Since the lip flaps are so fast, I thought maybe they were going for a thought-dialogue, but nope. In typical Zoey style she just blurts all of that right out to Mark who, shockingly, isn’t reacting to anything she’s saying until she runs off.

So this is another one that was pointed out to me elsewhere and goes by so fast I really have to commend that person for having such a good eye. As Shirogane saves Ichigo, his hair is black in that split second shot. 4Kids fixed this by turning it blond like it should be….Kudos for fixing a graphical error, but, seriously, did time, energy, money or thought need to be put into a shot that lasts like a quarter of a second? I don’t even think I can catch a screenshot of that.

Entire Show Edit: All of the mews have tiny pink symbols called Mew marks on their bodies. Ichigo’s is on her upper thigh, Pudding’s are on her forehead, Mint’s are on her back, Lettuce’s are on her chest, and Zakuro’s are around her belly button. Almost every time one of these marks are on screen, they’re edited out. I’ll mention it when I see a mew mark in the dub.

In the original, Ichigo’s thinking to herself that her heart is calling out to the pendant, then we have another small flashback to the scene where she gets her power before she transforms. In the dub, Elliot is talking over most of this scene with a pep talk.

Ichigo transformation changes: Our first full transformation in the dub, so I get to tell you exactly what was cut.

Ichigo standing in front of DNA strands.

Ichigo’s lipstick appearing.

Ichigo putting her hands up in front of her face.

Ichigo’s chesticle shadows are painted away.

Ichigo’s trademark pose.

Subbed: tmmep2fixedscreen8

Dubbed: ky0crm1

Extras:

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Ichigo has a slight freak out after she transforms as she’s falling through the air. This is edited out of the dub.

Elliot: (After Zoey barely lands without crashing into the ground) “Nice one, Zoey!” Nice what? What did she do? She barely corrected herself from falling and she still ended up on her ass. Considering she now has super land-on-her-feet powers, I’d actually say that’s pretty lame.

Ichigo magically (literally, not sarcastically) knows the words to bring out the Strawberry Bell. Zoey basically says nothing and the bell I guess reacts to her fright.

Every time I hear the dub catchphrase I die a little inside….Also, Ichigo’s catchphrase for this episode is “I’ll give you a taste of cat spirit, nya!” Which may or may not sound dirty depending on how filthy your mind is….which is very.

This may have been in the last episode, but Ichigo’s Strawberry bell has her twirling in the air for quite some time before she actually attacks. In the dub, the footage is sped up because kids have the attention span of gnats on speed.

They edit out a scene where Shirogane grabs Ichigo’s chin and tells her not to cry.

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No next episode preview this time. Which probably means that the other episode’s was a one-time thing.

Next episode, Mint’s debut!….Yay….

…Previous Episode

Pokemon Episode 3 Analysis: Ash Catches a Pokemon!

Pokeballshipping – The one true canon

Captures: Ash’s Caterpie/Metapod: The first Pokemon Ash ever caught (Pikachu not counted because it was given to him), Caterpie wishes for nothing more than to be a Butterfree and fly around in the sky. He also has a great deal of affection for Misty, who despises bugs. Poor guy. He’s also, I believe, the first and only Pokemon to be caught and evolved in the same episode.

Ash’s Pidgeotto: The second of Ash’s captures, Pidgeotto usually has the job of merely popping Team Rocket’s balloon when they show up, but he stands as a very loyal and fierce ally of Ash.

Plot: Continuing from the last episode, Ash throws a Pokeball at a nearby Caterpie in Viridian forest and manages to capture it! Ash couldn’t be more excited to catch his first Pokemon, but Misty couldn’t be more grossed out that it’s a Bug type. This is an even bigger problem as Caterpie takes quite the liking to Misty.

Tensions are high for the group as they travel, and they’re only made worse when Ash shows poor judgment while trying to capture a Pidgeotto. He does manage to capture it, but not before nearly getting Caterpie badly hurt.

