I’ve been nominated for another Real Neat Blog Award by Marvelously Mismatched, and for another Liebster Award by Caddidy Cornblatt of Funny Anime Pics! Thank both of you very much for the nominations! 🙂 However, I am running into a roadblock when it comes to blogs to nominate and questions to ask. Many potential nominees have already done these awards or similar ones several times, and in my quest to showcase as many great blogs as possible here, I’ve pretty much exhausted my own follow list. Plus I’m having difficulty coming up with new and interesting questions. So I hope no one minds if I make this post a Q&A session only.
If you’d like to catch onto some cool blogs, though, check out my nominees for my previous award posts. ^_^
For anyone who’d like to partake in these awards, here are the rules.
Real Neat Blog Award
1 – Put the award logo in your blog.
2 – Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
3 – Thank the people nominating you, linking to their blogs.
4 – Nominate any number of bloggers, linking to their blogs.
5 – Let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blogs.
6 – Ask the bloggers 7 new questions.
First up is Marvelously Mismatched’s questions for the Real Neat Blog Award.
1 – If You Could Teleport Anywhere in the World for One Day, Where Would You Go, What Would You Do and Why?
Probably Disney World because I’ve always wanted to go and I can’t really see a trip there happening in my near future. I’d do as much as humanly possible in one day and buy all the things!
2 – What is Your Favorite Anime Character of All Time?
Wow, that’s even tougher than the favorite anime question. Off the top of my head, probably Hatsuharu from Fruits Basket. He’s very caring, kind and gentle, while also being tough and kickass as Black Haru, and his backstory is both sad without being overly dramatic and sweet in his crush on Yuki. In addition, he makes for one of the funniest and most memorable scenes I’ve seen in an anime in episode 13.
3 – What is One Thing You Can’t Live Without?
I’ll take one thing as being one material object instead of making a sappy or joking response. Probably my computer, or just a computer. Sad as it is that I am also one of the many people somewhat dependent on technology, I do a lot of stuff on my computer such as schoolwork, work-work, my blog posts, watching anime, catching up on news, even some therapeutic activities. It’d be a major pain to not have a computer.
4 – Do You Want an Anime Girlfriend or Boyfriend? If So, Who Would it Be and Why?
Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender. I’m counting anime as a style here since I discounted him during my 30 Day Anime Challenge. He’s a great character with a complex personality and great backstory. And I won’t deny that I’ve had a crush on him since pretty much the first time I saw in the series way back when it first aired. There is no shame here.
5 – If We Had a Massive Power Outage that, For Some Reason, Only Took Out the Internet, Would You Read a Book and Survive or Would You Go Insane at the Lack of Wifi?
Despite my reliance on a computer, I have lived in a world without heavy Internet use before. It was a long time ago, back when things were younger. I’d probably be very pissed for a few days or weeks, but I’d manage I believe.
6 – If There Was No Such Thing as Manga and Anime, What Would You Do?
Probably get into comics, get more into video games or rely mostly on Western Animation.
7 – What Makes You Mad Enough to Want to Go Super Saiyan?
Animal abuse. I have a lot of pet peeves, but if you want to get me insanely mad in a short amount of time, any story of animal abuse will probably do it. Even fictional just makes me rage.
Rules for the Liebster Award
1 – Thank and link back to your nominator.
2 – Answer the 11 Questions Give by the Nominator
3 – Nominate 5-11 other blogs who have less than 200 followers.
4 – Create 11 new questions for your nominees.
5 – Let your nominees know that you have nominated them via social media or their blogs.
And now for Cassidy’s Questions for the Liebster Award!
1 – How Old Were You When You First Started Watching Anime?
I was either eight or nine. It was 1998, I believe, right when Pokemon started popping up in the states. If I was eight, I was eight bordering on nine. As you can probably predict from my previous statement, technically the first anime I watched was Pokemon after I started getting into the games (Pokemon Red was my game of choice – Also started with Charmander because I had no clue of type advantages early game back then. Was a great challenge though. I think I actually still have my first save file on that game.) Then I quickly got introduced to Sailor Moon and Digimon.
2 – What Do You Like To Do When You’re Not Watching Anime?
Draw, play with my dog, listen to music and play video games.
3 – Are There Any Genres of Anime that You Avoid?
Harems. It’s like watching the same anime over and over, and most of them simply don’t have the humor or plots to warrant my attention. I try to give every other genre a shot, though I do prefer some over others, but harems are the one genre on my ‘avoid’ list.
4 – What is Your Favorite Name of an Anime Character?
A completely minor character in Pokemon the First Movie, in the original, is named Voyager. That is such a kickass name that I really believe a much more important character should have gotten.
5 – Do You Generally Watch OVAs?
Yes. You never know what kind of hidden gems you’ll find in the world of OVAs. They typically have some great original content. As for OVAs that are based off of an existing series, yeah I typically watch those too. Those are big hits and misses. Some of them just seem to be pointless extensions of the series, others are really dumb parodies, and few and far between seem to have interesting and worthwhile stories.
6 – How Do You Determine Which Anime to Watch Next?
My watch list is very much random. I have series (nerdily) organized by length and I randomly pick of a pool of each length and then watch the series altogether to help break things up. When I finish an anime, usually a short series of course, I pick again from the pool of the finished series’ length. If someone really urges me to watch a series, I’ll put that at the front of the line, but yeah my watch list is both organized and random at the same time. I’m trying to strive to have as diverse of watching experience as I can.
7 – Do You Have a Favorite Japanese Word?
Not really. I find the language to be quite beautiful, but I’d be hardpressed to think of a favorite word. I really like most of the words for colors and flowers, though.
8 – Do You Buy, Download or Stream Anime?
I typically stream anime and buy DVDs of those that I’m really interested in or particularly love. Usually anime movies.
9 – Have You Ever Traveled to a Foreign Country?
I have gone to Canada once on a snowmobile with my dad for about 20 minutes. Lol. I’ve stayed in the states my entire life beyond that.
10 – What is Your Dream Job?
Anything where I can work with animals, helping them, taking care of them, finding them good homes etc. I’m aiming to be an animal behaviorist, so hopefully that will come true.
11 – Do You Prefer Long Anime Series or Short Ones?
This is an interesting question that I’ve never really considered before. On one hand, short series are, well, short. They can be over and done with in a short amount of time. However, short series usually mean sacrificing some character development and perhaps having rushed pacing.
On the other hand, long series have much more freedom to fully develop characters and make more satisfying stories. However, long series can easily overstay their welcome with overt amounts of filler, may not take up the opportunity to flesh out characters or stories and require a bigger commitment.
I would probably say shorter series in that case. Short series that can actually manage to have well-fleshed out characters and interesting and complex storylines move fluidly in a short amount of time deserve applause whereas long anime basically start with an advantage in that regard, and many simply don’t take the opportunity to do anything worthwhile with their added length. Plus, even anime that don’t have much in terms of filler can seem like they’re dragging on for way too long in long series.
Great questions, guys, and thanks to Marvelously Mismatched and Cassidy Cornblatt of Funny Anime Pics again for their nominations!
Plot: Mulan, Shang and their fellow warriors from the first movie return, and love is in the air, snookums. ~~♥
Breakdown: I loved Mulan. Despite having historical accuracy problems (Well, of course) it’s a very intense, exciting and interesting movie with a kick-ass lead who was finally female. The visuals were great, the style was different, the music was awesome (though I could’ve done without the totally out of place ‘True to Your Heart’ at the end) and it did some things to bend the common Disney rules.
I remember seeing the promos for the sequel and just being like….eh. This plot is really a reason for a sequel? Oh yeah, money.
Mulan 2….is about Shang proposing to Mulan and the three guys from the army, Yao, Ling and Chien-Po finding three princesses (sisters, no less) who are perfect for them. However, the princesses are all set for an arranged marriage, and Mulan, Shang and the boys are escorting them there. Gee, I wonder what will happen.
So we have a kick-ass female lead who saved China in a movie that only really touched upon romance (and, if you’ll remember, also brought up the topic of arranged marriages) but was mostly politics, war, some comedy and action. Follow that up with proposals, marriage, arranged marriage and a common sequel trope, giving practically everyone who ended up with no one in the last movie significant others. Uh. Huh.
One note about the poster, Mulan is never in her old army garb during the course of the entire movie, which, now that I really think about it, is immensely stupid.
I know they’re just on an escort mission, but they’re still transporting three princesses to a marriage that is supposed to greatly benefit China. Shang is the only one who wears armor during the entire movie, and guess what? He only wears it in the very beginning simply to show that he’s now a general. When he’s on the mission with Mulan and the others, he’s wearing regular clothes just like the rest of them.
Trusting a group of five people with a mission and with people this important was shaky enough, but not giving them armor is just stupid.
And look at that tag line – “The Epic Journey Continues.” Also known as “Well, we didn’t know what to say about this movie so we pulled out generic sequel tagline #387E.” Also, that’s a blatant lie. The ‘journey’ from the first movie had a solidified end, and the events of this movie, barring Mulan and Shang getting together, have 100% nothing to do with the first movie. The Huns don’t appear, no one’s here to avenge the Huns, it has nothing to do with war, there’s no army involved, there are no battles, there is no villain or even an antagonist; it’s just an escort mission with a bunch of tacked on romance crap.
Let’s get on with the review. I should at least be to the title screen before I burst a blood vessel.
Our movie starts out with Mushu who apparently is now treating the other honorable ancestors as servants who evidently are obliged to follow his every whim now…..Why? I have no damn clue. I know it’s implied that he got his job back after the events of the last movie, but the very last line indicates that he’s still a subordinate. How and why did it shift to him basically acting like an entitled douche with the honorable ancestors doing quite literally everything to sate his wishes? Even going so far as to blow into his bath with straws to make a whirlpool effect.
Cut to Mulan’s house where her parents and grandma are talking about whether or not Shang will propose to Mulan. Grandma starts a betting pool about whether or not he will, and of course he will. I guarantee they’ll be married by movie’s end….
A little girl who is so obnoxiously ‘cute’ I can clearly imagine that the script just puts “Obnoxiously cute little girl” by all of her lines shows up asking where Mulan is. Mulan’s mom says she’s out back doing chores, and we then see Mulan practicing martial arts with a rake.
Also, Mulan has been reunited with Little Brother, the little dog from the very beginning of the first movie. He’s here to be cute for this one scene and then disappear again for the rest of the movie….Why give her a dog at all? I was thinking maybe he was in these movies more than I thought, but no.
He’s there when Mulan’s getting dressed in the first movie then he vanishes never to be seen again. Then he appears for this opening scene and is never seen again. Do we just need an animal sidekick to fill in for Mushu when he’s not around?
The little girl, as well as a slue of other kids who pop out of nowhere, spot her and want her to teach them to do martial arts as well.
The art style is slightly different for this movie; common for Disney sequels. It’s not too bad, it just looks more simplistic and bright, but Mulan just doesn’t look like Mulan. Her face is too rounded now (though I’m aware her character design was slightly changed to be more pointed during scenes where she’s masquerading as a man; she still doesn’t look the same as her feminine design in the first movie), her hair doesn’t look right, her lips look huge from far away, and for some reason she keeps going cross-eyed when we pan away from her.
Mulan tries to teach the kids some moves, but her methods aren’t really sinking in with the kids so we have to have a song now; ‘Lesson Number 1.’ You know how some people rag on The Lion King 2 for having songs that are basically mirrors of the first movie’s songs? Well, this is basically the equivalent to ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ from the first movie only not nearly as catchy and instead of furthering the story or giving us any intel on a character, it’s just basically filler. It’s not that bad of a song to be honest, in fact it is somewhat catchy, but there’s no point to it.
Also, in the first shot of the song, Mulan grabs the same rake she was using, spins it in the air then the rake part suddenly disappears so that she can use it as a proper boh staff. I was actually expecting the head to fly off and hit some random passerby in the face, but it just vanishes.
And, really, these kids are doing some pretty damn impressive moves for ‘Lesson number 1.’
Shang shows up acting all awkward because love and whatnot, and he proposes to Mulan…In like three seconds….and we can’t hear what they’re saying. She leads him to the bench, she sits down, he kneels and not like a couple seconds later she’s, well, squeeing and tackling him to the ground. I’m sorry….is this the same Mulan? Like….at all? She was the real Mulan a minute ago but now she’s….squeeing. I get it, she’s happy she’s going to get married, mazel tov, but that just seems kinda OOC….
Mushu: “It seems like just last month we were saving China.”
Mulan: “It WAS last month.”
HUH!? A one month jump…That’s it? ….Well, I was going to bring up how that’s pretty fast for them to get married….especially considering he’s probably known Mulan a lot longer as a man than a woman, but seeing the arranged marriage angle I guess I can’t harp on it. Plus, that’s an eternity for a Disney romance.
Mulan, Shang and Mushu start preparing the wedding, and Mushu goes to tell the ancestors the good news. And the news is very good. For them. Because apparently there’s a rule that says once the daughter of the family has married, the guardians of the husband’s family take over. Meaning Mushu’s job is gone and he’s going back to gong boy. So they’re happier than Team Rocket at a giant insane contraption store. However, Mushu, obviously, is deeply saddened by this.
Here’s where we get another contrast to the first movie. The ancestors just seemed to be jerks to Mushu for the sake of being jerks before. He’s annoying to deal with, and that probably contributed to it, but they still treated him like crap when it seemed unprompted. Here, you sympathize far more with the ancestors as they cheer Mushu’s future firing because Mushu has been acting like an obnoxious egotistical power-abuser this whole time.
Meanwhile, Mulan and Shang are talking with a bunch of people about their wedding plans, and Mulan’s parents notice that Shang and Mulan have basically completely opposite opinions on how their wedding should be and their future plans after they’re married. Uh oh! Not like opposites attract and there’s such a thing as compromise or anything. THEY’RE DOOMED!
…..They really never realized that they have such stark and contrasting views on nearly everything until now?
A soldier bursts in saying the emperor has summoned them for an incredibly important meeting. Before they head off, Mulan’s parents give them the lesson of Yin and Yang (opposites work in harmony, but only if they decide to work together) and they give each of them a half of their own Taijitu (Yin Yang) necklaces that have been passed down through the generations.