As Misty chews him out for it, Team Rocket shows up again to capture Pikachu. They Sludge Pikachu in the eyes, leaving him out for the battle, and Ash is forced to go on without him. He uses his newly captured Pidgeotto, but to no avail. His only other option is the weak Caterpie, who actually manages to beat all of Team Rocket with some String Shot.

This is enough to trigger Caterpie’s evolution into Metapod, making him well on his way to his dream of being a Butterfree.

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– The word ‘Pokemon’ is still replaced by the Pokemon logo. Also, in this episode, Misty says the title instead of Ash, who usually does it.

– Misty’s pretty much at her worst here. I hate bugs too, but Caterpie’s adorable, and it just wanted to be her friend, yet she treats it like garbage.

– Despite really liking Caterpie….the sound it makes is awful. It sounds like a cat mimicking a monkey.

– I love Caterpie and Pikachu’s little conversation, even if you can’t understand what they’re saying.

– Apparently, because 4Kids edited out Japanese text behind Caterpie in this shot, they left a very noticeable black bar off to the left.

– Ash chasing after Caterpie while still in his sleeping bag is also funny. However, the linework on his eyes in that shot is so heavy it looks like he’s wearing eyeliner.

– I am going to make a real effort not to bitch too much about Ash’s mistakes in season 1 because he’s a rookie….even though he should know the bare basics if he’s such a Pokemon nut, but I can turn a blind eye for the sake of story. However, I am going to call out this scene where he tries to capture Pidgeotto the first time.

Why? Because in the first episode, he did the same exactly thing with a Pidgey and, surprise, it didn’t work. Sarcastic-Dexter even practically reprimanded him for making such a rookie mistake of not battling and weakening the Pokemon first. Here, he’s trying to capture the evolved form of Pidgey, IE stronger and even harder to catch than Pidgey, without battling it or weakening it first.

And what’s worse is, at least with Pidgey he had some form of an excuse. Pikachu wouldn’t fight for him anyway, so he kinda had to at least try on his own. Here, he has Pikachu on his side and a huge advantage with Pikachu being Electric and Pidgeotto being Flying, yet he still does it anyway.

– Ah here’s a sneak peak to the Ash I’ll grow to hate. Acting like a hotshot and claiming he knows what he’s doing even though he just made one of the rookiest mistakes in Pokemon….again.

– I’m also not really going to complain about Ash being ignorant of type advantages and disadvantages at this point, even if that is another bare basic….I will, however, agree with Misty’s reasoning. He should at least be smart enough to know that birds eat worms, especially considering that Pidgeotto is eating a worm in his first scene.

– In the early days, it seems the Pokeballs couldn’t recall the Pokemon unless the Pokeball opened, which isn’t true later. I guess this was to cut corners in order to save on the animation budget.

– Ash: “I am the greatest!” There you go opening that window to Dumbash. You want me to make that transition awful fast, huh? Especially considering that I could not agree more with Misty’s tangent after he says this. It would’ve been different if he was just excited about his capture, but he completely ignores that he nearly got Caterpie severely injured, much in the same realm as Pikachu did and episode ago, also because of his ignorance.

– I’m still not sure if Pikachu is as powerful as Meowth states. Sure Messiahchu seems like it somehow cheats a lot in battles just because, being the mascot, it has to win nearly all the time, but saying its power far exceeds its level is a bit…iffy to me, especially considering he’s using the fact that the Pokemon Center blew up as proof, given that it was Koffing’s gas igniting that caused the explosion.

– He seems to know Pokemon league rules fairly well, (stating that, by league rules, only one Pokemon can be on each side) yet still doesn’t know the basics….Must resist bitching….But he is just a giant contradiction in a hat.

– How is it that Caterpie’s too weak to battle but Pidgeotto isn’t? It’s a Flying Type that just took a Thundershock to the back minutes ago.

– The battle with Caterpie at the end kinda bugs me….hehe puns. *cough* I guess it’s possible that Pidgeotto weakened them enough to have Caterpie easily take them out, but it didn’t really land any hits.