Mushu, watching this, uses their opposite-ness as an excuse to be a selfish ass and vows to tear them apart since Mulan can never be happy with someone so different – proving that Mushu never listens to a damn thing and is annoying as hell. But hey we needed more conflict….
The emperor has summoned the meeting to give them an important mission. Relations with another kingdom are shaky, and he wants to avoid war with that nation by forging an alliance through marriage. His daughters will marry some Lord guy’s sons…..Wow, he has daughters that young when he’s THAT old? Dang, dude.
Mulan is against it, but doesn’t really voice her concerns that much against the emperor because, well, royalty…..And ya know…she had nothing really against it in the first movie. She was actually disappointed that she couldn’t get matched….
And the alternative is another war in China, Mulan. This is definitely one of those times when the lives of many outweighs the happiness of a few. I’m not saying I like the concept of arranged marriages, but in China, especially in her era, it was pretty commonplace wasn’t it? Why is she so against it now?
Shang says he only needs three soldiers to complete the job and we cut to Ling, Yao and Chien-Po being thrown out of the matchmaker’s office while she screams that she’d never be able to find wives for men with such little personality….They have plenty of personality, they’re just stupid. Also, I have to wonder why this matchmaker exists. She seems to only find matches for gorgeous perfectly mannered people who honestly would have no trouble finding husbands/wives on their own.
They wonder why they can’t find anyone for them, and they list off all the stuff they’re looking for in women; that they’ll treat them like gods and do menial chores for them….I’m so unbelievably glad that the events of the last movie taught them a lesson about sexism.
Keeping up with the theme of taking a song from the last movie and just making a different song that basically conveys the same message theme going, we get the mirror to ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For’ with ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For (Reprise)’ Yup….it’s the exact same song just with only the three of them singing instead of a whole army and slightly different lyrics. Meaning it’s the same song only not nearly as good. Talk about lazy.
Actually, this song just makes you wish you were listening to the original version because this version is depressing. The first one was them singing about them being hopeful of finding wives once the war was over. This one is them singing about how they’re depressed that they can’t find wives now that the war is over.
Why aren’t they getting more respect anyway? Mulan and Shang seem to be doing incredibly well and appear to be very popular, but these guys don’t get any respect. Granted, they are still idiots, but they mean well for the most part.
The song ends as abruptly as the original’s when the boys get thrown out of a restaurant for fighting. You know, the abrupt ending of the song in the original was due to the sudden transition between hope, daydreaming about romance and playfulness to seeing a village completely destroyed and seeing evidence that a small girl died in the attack. In this version, the song ends abruptly because the original’s did. There’s no sudden change in tone, it’s just that they got thrown out.
They see Mulan and Shang before them who tell them that they have a mission for them if they want to take it, and they eagerly agree.
Cut to later that night where the guarding and escorting begin. Cue the first ‘Disney princess-esque falling in love at first sight’ thing where Yao instantly goes goo-goo eyed over the princess with the two side buns.
At this point, you can predict nearly everything that will happen in this movie. Four major things.
1) The princesses will each fall in love with the boys.
2) The princesses will end up with the boys, and relations between the other kingdom will end up fine otherwise for some reason.
3) Mulan will marry Shang
4) Mushu will try to ruin their marriage, but will not be able to go through with it or feel regret and reverse whatever he does and get his old job or a better one at the end of the movie despite the fact that he doesn’t deserve it.
Since there’s no antagonist presented to us, those are the only things I can imagine will happen.
The girl with the hair buns likes Yao as well, and uses the opportunity of a water break to chat him up.
The giggly girl with the weird ponytail is gathering pears so since this is food related….Chien-Po?
Chien-Po helps her reach some pears so I guess they’re in love now.
The third girl with hoop ponytails who seems to be the oldest and most responsible disapproves of this. Since she’s the only left, I guess she gets Ling. Wait, her name is Ting-Ting?……They’re going to be Ling and Ting-Ting?……..Excuse me. I need to laugh for a few minutes.
*a few minutes later*
Ahh, that’s better. Ling seems to have a harder time with Ting-Ting since his romantic pick-up tactic is to jump out from behind a tree and bombard her with awful jokes like an obnoxious stand-up comedian. She actually runs from him, but it’s quite obvious that she’s trying her best not to burst out laughing the entire time, so they’re fine.
Mei, hair bun girl, talks with Mulan about how she saved China by following her heart, which we know is really her asking about advice on whether she she should go through with this whole arranged marriage deal or not.
Shifting focus to Mushu, we see his brilliant ‘break up Mulan and Shang’ plan is just playing a bunch of stupid pranks on Shang. Yes, I’m so sure accidentally hooking his fishing line to his belt or being chased by bees will really make Mulan want to dump his hot army general ass.
Mushu’s plans all fail since Mulan’s not the type to get pissed at someone over their own misfortune.
Mushu laments in his failures, and, in a small temper tantrum, accidentally causes the carriage that was holding the princesses to roll downhill. Mulan, Shang and the boys save them, but in the process they fall off a cliff and into a river. Everyone’s okay, and Mu-shit won’t even admit that it was his fault and uses the accident’s minor tensions to further his plans in breaking Mulan and Shang up.
I hate Mushu. He’s a pointless, annoying character who only had a few funny lines in the original. While he was just unneeded in the original, he’s incredibly annoying here.
Shang is indeed slightly angered at the accident, but Mulan is optimistic. Shang states that the only way to get to their destination since their route has changed is through a mountain pass shown on the map, but Mulan says they can follow the river, which will likely lead to a village where they can find a road. However, since no roads or villages are on the map, Shang doesn’t want to go. And then we get the “What is it with men and asking for directions?” little lovers’ tiff.
I’m not lying, that’s exactly what they say word for word. “What is it with men and asking for directions?” “What is it with WOMEN and maps?!” Real original you guys are getting here. That joke is only told by everyone, everywhere at all times since the concept of directions came to be.
Yao interrupts the spat to show them a nearby forest path leading to a village and a road. This revelation makes Mulan and Shang apologize to each other and they hug. Oh, wackiness. Their necklaces get tangled! Whompwhomp.
Mushu is watching this and says he’s also going to use this to break them up because he’s a dick.
Meanwhile, back at camp, Ling is nice to Ting-Ting again, but is awkward because he thinks she hates his jokes. Mei catches on that Ting-Ting and Ling like each other, but Ting-Ting won’t admit it. Seeing that her sister won’t even admit to herself that she shares a special Disney connection with a man she just met yesterday, Mei gets fed up with it all and starts writing a letter stating that she’s going to run away.
Ting-Ting and Su (Weird ponytail girl) catch her doing this and Ting-Ting reminds them all that it’s their duty as princesses to serve their country and marry as they were told. We segue into a slow and somber song about their duty as princesses, which is actually quite nice, and if I wanted to add the mirrored songs formula to this, I guess this part would be ‘Reflection’ but it quickly changes tone and becomes a lighthearted and happy song called ‘Disney Princess wants more out of life #2277436TG3’ I mean uh ‘Like Other Girls.’
While the opening is really nice to listen to, the rest of the song is standard sequel song fare. I will say it’s got a slightly more memorable melody than many other Disney sequel songs, but it does nothing different.
Meanwhile, Mushu’s being an asshole again as he tries to subconsciously trick Shang in his sleep by whispering bad things about Mulan into his ear. He sets up big puppets made of junk outside of Shang’s tent and somehow makes his voice sound exactly like Mulan’s. Using the silhouettes, he acts like Mulan is secretly insulting him behind his back to the princesses, calling him stupid and saying his breath stinks. Right, I’m so sure Mulan would be that mean….and stupid considering that she would be saying that stuff directly outside of his tent…
Also, he’s not wondering why she has poles connecting to her arms or why her head’s the size of a pumpkin? How did both she and the princesses instantly vanish when he burst from his tent? How did Mushu do that so quickly? Wouldn’t he wonder why he didn’t see her run off to her post to act like nothing happened?
Shang’s being a big ol’ idiot here, but I guess that was needed to make some modicum of conflict. Shang yells at Mulan for what she ‘said’ and Yao switches with her for guard duty while she vents to Mushu. Mushu takes this opening to suggest that Shang doesn’t trust her and she should dump him. I assume just to get the plot moving more, she actually agrees…..
Girl, if you’re seriously considering dumping him for being a little grumpy and having a moment that seems completely out of character for him and seems like a misunderstanding, maybe you should break up because obviously your relationship doesn’t have much standing if that can shake it, let alone break it.
While Mulan’s ranting to Mushu, Yao and the boys ask the princesses if they’d like to sneak out and see the local village by moonlight. They agree, and the group goes off, but Mushu spots them and tells Mulan who decides to go after them on her own. She asks Mushu to ensure that Shang doesn’t wake up to avoid him getting any angrier, so of course he does the opposite and wakes Shang up by banging cymbals in his ear.
Shang wonders where everyone is, and finds the note that Mei was writing earlier. She uses similar terminology as Mulan was using earlier, so he assumes Mulan convinced the girls to run away from their arranged marriages. He dons his horse and runs off after them.
Okay, Mushu’s just being an ass for the sake of being an ass now. Mulan is already considering breaking up with Shang at this point, and Shang is super pissed at Mulan. Why purposely try to ruin the budding love lives of the boys and princesses on top of that? Especially since there was no guarantee that anything would prompt further fighting between Shang and Mulan before he does this.
In the first movie, sure he was annoying, but he had good intentions albeit with ulterior motives of getting his job back. Here he’s willing to do everything in his power to ensure that Mulan and Shang hate each other and possibly keep Mulan from ever getting married in her life just to ensure that he keeps his cushy life of leisure while also possibly causing another war.
Cut to the village where they’re apparently having a festival. We see how perfect each of the girls are for the boys since Su adores food and always has food with her, Mei treats Yao like a hero when he shows off his strength, and Ting-Ting not only laughs her ass off at Ling’s awful jokes, but apparently she also finds similar stupidity like shoving chopsticks up your nose hilarious.
Also, the thing that finally sets off her laughing is Ling accidentally getting blown up when fireflies land on the fuses for firecrackers…….There’s no part of that sentence that makes sense.
This is just….unbelievable on so many levels. The coincidences are just so ridiculous. Three single guys who don’t think they have a chance at finding wives because their expectations are too stupid and sexist instantly meet three beautiful princesses who want true love and magically have personalities that mesh perfectly with the personalities and expectations of the boys, AND all of them instantly fall in love with each other at first meeting. Damn.
Mulan catches them, and the girls explain that they’re all in love (and I swear the movie actually seems to want to point out how much of a stretch this plot is when Mei is actually listing off that all of them are couples now.) Mulan could not be happier for them, but Shang’s not.
He arrives on the scene and lectures them all. He tells the princesses that their father would be ashamed of them if he heard that they were abandoning their duties to go through with the arranged marriage, and he commands to the boys that they are to escort the princesses to their destination and do everything possible to avoid them and not speak a word to them.
Mulan tries to reason with Shang, but he continues on his rampage next giving her a lecture about how it’s ridiculous that she values what her heart tells her over duty, honor and tradition. Mulan defends herself stating that those things are important to her, but she listens to her heart to guide her through them.
Mulan then says that Shang’s a great warrior, but he doesn’t know how to follow his heart and she wonders if he even has one. He states that this mission has taught him that they’re very different people and – FFS we get it already! You don’t need to keep bringing up the stuff about them being different.
We’ve already had the message for this given to us in the beginning. Two people can be completely opposite, but when they work together they can achieve great things. Yin. Yang. Necklaces. You don’t need to bludgeon us to death with the damn message of this plot point. This overkill even for a kids movie.
They’re broken up I guess and everyone’s miserable except Mushu because he’s a delusional asshole. The boys get around the no-talking-to-the-princesses rule by loudly talking to each other about what they’d say to the princesses if they were allowed to talk to them, and they say luvey duvey stuff while Shang and Mulan mope some more while looking at their damn necklaces and bringing up the opposite stuff again.
Mushu tries to cheer her up, and she says a few words of praise to Mushu which causes him to break down in guilt….yeah he’s been gloating this entire time and hasn’t felt a tinge of guilt, but her saying that she can always count on him makes him break down in guilt. Yeah, sure, whatever. Guess we just needed to get that plotline out of the way.
Mushu admits everything to Mulan, who realizes that all of the problems that caused them to break up didn’t actually exist; it was all Mushu. So she runs off to tell Shang that she loves him…..
Well, okay, yes the stuff with the map and the talking outside his tent and the stupid stuff was Mushu, but you guys still have to work out the ‘duty over heart’ problem in your relationship. That actually is fairly significant as a relationship issue, and Mushu wasn’t really the cause of that one……..That’s never going to be addressed seriously, is it? It’s going to be brushed off and they’ll live happily ever after, aren’t they? Goddamn it…
Well, they’ve said the group’s in bandit country twice already so I guess bandits are going to attack soon—yup there they are. Nice to finally have identity-less antagonists. The bandits don’t really want the girls, they just want the money the group has, but since they can’t remove a giant bracelet from Mei’s incredibly small wrist and hand, they try to kidnap her.
They try to get her across a bridge, but Shang and Mulan stop her and hand her off to the others who have defeated the other bandits. Well, there was your battle for….the entire movie…..That was lame. Mulan and Shang still have a couple of bandits to handle, but they eventually get away and cut the ropes on the bridge. Mulan tries to hold onto Shang as they hang from the breaking ropes, be seeing that the rope won’t hold, he lets himself fall into the rocky crevice below.
What a tragic turn of events.
Let us hold a candlelit vigil for Shang who is totally dead. I will miss him being alive. But he is no longer alive because he is currently deceased.
By the way, that rope doesn’t look like it could hold a puppy right now, let alone Mulan.
Later, during a downpour, because it always has to rain when things are sad, the group is watching Mulan actually have a pretty dramatic breakdown while standing at the site of where the bridge was. She collapses with her sword in the ground and spends the rest of the night in that position.
Despite the tragedy of losing Shang who is no longer living and is dead, Mulan decides to continue with the mission to not make Shang’s death in which he died and stopped living meaningless. However, she says ‘no’ when Ting-Ting says they’re ready to go through with the marriage and that their only orders are to protect each other……which…is the exactly opposite of what Shang wanted, but whatever.