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Overall, this was a really good episode. I love Caterpie and Pidgeotto, and the major thing that irks me here is Misty is continuously being annoying. You can see how they’re slowly switching places because Misty gets a little more tolerable towards the end, emphasis on ‘a little,’ and Ash starts showing his more annoying colors here and there.

While the first half was a bit slow, the second had a lot of action in it, and I really enjoyed it.

Next episode, our first Character of the Day with Samurai. Ash has his first non-Team Rocket Pokemon battle with a trainer in Viridian Forest who dresses and acts like a Samurai. They have a never-ending Metapod battle since they only keep doing Harden back and forth, but they’re soon in danger of a nearby group of Beedrill.

Previous Episode….

Ef: A Tale of Memories Review

Rating: 8.5/10

Plot: The first and main half of the story follows a boy named Renji who happens upon a girl named Chihiro at an abandoned train station. Chihiro was in a terrible accident when she was a young child, which left her with only one eye and a severely damaged memory.

Every day when she wakes up, she believes herself to be a young child and can only retain her memories throughout the day for 13 hours before they’re erased again. In order to combat this, Chihiro started a series of diaries chronicling every detail of her day. She reads the diaries to help her keep her memories permanent, if only in the confines of those pages. But will these diaries allow her to retain her relationship to Renji?

The second half is about a love…square between Chihiro’s older sister, Kei, a filmmaker, Kyousuke, a lonely girl, Miyako, and a closet Manga author/artist, Hiro.

Breakdown: This is one of the best anime I’ve had the pleasure of viewing. Almost everything about it is wonderful and beautiful, and Renji and Chihiro would definitely make it on my top ten list of anime couples.

Their relationship is so pure and tragically beautiful and just a joy to watch. I won’t spoil their story, because I love it so much, but trust me, it’s amazing. Almost made me cry several times.

……Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to that other part of this series, The love square. It’s mostly a love triangle, but Kyousuke’s in there too. (Warning—I will be spoiling a lot of the love square plotline through this review. Reader discretion is advised)

Kyousuke likes Kei because she’s pretty (seriously, no other reason) Miyako likes Hiro because of an ‘adventure’ they had on Christmas night. Kei likes Hirono because they were childhood friends. And Hiro’s dense as Diamondhead’s…….head.

To be completely honest, watching the love square is a huge chore compared to watching Renji and Chihiro’s relationship. Every time Renji and Chihiro are on screen, they captivate my attention. I smile, I feel like crying, I watch with intensity. Every time they switch back to the others I feel bored or angry.

Kei is overly possessive and majorly jealous. She even goes so far as to tell Miyako that she’s going to ‘erase her from Hiro’s heart and mind’ to ‘make room for’ Kei. It’s not like Miyako had done anything with him or to Kei either. He just hangs out with her and sometimes she goes to his house. Doesn’t help that Kei’s English dubbed voice sounds horribly bitchy.

That’s not the only terrible aspect about her. She’s the cause of Chihiro’s accident.

When they were kids, Hiro, Kei and Chihiro used to always play together. However, Hiro seemed to always pay a little more attention to Chihiro than Kei. One day Kei got pretty jealous that Hiro had a play date with Chihiro, so she told him Chihiro can’t make it and then she suggested they to go to the beach together. Chihiro arrived and was disappointed to not find Hirono at the house, but found a note saying that they went to the beach. Chihiro went off to meet Kei and Hiro, much to Kei’s dismay, and as she was standing in a nearby road she got hit by a car.

So, obviously, the right thing for Kei to do in this situation would be to practically completely forget about her, letting her live her life in limbo just sitting at a train stop day after day as she learns no lessons of the dangers of jealousy to viciously and jealously pursue Hiro on a day to day basis. We’re supposed to be cheering for this character? (Note: I now know that this is properly addressed and explained in Melodies. However, this is the view left on this matter having just seen this series alone. Taken at face value, this opinion still stands.)

Miyako’s not much better. She’s spunky and quirky, but also seems very moody. It doesn’t help that she seems to take nothing seriously and, in serious discussion, she acts condescending.