Down in the river, Shang’s horse who I guess ran off between scenes, is sniffing around the river bed when we see, shock of all shocks, Shang, burst through the water and grab onto the horse’s reigns while he drags him to shore. I guess falls off of 300 foot cliffs only kill Disney villains. He’s also perfectly fine except he lost his hair elastic and a shirt. How convenient; both for the film and everyone who wanted some sweet Shang fanservice.
At the other kingdom place in Qui Gong (Which apparently doesn’t exist, and the closest thing I found with that name is a Chinese healing and wellness exercise, but feel free to correct me) Mulan apparently is the only one who has arrived. She states that the carriage that they were using fell into the river on the way to the palace and everyone died except for her.
However, the lord says a marriage was promised and without one he will not unite with the middle kingdom. Mulan offers herself to marry one of his sons instead and since she’s the hero of China, he…..agrees—oh God no….No, you are not going there. We’ve had enough damn cliches for one day. We don’t need a stopped wedding cliché too. Please. Halt what you are doing. Turn around now, for the love of God.
The lord guy says Mulan will marry his eldest son, Chiki or maybe Chi Qi, who, to further the point that this marriage won’t happen, is an awkward little troll who has a thing about getting his fingers caught in Chinese finger traps. And to REALLY drive the point home, he actually doesn’t like her because she’s ‘so ooollllldddd’……
The boys and princesses look at the hillside where the palace is I guess because they’re wondering why it’s taking so long for Mulan to finish the mission, but Mei asks how she can even complete the mission if they’re not there. Shang shows up stating that Mulan will take their place. He’s explains that Mulan was right all along and that no one should have to marry someone that they don’t love….How that character development randomly came to pass I do not know. I guess when it comes to losing your ticket to sex, you’d change your mind pretty quickly.
Oh and have I mentioned they keep bringing up something called ‘The Golden Dragon of Unity’ that apparently everyone obeys without question? Never brought up in the original, but it’s all the rage now. Yeah, Mushu’s a dragon too. Just sayin’.
Anyway, Mulan prepares for the wedding and as the ceremony is about to complete, Shang throws a…Shuriken? A shuriken…….were those ever commonly used in China? I thought those were a Japanese weapon, hence the Japanese name.
From my research, the earliest known recording of shuriken-like weapons used was the 17th century; Mulan’s supposed to take place in the Han dynasty which was, at most, in the 2nd century while teetering into 3rd. But I guess they wanted a dramatic way of cutting the ribbon thing that bonded them.
Shang and Mulan reunite, and Shang says he won’t let Mulan marry someone she doesn’t love and that he intends on marrying her right there. I guess Mulan has nothing to say about this. She’s been pretty damn boring all movie…
Anyway, lord whatshisface won’t take this and orders his guards to pull them apart and continue with the marriage. However, Mushu poses as the Golden Dragon of Unity through a giant statue of it and says the marriage will not go on. He marries Mulan and Shang right there, releases the princesses from their vows and allows them to marry whomever they please, and “whomever pleases them, because that’s very important.” Huh, nice subtle sex joke, Disney. It’s good to get one of those out every now and then.
Everyone believes him because there’s no better way to wrap up nearly every plot point in the movie than by having a god tell you everything is wrapped up.
Shang and Mulan kiss as do Mei and Yao, Su and Chien-po and Ting-Ting and Ling, and everything’s all good.
We cut to some time later at Mulan’s family temple where Mushu’s taking down his stuff since he’s being demoted. The guardians couldn’t be happier until Shang and Mulan show up. Gee I wonder if they’ll do something that restores Mushu’s job even though he in no way deserves it because he’s an ass.
Instead of shifting guardianship to Shang’s ancestors, Shang puts some plate at the shrine which merges the family ancestors or something which means Mushu gets to keep his job. Hm, it’s almost like Mushu should’ve told Mulan about his troubles and tried to figure out something like this at the beginning of the movie. But you’d need genius levels of intelligence to have that kind of forethought and being a jackass is just as good.
In the excitement, Mushu reveals his existence to Shang, but Shang already knows since Mulan told him after they got married. Since that’s out of the way, Mushu decides to start acting like a spoiled little turd again and I still do not understand why he can do this.
I understand that the other guardians can treat him like crap when he’s the gong ringer because he’s obviously their subordinate, but why the hell do they have to be his slaves when they’re on equal grounds? And ending on Mushu acting like a spoiled little twat when he’s done nothing but be an asshole all movie is just annoying and stupid.
As the credit—Wait….that’s it? What happened with the princesses? Does their father believe them to be dead?!? Are they okay with that!? Are the boys going to be royalty now? What the hell?!
Anyway, as the credits start, we hear a pop version of Like Other Girls by Atomic Kitten and it sure is awful. As the credits get further, we hear another song that I guess was cut from the film called Here Beside Me, and I would’ve much rather heard that really nice slow and gentle song over that poppy piece of trash.
Art and Animation: This film actually stands up pretty well in a technical sense. The art’s good, not as good as the original, but definitely not the same drastic change in quality that most Disney sequels get.
It does get kicked up in some of the more vital scenes like Shang’s ‘death’, Mulan’s mourning and the wedding. The backgrounds, however, are pretty pathetic sometimes, especially the just plain, for lack of a better word, cartoony background of the first scene with Mulan.
Music: Again it’s not as bad as it could be considering other Disney sequels, but they’re not as good as the original’s. The first one is obviously a mirror to ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You,’ but it’s original enough in melody and lyrics to stand on its own. I’d gladly listen to it again.
The second is just a different version of ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For,’ literally.
The third one is catchy but has silly lyrics and an awful pop version sung by Atomic Kitten. The opening’s really well done though. I wish ‘Here Beside Me’ made it into the actual film instead of being a last minute addition to the credits. It would’ve added some grandness to their relationship and the romantic feeling of the movie.
Voice Acting: Everyone did fine, and most of the original cast returned for this movie. However, it doesn’t really sound like many of the actors are giving as much effort as the first movie. I mean that as in it doesn’t sound like they’re really trying hard to be characters instead of just reciting their lines with emotion behind it. Also, Eddie Murphy doesn’t reprise his role here. Yes, Eddie Murphy, star of so many bad movies and resident annoying animal sidekick in Shrek, didn’t come back for Mulan 2. That should’ve been a red flag right there. Instead he’s voiced by Mark Moseley who admittedly does a very good impression of Murphy.
Bottom Line: The story is unneeded to say the absolute least. It’s obviously one of those sequels that exists purely to give any character who didn’t get a love interest in the last movie a love interest (I’m surprised Mushu didn’t get one) and to take advantage of the ‘We didn’t show it in the last movie, so we have an excuse to show it here’ ‘rule’ with sequels by marrying Shang and Mulan.
While Mulan continues to practice martial arts, she only fights once in this movie in a really, really short fight scene with a bunch of nameless bandits. She only does one really cool move and that’s it. I’m not lying, Mulan is really boring in this movie. She seemed like she’d be cooler given the first scene that she’s in but nope. Just ‘be true to your heart, I don’t like the idea of arranged marriages and OHEMGEE UR IN LOVE!? *squee!*’ For a movie called Mulan 2 she really doesn’t do much.