Later, we’re shown that she has a ‘sad backstory’. Basically, her parents went through a bad divorce and were ‘gone from each others hearts.’ This led to them forgetting about her too (?) and being erased from their hearts. Then they abandoned her (?) Thus she freaks out when Kei threatens that she’ll erase her from Hiro’s heart.

However, despite this being reasoning behind her newfound affection for Hiro as a new friend/boyfriend, she gets incredibly creepy in the same episode we find out about the parent thing. Almost seven minutes are dedicated entirely to her leaving voicemails on Hiro’s phone nagging him about where he is because he won’t pick up. It gets insanely creepy after a while. I understand that she’s upset that she may actually be losing Hirono, but jeez. I’ve seen horror movies less creepy.

Kei erases all of the messages she leaves on Hiro’s phone. Granted she leaves 99 (!!!!) Messages, but she doesn’t even listen to one to get freaked out and justify it. She just erases them the instant she sees who sent them. Nice. Granted, seeing 99 messages from the same person on the same day in and within itself may be creepy enough to justify that. Still just a rude thing to do.

Kyousuke’s pretty boring. He doesn’t have much of a role here. The only thing he cares about is filming things. His initial focus on Kei also seemed kinda stalker-y. Again, he only liked her because he saw her when he was filming one day and thought she looked pretty. If anything, his role in the love square seems purely to give Kei someone to pair with when things don’t work out with Hiro.

Then we have Hiro. He’s a closet published manga artist who has two girls vying for his heart and can’t see it. He’s also terribly boring. He’s like eating dried oatmeal made of paper mache and distilled water.

The end of the love shape has Miyako and Hiro sleeping together after admitting their feelings for each other. Kei arrives to wake Hiro up for school and spots the two of them naked in bed. She destroys the room with her crutch (she injured her knee in basketball a few episodes earlier) and runs away. Hiro tries to go after her, but Miyako stops him saying he has to choose because he promised he’d love only her and see only her for the rest of his life. Basically she gives him an ultimatum that she’ll leave if he goes to comfort Kei. He leaves anyway stating he’ll be back soon.

This is where I pretty much say “Ya know what? Maybe they’re both completely wrong for him.” Kei’s wrong for him because, well, Hiro’s never shown any romantic feelings towards her and she’s an obsessive bitch who will go so far as to erase messages from his friend and emotionally assassinate another girl simply because she’s close friends with him.

Miyako’s wrong for him because she slept with him to ensure he’d stay with her forever and wouldn’t accept that he can have other relationships (non-romantic) besides loving her. This is not true love. This is bitterness, obsession, dependency, and being enamored by a guy simply because he paid attention to you.

In the end, Kei admits that her dream with him was just a dream and that they should both move on from it, but remain friends. He also states he’s going to quit high school to focus more on his manga career. After that, he calls Miyako who states she is planning on moving away from the town because she doesn’t want to be reminded of the pain. Hiro begs and pleads for her not to go stating he’ll do everything for her and take care of her and tries to state that he loves her. Miyako agrees to trust him before the phone cuts out since her phone card ran out of minutes. Hiro shows up saying he loves her and they kiss, ending their story.

So, remember kids, quit school and shack up with your needy obsessive girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong? Granted, I prefer him going with Miyako over Kei, but I still think neither of them should’ve gone with him. Keisuke ends up with nothing, by the way, even if they do kinda hint that Kei and Kyousuke kinda like each other after that.

END OF SPOILERS

Even though the love square pissed me off quite a bit, the ending to their situation could’ve been much worse, so I won’t take off much points for that. However, I really don’t think that storyline was necessary, and I can’t ignore the fact that watching it is a big chore, especially in contrast to the Renji and Chihiro storyline.

Art: The art and animation are amazing and very creative. I’d recommend a watch simply to see the great visuals.

Voice acting: English: The dub is really great. A lot of the voices fit very well and many of the actors were superb in their roles. That being said, I should mention that it is a serious pet peeve of mine to hear Japan suffixes like -chan, -kun Oneesan etc. in English dub anime. I know I should technically be praising the dubbers for this since they’re trying to make a truly faithful dubbed version, but it really annoys me and it just sounds awkward in English.

Music: The music is also amazing. I love the opening and a lot of the BG music is great. It’s definitely a soundtrack I’d pick up.

Bottomline: The love square takes quite a bit of tolerance. It was trying my last nerve as the characters are hardly likable in that story. However, the main story and couple is so enjoyable that it really makes up for it. If need be, skip the square and just watch the parts with Renji and Chihiro. You won’t be disappointed.

Addition Information and Notes: Ef: A Tale of Memories was based on adult visual novel games called Ef: The First Tale and Ef: The Latter Tale. The games are combined with several different stories taken from various characters’ perspectives and their own specific stories that are separated into chapters.

This series takes chapter 1 from The First Tale and Chapter 3 from The Latter Tale. One could also argue that Chapter 2 from The First Tale is included but eh. Melodies is comprised of the prologues of both games and Chapter 4 from The Latter Tale.

Memories is produced by Shaft, producers of other notably stylized series such as the Monogatari franchise, Dance in the Vampire Bund, the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei franchise and Madoka Magica, so you can be certain there’s plenty of eye candy.

The series was directed by Shin Onuma who is also the directing force behind C3, Bakemonogatari, Princess Tutu, Pani Poni Dash! and Silent Mobius.

Episodes: 12

Year: 2007

Recommended Audience: There’s no real questionable material until we get to the later parts of the anime where sex is implied and some of the females are nude from the waist up. Also, some of the plotline can be pretty heavy for younger audiences. I’d give it a 14+

Tabisuru Nuigurumi: Traveling Daru Review

Rating: 8/10

Plot: A little girl loses a doll that she made at an airport. As she cries in the plane, one of her tears somehow makes it down to the doll and brings it to life. Seeing that its best friend has gone away, the doll goes on a worldwide quest to find her.

Breakdown: This a really cute short animation that lasts about ten minutes.

The art is really great, except maybe the designs of the people, which look a little off. The animation is quite good and the story is heartwarming.

If there’s one thing that kinda bugs me it’s that, though it is endearing, it’s a little weird that the girl was so attached to her doll that she constantly thought about it even in adulthood and even made the logo of her toy store a picture of it. I have a stuffed animal that means a lot to me, so I kinda understand where she’s coming from, but still. Though I’m likely looking too much into that. It’s probably difficult to forget Daru’s design anyway. It’s like a jellybean in a cute wittle hat. :3

As for the voice acting, there are only two lines spoken here and they’re (English Dub) perfectly fine. The rest, barring music and sound effects is completely silent.

Bottomline: At ten minutes, there’s no reason not to sit down and watch this at least once. It’s a really adorable little short that I believe will tug at everyone’s heartstrings, especially if you had that one special toy when you were a kid that meant a lot to you.

Additional Information and Notes: Tabisuru Nuigurumi: Traveling Daru was directed by Ushio Tazawa and produced by CoMix Wave Films.

Runtime: 10 minutes

Year: 2012

Recommended Audience: Does this sound like a Tarantino movie? 0+

13 Club (Manga) Review

Rating: 7/10

Plot: The 13 Club is a website run by a mysterious man named Kudan and his associate Kasuka. The website is dedicated to exploring and spreading weird stories from true events to urban legends to possibly supernatural tales. The manga is a collection of various stories making up a sort of anthology.

Breakdown: While I did really enjoy this series both for its intriguing stories and the plot twists, I do have have to say that it felt very disjointed.

The first chapter, for example, is much more detailed in in its art style. It goes for a much more realistic look only shifting to a more traditional anime style when it came to the girls. It was also most notably fully shaded, offering a feeling of great depth and detail in the scenes that I adored.

However, after that, the realistic style and deep shading were gone and we shifted back to a more traditional style, which isn’t that bad considering that the manga is still very detailed, but why make the first chapter so beautiful when other chapters weren’t going to stand out as much?