It’s cliché, boring and convoluted as sin. That Mushu storyline was also put in there just to pad out time. In addition, it’s a terrible plotline in itself. Mushu’s an asshole the whole time and ends up on top in the end, ready to be waited on for eternity. Hell, Mulan will be an ancestor one day. Is Mushu going to make her scrub the gunk between his toes?
Without a villain of any kind or any real conflict besides ones we know will turn out fine because of how cliché they are, the movie just falls flat. It’s boring.
In addition, Yao, Ling and Chien-po don’t learn to be less sexist – they just find three women who perfectly fit their ideals of women.
If a really young kid liked Mulan and also really loved romance stories, they’d probably enjoy this a little. For anyone who liked Mulan for focusing more on having a powerful story and great action instead of relying on romance this and romance that, ‘we can make stupid storylines because love,’ this will just make you shake your head.
Recommended Audience: Quite literally nothing. No real violence you wouldn’t see on Kim Possible and nothing else really questionable. I mentioned one sex joke, but really it’s so subtle no kid on earth would get it. It’s so subtle I’m really wondering if it’s not just my filthy mind playing tricks on me. E for everyone…..but I wouldn’t watch it again.
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Wow, my third award nomination. Thank you very much to Mochirochi for nominating me for a Liebster award! I felt like I skimped on the nominees for the Real Neat Blog Award, so I scoured my follow list for a hefty pack of awesome, yet below 200 followers, blogs that everyone should check out. 🙂
Here are the rules of the Liebster Awards
1 – Thank and link back to your nominator.
2 – Answer the 11 questions given by the nominator
3 – Nominate 5-11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
4 – Create 11 new questions for your nominees
5 – Let your nominees know that you have nominated them via social media or their blogs.
Answers to Mochirochi’s questions
1 – What Made You Start Blogging?
I wanted a more organized and ‘legit’ place to put all of my budding anime reviews/analyses/sub dub comparisons and whatnot. After years having them be merely posts on a forum to eventually get buried and probably forgotten, I wanted a place of my own to not only keep the ball rolling on my reviews etc. but also discover other anime reviewers, have great discussions and discover new things.
2 – What is Your Favorite Anime/Drama?
This is always a very tough question since my ‘lists’ in these regards are constantly changing while rethinking things. Since I listed FMA: Brotherhood in my 30 day anime challenge, I’ll step down a peg and say…Fruits Basket, though I still have to keep knocking off points for not having a very solid resolution and not getting to two members of the zodiac (Kureno and Rin, the rooster and horse respectively) I just love all of the characters, the art, the story, the great mixture of comedy and drama; it’s just fantastic.
3 – If You Could Live Anywhere in the World, Where Would You Live and Why?
I….don’t really know. I mean, I’d love to live in several places for a while to enjoy the scenery, culture and history such as Ireland, New Zealand, Italy and, because it’s totally not expected for an anime fan to say this, Japan, but if it was for years or permanently, I really wouldn’t know where I’d most like to live. Hell, I haven’t even really had time, money or anything to explore my own country, haha.
4 – What is One Trend in Anime/Dramas That You Hate?
I’m gonna list two because the first is really predictable from me; the School Days Effect, which is what I’ve named the trend that is most common in harem anime where pretty much any girl in the show instantly falls for the main lead guy no matter how boring or terrible of a character he may be (See – Makoto) For reverse harems, you could probably rename it to the Fushigi Yuugi effect…
And poorly executed fanservice. Notice I didn’t say fanservice as a whole. I’ve come to accept that fanservice is never going away, and I can’t knock it too much without being a hypocrite because I do like fanservice aimed at female viewers. What I don’t like, however, is when the fanservice is just lazy. Some instances of fanservice have made me laugh out loud simply because of how ridiculously convoluted and even clever a situation turned out simply to get in a panty shot or a boob grab.
However, the most common forms of fanservice are the most lazy. Have a character in completely ridiculous and barely-there clothing so we can always see her panties and her boobs have plenty of bounce room. Have the main male lead accidentally fall somehow causing a female character to lose clothes, or have him land on top of her for a boob grope or a suggestive position. Have a female character be super clumsy for loads of panty shots and boob bounce-age.
The worst offenders here are when the fanservice actually interferes with the plot. I have seen several instances of characters talking about plot points and story developments only to have the shot rest on a girl’s boobs, or in the case of 11Eyes, just unashamedly directing the camera up a girl’s skirt during an important conversation. That’s basically a big red flag for me that says the people working on the show are outright telling me that the story is not worth paying attention to. There’s panties or boobs in the room, it’s much more vital to look at those! Drives me nuts…
Sorry, hehe. Ranty side got the better of me there.
5 – What is Your Favorite Anime/Drama?
Come on, Mochirochi, I know I said my list changes all the time, but it’s only been a few minutes!
6 – What is One Thing That You Didn’t Like About It?
One thing I didn’t like about Fruits Basket? Outside of the ‘unfinished’ ending, the lack of insight into Akito was also a negative to me. He’s such an important character to not have much exploration. Hell, Ritsu got way more exploration that he did.
7 – What is Your Least Favorite Anime/Drama?
I’ve wailed on Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden and School Days enough for now, so I’m gonna throw the baton to Eiken. I haven’t posted my review on that yet, but in a nutshell it’s a completely unfunny, ungodly huge boobed, horribly written, awful visual and audio experience that’s best feature is being mercifully short. It’s not even good for fanservice, unless your preferred bra cup size is parachute.
8 – What is One Thing That You Liked About It?
Outside of being short?……uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……….Errr…….Uhmmmmm………..One thing….liked….about…Eiken….
…….There was a giant teddy bea—no that was badly designed, didn’t do anything, and wasn’t even a robot, just a girl in a costume.
…….Kyoko was okay?
9 – If You Could Change One Thing In Your Life, What Would It Be and Why?
I’d be more socially outgoing because not being so, at all, is a real crimp on my life.
10 – What’s Your Favorite Joke?
Wow, that’s another tough one, especially since it encompasses so much media. Instead of an actual answer, I’ll just say the joke that instantly came to mind upon reading the question. From Futurama:
Robot: “Is heaven missing an angel? Cuz you got nice cans!”
11 – What is One Thing You Want Readers to Take Away from Your Blog?
Appreciation and heightened enjoyment of animation as a whole. Being critical of it to see more improvement, not blindly following junk to perpetuate it, and respecting the work that goes into every frame.
Well, that was a tough set this time around, but I had a lot of fun! I’m losing a bit of creativity with my questions for these awards, but let’s see what I got in me.
Misty’s Sisters/The Sensational Sisters/Lily, Daisy and Violet: I really hate these three. They’re airheaded valley girls whose voices pierce my soul. Beyond that, what’s there to say about them?
They’re Misty’s three spoiled older sisters who partake in aquatic shows at the Cerulean Gym where they hail as completely ineffectual Gym Leaders to the point where I have no clue how the Cerulean Gym even became a thing. Either they inherited it or Misty must really be a lot more impressive off screen, which, considering post-departure episodes that feature Misty, is probably true.
They poke fun at Misty and treat her like an outcast, they may be fraternal triplets though I have no clue how such an assortment of hair colors (blue, blond, red and hot pink) can come from only two parents….They have no interest in battling, seem to suck at it when they do, and they hand Badges out like candy. I have no clue why Misty thought it was a good idea to leave the gym in their hands.
Pokemon: The gym seems to harbor many Water Pokemon, but Seel, a Goldeen and later a Luvdisc seem to be the main ones.
Badge episode – Cascade Badge: Cerulean Gym
Plot: Ash arrives at Cerulean City to get his second Badge, but Misty’s been acting strange the entire way there. She desperately doesn’t want to go to the city but won’t give a reason as to why. She suddenly disappears, and the boys stumble upon a store that was recently burglarized. After being hounded by the odd Officer Jenny, they discover that the thieves took a giant vacuum with a giant hose and nothing more. Later, Brock wanders off to do something while Ash goes for his Badge.
He arrives at what he thinks is the Gym only to find three sisters performing a synchronized swimming show. He discovers that the girls actually are the Gym Leaders, and he challenges them to a match. However, they’ve recently been steamrolled by three Trainers from Pallet and only have a Goldeen to battle with, so they offer him the Badge without a battle.
He’s about to reluctantly accept when Misty comes out of nowhere to stop him. She announces that she is also one of the ‘Sensational Sisters’ of Cerulean City and one of the Gym Leaders, so she’ll battle Ash in their place.
Misty starts off with Staryu. Ash tries to start off with Pikachu, but he refuses to fight his friend. Instead, Ash uses Butterfree. He manages to put up a good fight, but Staryu knocks Butterfree into the water, making him unable to fly and unable to continue. Both of them recall their Pokemon for round two with Starmie battling for Misty and Pidgeotto for Ash.
Starmie struggles with Pidgeotto and nearly gets knocked out for good when Team Rocket shows up with the stolen vacuum. They suck up all the water in the Cerulean Gym’s pool along with a Seel. They nab Pikachu too, but he Thundershocks the water and subsequently Team Rocket and saves the day.
Afterward, Daisy gives Ash a Cascade Badge claiming he would’ve easily won against Misty’s all Water Pokemon lineup if Pikachu had decided to battle, and he saved their Gym so he earned it. Misty begrudgingly lets it pass, and Brock returns to join them as they bid farewell to the sisters and head back on their journey.
– Haha, in the recap, as Ash runs away, you can see the Cerulean City sign back to Japanese. ….Eh, it’s a hollow victory in 4Kids’ early years.
– If it’s such a bother for Misty to go back home, why doesn’t she just…..not? I’m not saying she has to stop following Ash, but she could just say she has errands to run and go off into town while Ash gets his badge. Brock left, why can’t she?……Hey, why did Brock leave anyway? And why is he so sneaky about it? If they weren’t going to give a reason, then….just why? Less people to animate/draw?
– Wait, now Ash’s ID in Dexter has barcodes on it? I don’t get it.
– Ya know….the Boulder Badge doesn’t prove that Brock was the leader of Pewter City’s Gym. It just proves that he has a Badge. Ash has one too – can he show it off claiming to be the Pewter City Gym Leader?
– Brock knows the Cerulean Gym Leader and his ‘special move’? I guess that makes sense considering he’s a Gym Leader too, but why wouldn’t he say anything to Misty or Ash? Or is he under the assumption that someone else is the current Cerulean Gym Leader?
– Man, even when the Goldeen isn’t Misty’s, it’s still treated like garbage. Poor Goldeen….
– How can Goldeen be ‘the only Pokemon’ you have left if you obviously have a Seel?
– I really don’t get how any of these girls are Gym Leaders. Misty’s sisters are awful in battling, and Misty’s treated like she’s basically not much better than a novice and only recently decided to go off to hone her skills as a Trainer. How exactly did a Gym end up in their hands?
– Misty: *after Staryu is hit by Stun Spore* “Oh no! It looks like Staryu is in real pain!” But Stun Spore paralyzes you. Shouldn’t it actually be numb?
– Any particular reason Misty is speaking in third-person when she’s calling out her Pokemon?
– What’s the big deal if Pikachu gets sucked up into the vacuum thing? Seel did, and he just ended up outside….somehow. I think because the vacuum empties out through a hose outside, but then again I don’t know Team Rocket’s capture plan if it was that easy to get out.
– As much as I hate to say it, Daisy does have a point in saying that Pikachu would’ve won the match pretty easily for Ash if he was willing to battle. But the fact of the matter is that his refusal to battle is pretty much the mark of a bad Trainer.
Yes, Misty is Pikachu’s friend, but so is Ash and he’s battling her. It’s not like he’s ordering Pikachu to attack her physically, so I can’t see much of a reason as to why he refuses to battle, especially considering that he’s perfectly fine with said battle much later on in Johto.
Most of all, it’s another pity Badge…Ash claims he was close to winning, but not really. It was really a draw considering it was 1 to 1.
All in all, I’m pretty torn about this episode. I usually like Badge episodes, but it’s a really polarizing match with the Pikachu factor and the tie. Misty’s sisters always annoy me, but they do have rare moments where they’re nice. Brock’s disappearance was just weird and his reappearance was just as jarring and rushed.
Next up, our first filler episode with AJ and the unofficial Pokemon Gym!
This award seems to act very much like the Sunshine award, but with seven questions instead of the ten I was given. Neato! (Puns?)
Here are the rules:
1: Put the logo for the award in your post.
2: Answer the seven questions asked by the person who nominated you.
3: Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
4: Nominate any number of bloggers that you like, linking to their blogs.
5: Let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blogs.
Answers to Krystallina’s Questions
1: Would you rather be a Phantom Thief or the cop that chases one?
I’d rather be the thief. >:3 Though, I’m a bit of goody two-shoes, so in reality I’d probably end up as the cop.
2: What series do you think is the most overhyped?
I don’t really follow new anime enough to get a good grasp on that, but in a similar vein I believe the hype for anything Attack on Titan related is really out of hand. The second season isn’t even out yet and it’s already invaded practically every facet of media. I liked AoT, but the long stretches of story that end up with little resolution were a bit too much of a slap for me to get hyped very much for it anymore. I couldn’t even enjoy the manga due to its chicken scratch art (though it was admittedly very detailed on the titans).
3: What series do you think deserves more attention?
That’s a tough one….I wish 07 Ghost got more attention. Then maybe we could actually get a continuation since the series ended on such a cliffhanger. The art is great, the story is solid, the characters are likable and well-designed, the music is gorgeous. It’s just a great series all around.
4: What series would you never watch or read again unless you were paid to?
Hm….I’m bordering between Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden and School Days. Each are basically tied for my most hated anime, but if I had to choose it’d be Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden. Give School Days credit, Makoto may be a horrible person and most of the cast may be horny idiots, but at least he gets his comeuppance in the end. Perhaps too extreme for his crimes, but some payoff anyway.
Mayo in FYE just gets put on a gigantic pedestal after she does all of her deeds, and her acts can definitely been seen as much worse than Makoto’s what with her threatened and attempted baby murder. Everyone forgives her without a thought and she’s accepted as a new BFF in the Suzaku gang and even possibly gets a boyfriend in Miaka’s brother. That series makes me angry just thinking about it. >.<;;
5: What’s your favorite color?