Next, while this is an anthology of sorts, the third story goes on for way too long in my opinion. It spans over six chapters in this 11 chapter long series – over half the series is just this one story. It’s a good story, but it definitely didn’t need to go on as long as it did.

Finally, there’s no real theme with the stories. Some are supernatural based though we’re given no explanation as to what is going on with the stories, magic-wise, some are merely urban legends, and one’s a murder mystery. I guess that fits with the fact that their website covers all of these, but reading the stories in succession makes for a slightly weird read.

All of these factors made it sometimes feel like I was reading a different manga. For instance, the final story feels so much more different, almost a Zekkyou Gakkyuu vibe over the murder mystery.

I also don’t know who or what Kudan and Kasuka really are. They obviously have some form of supernatural capabilities, but they’re not explored at all.

Those complaints out of the way, as an anthology/short story lover, these stories do have a lot going for them on their own. Kudan is a pretty interesting character that I wish we got to see more of, and while the twists for some of the stories were predictable, they were still really fun rides. Even if the execution could use some work and I feel like it should’ve gone on for longer, especially since there’s no real ending, it’s still a fairly short and pretty cool read that I’d recommend to pretty much anyone.

Additional Notes and Information: 

13 Club was written and drawn by Tatsuya Shihira and it was published by Ultra Jump.

Volumes: 2

Year: 2008-2009

Recommended Audience: There’s some brief nudity and some pretty damn freaky concepts. One little tidbit by Kudan actually made me pause my reading to cringe….Uegh….god, why did he have to say that?

There’s some mentions of sex, but none actually shown. The language is also a bit coarse. 14+

School Days Review



Rating: 2/10

Plot: Makoto is a high-school boy who has a crush on a girl named Kotonoha. In an effort to become her boyfriend, he seeks the advice of her best friend, a girl named Sekai, who also has a thing for Makoto. She begins ‘training’ him to be Kotonoha’s boyfriend through anything from talking to her to sex. Eventually, Makoto evolved into the worst protagonist I’ve ever seen, barring Mayo from FY:E and I can’t believe I was so lenient on this show in the past.

Breakdown:
School Days was one of the first anime that I ever reviewed. I gave this show a fairly decent score before. A 2.5/5 to a 4.5/5. A medium score to an almost perfect score? Was I high? God.

I was pretty new as a reviewer when I wrote that, so hopefully everyone can forgive me. I believe the only reason I gave that show such a high score was simply because of the ending.

School days, in a nutshell, is a mean-spirited slice-of-life anime drama that was based off an H-game. Now, before anyone goes ahead and says it’s acceptable that it sucks because of the h-game origins, let me introduce you to Rumbling Hearts, the Ef series and White Album 2.

School days has been noted as being a realistic anime drama, but what kind of school did you go to where this is realistic? It starts out realistic enough – guy falls for girl he sees on a train, asks her best friend to help him woo her, they end up dating, that’s okay.

The best friend falling for the boy and slowly sneaking into his pants through the ‘training sessions’? Okay, I can buy that. We all fall prey to our hormones and whatnot.

Every girl in the goddamn school falling for Makoto and wanting to get into his pants? Sounds more like a guy’s wet dream more than realism. It’s so bad, I have taken to calling this ‘The School Days effect’ – Any scenario where the main lead is constantly having anyone of the opposite sex (and sometimes the same sex) falling for them. I can barely think of any female in this series who didn’t want to jump Makoto’s bones, and from reading about the H-games (School Days, Summer Days and Cross Days) it seems he has actually hooked up with every single female character and then some.

This series just spirals out of control after that.

Him sleeping with most of the female cast and not one of them caring that he’s cheating on all of them with practically every girl in the school? What?

Having a school festival where tons of people have sex in a backroom where a group of deranged students film it and watches it to laugh at the people in the room? What the hell is wrong with these people!?

The best friend getting pregnant after rendezvous with main lead? Okay, back to believable.

Oh, she was just faking being pregnant so she could have him all to herself. A little crazy, but I guess believable.

Girl stabs boy to death to prevent him from leaving her.……….

Girlfriend chops off dead boy’s head, keeps it in a duffel bag, shows it to best friend before stabbing her to death and carving her open like a Christmas turkey to prove she wasn’t really pregnant then sailing away with her Makoto head in the ocean on a homemade raft to inevitably die of dehydration or drown? What exactly do you say to something like that?

Seriously, I have no qualms with stabbing that bastard to death or even slicing his head off – he was an evil son of a bitch. And, no, I wouldn’t condone that in real life, but this is fiction, so stabbity stabbers. I just have to know how we went from typical high-school drama to Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni?

The characters don’t help the storyline at all. I’ve never hated so many characters in an anime before. From Makoto himself to his rapist best friend from Sekai to the field of whores that are 98% of the female student body – most everyone is deplorable and unlikable. The only exceptions are Sekai’s loli-esque best friend and Kotonoha…Poor, poor Kotonoha.

And you could even say their characters are slightly ruined given that, despite being nice and likable, they still love a heartless man-whore, but I can’t hate them too much for that.

Characters

Makoto – Makoto is probably the worst male protagonist I’ve ever seen in an anime. He sleeps with anything that moves and doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself. He doesn’t care that he’s cheating on like seven girls, he doesn’t care that he got Sekai pregnant and even cheats on her after she tells him she’s pregnant, he seems to allude to telling Sekai to get an abortion, he makes out with Kotonoha right in front of pregnant Sekai after basically telling her to get out of his life, and he’s just all around despicable. Why so many girls want to sleep with him is one of the biggest mysteries in anime.

Sekai
– Sekai is a horrible best friend to Kotonoha. I’m almost positive she went into this whole ‘training’ thing with Makoto with full intentions of getting into his pants. She sleeps with Makoto behind Kotonoha’s back and pretended to be pregnant in order to keep him away from her and every other girl he sleeps with. She only gains points for stabbity stab.

Kotonoha – Poor Kotonoha is one of two likable characters in this series, and she is treated like garbage. She gets cheated numerous times, dumped like a rock, becomes emotionally shattered, gets raped while in her emotionally shattered state (by her slimy boyfriend’s best friend for god’s sake), gets her boyfriend back for a few minutes only for him to die a couple days later, and then she spends her final days on a rickety raft in the ocean clutching the severed head of her boyfriend.

Wow.

The good thing is at least she didn’t sleep with Makoto – an irony I will never get over. His entire incentive to going with Sekai was to get with Kotonoha, but over the course of the entire series, he never sleeps with her.

Setsuna
– Setsuna is the aforementioned loli-best friend of Sekai. She is the second likable character in this series, but not very much. The only reason she is likable  is because she knows that her liking Makoto is wrong because Sekai loves him and she *gasp* feels BAD for liking him and kissing him. Why it’s almost as if being romantically involved with someone who is already with someone is wrong or something. SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH.

Taisuke
– Taisuke is pretty bland and forgettable, just being a pervert throughout most of the series…Until he rapes Kotonoha in her emotionally shattered state. Yeah that happens.

The rest of the characters/most of the female student body – The rest of the girls just serve as heartless whores for Makoto to bang when he not emotionally or physically screwing Sekai or Kotonoha. They’re downright despicable in their own rights, not caring if Makoto is cheating on them with tons of girls as long as they get to be with him too. Some of them don’t even give a crap that they’re sleeping with him after they learn that Makoto got Sekai pregnant (Then they scold him while still naked in bed that he’s not doing anything about it. *facepalm*)

So the characters are more or less hate targets, the story’s not believable and it’s mean-spirited. What about the technical aspects?

The music’s downright forgettable, the art’s pretty decent with nice, though pretty bland, character designs and the animation’s pretty lazy, looking more like one of those animated comics you see online sometimes over actual animation. This being a slice-of-life already means that there’s little animation going on, but that’s not a big excuse.

Bottomline: I think I understand why I liked this show so much back in the day. It’s because there is so much hate fodder in this show. I love to rant, I love go off the handle, the ongoing hatred of things in this show kept me hooked, and when it topped it off with killing that womanizing bastard, I hit the roof. Now that I have my head out of ass and can actually fairly review stuff without bringing in my own personal weirdness to cloud my judgment, I see this show for what this really is.

I will be completely honest and say I gave it that extra point purely because I still like to see Makoto dying, but I don’t think that’s my being biased. I’m pretty sure anyone who has the fortitude to sit through this series and stomach Makoto would give it at least one point for killing off Makoto.

Don’t make us hate someone without giving them proper comeuppance….which in this case would be every girl in the series turning their backs on him and him living a lonely existence with only hookers and a bottle of jack, but turning Makoto into a horror movie victim here in fiction-land is also A-Okay.

Additional Notes and Information: School Days was based on a series of hard hentai visual novels. It was directed by Keitaro Motonaga who also directed Getbackers, Ah, My Buddha and the Kikaider OVA.

It was written by Makoto Uezu who also wrote Ah, My Buddha, Danganronpa the Animation, Akame ga Kill and Seikon no Qwaser.

The show was produced by TNK, producer of anime such as Itsudatte My Santa, Highschool DxD, I, My, Me Strawberry Eggs and Papa to Kiss in the Dark.

That is a trifecta of a mixed bag if I ever saw one.

This series has two OVAs, Magical Heart Kokoro-Chan, and Valentines Days.

I should mention that there’s an odd instance of censorship in one version of the show. When the final episode (IE Slasher theatre) was first set to air, a 16 year old girl killed her father with an axe in Kyoto, spurring the episode to get pulled because of similar violent content.

In its place was a thirty minute slideshow that later spawned a somewhat popular meme ‘Nice Boat’ which would later be referenced in the School Days OVA, Magical Heart Kokoro-Chan.

When the episode was finally allowed to air, they were forced to censor the death scene, but nothing is actually cut out of it. Instead, they turned the blood black. Yeah, I don’t really get how that’s better, really just makes me think maybe Makoto is part squid, but there ya go. An uncensored version, one with red blood, was released later on, but the black blood version is still widely known and quite infamous.

Episodes: 12

Year: 2007

Recommended Audience:
There is a lot of fanservice and adult themes. There is plenty of implied sex scenes, dark moments, murder, rape, psychoness as well as being overall dark and unpleasant. 16+

Sailor Moon Episode 2 Sub/Dub Comparison Placeholder (Undubbed)

SMEP2SCREEN1

Plot: Fortune tellers are the latest craze in the city. Jadeite has taken this opportunity to collect more human energy for Queen Beryl by using another of his minions, Balm, to pose as a fortune teller and control the people who see her for readings. Umino goes to her for a reading to help guide him with his crush on Usagi, but he, as well as many other students from their school, gets caught up in Balm’s spell. Can Sailor Moon defeat Balm and snap her friends out of her spell?

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This entry is simply for completion purposes. DiC never dubbed this episode. Why? Well, according to some sources, it could be because of three factors.

  1. Umino flips up his teacher’s skirt and shows her panties.
  2. Umino and other boys vandalize the school by breaking windows with rocks.
  3. The fortune telling theme of the episode might’ve been deemed too controversial?

Well, every excuse I can think of really holds no water to me. The skirt scene and the window scene could’ve easily been edited out if they were problems. DiC has already shown that they’re not shy when it comes to putting the scissors to anime, so it’s not a valid excuse.

As for the fortune telling thing, there’s really nothing religious about it. They make no religious references or anything. So, I honestly don’t know why this episode wasn’t dubbed. Only logical reason that I can think of is that DiC wanted to lose some filler episodes to bring on the other Sailor Scouts faster.

I have nothing really of note about this episode either. It’s rather forgettable.

Next time, a late night romance show on the radio has tons of women and girls clamoring for love. But when people start succumbing to a weird sleeping illness, it seems that Jadeite is behind both it and the radio show. 

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