Purple. Though my favorite color combo is black and orange. (Love Halloween)
6: Have you ever listened to Vocaloid music, and would you consider yourself a fan?
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Vocaloid track full out, though I do have a few friends who are fans. It seems alright, I just never got into it.
7: If you could have any animal for a pet, what would it be?
Branching away from traditional, tamed animals, probably a fox. Branching away from real animals, a flying lemur. (<3 Momo)
Plot: Yugi accepts Pegasus’ invitation to Duelist Kingdom in order to recover his grandfather’s soul. Yugi helps Jonouchi get aboard the ship heading for the tournament by giving him one of his star chips, while Anzu and Honda sneak onboard.
While aboard, they meet some of their future opponents; Insect Haga, Dinosaur Ryuzaki and Mai Kujaku. Haga gets his hands on the Exodia cards and throws them overboard to ensure that they can never be used against him. Jonouchi jumps into the waters below to recover the cards but can only retrieve two before needing rescue. After being rescued by Anzu, Honda and Yugi, Jonouchi tells them of his sister’s medical troubles, which is why he desperately needs the prize money from the tournament.
In the original, as Yugi’s on the school roof, he sees Pegasus’s face overlaid on the sunset as he thinks about his Millennium Eye and how he could see his cards. In the dub, Pegasus has been replaced by Yugi’s grandpa and he’s worrying about his grandpa instead.
Entire Show Edit: All flashbacks now have fuzzy white borders, common of all 4Kids productions.
A running ‘proverb’ so to speak throughout the show is ‘that which can be seen, yet not seen,’ the true shape of the Millennium Puzzle before finishing it, friendship etc. The dub completely omits this.
In the original, a bigger bully named Ushio sorta hired himself as Yugi’s bodyguard to take care of Jonouchi and Honda for him, since they were bullying him, for a lump sum. In the dub version, he’s unnamed, and Ushio makes no mention of any bodyguard deal. Also they add that they got Ushio expelled.
Mai in the original version basically ignores Jonouchi entirely upon their first meeting. In the dub she’s very mean to him for no reason. I guess this is to prod the JoeyxMai relationship in a weird way?
Directly after that scene, Anzu is upset that Yugi and Jonouchi are lusting after Mai and calls them perverts. In the dub, T’ea is upset because Mai’s so arrogant and keeps babbling that Yugi’s the best duelist. I guess this is to prod YugixT’ea?
Name Change: Mai Kujaku is changed to Mai Valentine.
Am I the only one who finds it incredibly arrogant that Joey/Jonouchi barely makes it onto to boat only through Yugi’s kindness and he has the nerve to bitch that he doesn’t get a private room? He does this in both versions, by the way.
When Anzu gets up, she’s looking for a toilet and Honda tells her to go pee off the side of the ship. This was probably seen as crass humor by 4Kids, so they changed it to T’ea being cold (so warm yourself up by getting closer to the freezing cold ocean in the freezing cold open air.) and then Tristan tells her the sun will rise in another few hours and she gets pissed. (I know it’s stupid, but he probably meant the sunlight will warm her up in a few hours.) Afterward, before the transition, Anzu actually says she’s cold and shivers, but 4Kids cut this….WHY? That scene actually lends credence to your edit, you morons!
Mai in the original version says she’ll do anything (wink wink) if Ryuzaki wins. 4Kids has their head in the gutter, so they changed it to simply a kiss.
I don’t entirely understand Mai’s perfume trick. First of all, Rex/Ryuzaki can’t smell that her cards are drenched in perfume? He’s almost as close to them as she is. Second, all of those smells would meld together when on top of each other in a deck. How could she tell them apart enough to know which is where?
Obviously the card “Cyber Bondage” with the giant needle nipples needed to be censored to ‘Cyber Shield’ and the needle nipples went poof. See your doctor if the same happens to you.
It’s pointless, really, but at the end of the Japanese version, before the preview, they overlay a rather intimidating picture of Yami for some reason. In the dub, his face has been removed and the shot only focuses on the sun rising.
This episode was decent, but nothing really happened outside of Yugi losing Exodia. Not like it matters that much, I doubt it’d be allowed in the tournament since its use is banned most everywhere, but he did need to lose it technically to avoid getting more instant wins. Other than that, it was a neat little intro to a few of the tournament competitors and not much else.
Next episode, Yugi challenges Insect Haga to a duel as revenge for Exodia. Can he beat the master of insects?
Plot: The incredibly popular sport of plawrestling is sweeping the nation. People called modelers create and control small robots called Plawrestlers in battles/wrestling matches. A boy named Sanshirou and his plawrestler, Juohmaru, strive to be a great plawrestling team.
Breakdown: I think I inadvertently found Angelic Layer’s 80’s predecessor.
Seriously, barring the target audience, they’re pretty much the same show in regards to the game. The modelers are deuses, the plawrestlers are dolls and the plawrestlers battle each other in an arena from the modeler’s computer commands. Angelic Layer is just more high-tech and shoujo-esque.
That aside, this does seem like a really fun classic shounen gaming anime. In a time where the market was being completely flooded with giant mech anime, this small robot anime is a big breath of fresh air. The game is really cool, and this is yet another instance where I wish the game existed. It seems like the robots don’t use special weapons and abilities really, either. They have stuff that helps them maneuver and special features but seemingly no special attacks like swords or lasers like Angelic Layer would have.
The matches are interesting, exciting and very fun, and it definitely has a feeling like a shounen gaming anime.
A bit too much.
In our first episode, we’re introduced to our main character, Sanshirou, who is a very typical lead in these shows in that he already loves the game and is basically a prodigy at it. He’s loud, he’s incredibly confident to the point of obnoxiousness but still retains likability.
That being said, if he suffers from the messiah trope, I can see this becoming a chore to watch.
The extended cast is really only touched upon, which is fine as I imagine we’ll explore them more later. I think we got enough to realize that they’re really good friends. The girl is obviously the love interest and the fat guy is kinda irritating. The stand out character in this regard is Shota, who acts like he’s a really brash adult when he’s really about seven years old. The first time you see him, he’s ‘smoking’ a chocolate cigarette.
The main plot of this episode is what made me dread the messiah trope in the future as, in this episode, Sanshirou is challenging the repeat champion to a battle and wins….Yeah, he’s going into episode two with a win against a champion under his belt. This might get annoying.
However, despite my worries for the future, this was still a really fun anime that made me want to pick up Angelic Layer again.
The art and animation are of course dated, and the backgrounds get really trippy for some reason sometimes.
The music is alright with my particular favor going to the ED. While Sanshirou’s voice got a little annoying when he yells, the Japanese voice acting was also fairly good, albeit with that classic 80’s cheese.
I’m ready for more plawrestling!
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Plot: A city is plagued by seemingly random attacks by Shounen Bat – a boy on golden rollerblades wielding a golden bent baseball bat. While hardly anyone pays attention to the first few attacks, the case continues to wrack up incidents as the true story behind Shounen Bat gets increasingly complicated and crazy.
Breakdown:Paranoia Agent is certainly one of the crazier and more thought-provoking anime I’ve watched. The series is kinda set up in an episodic way as most episodes focus on the story of one or two characters who are the current targets for Shounen Bat. The only linear aspects to most of the episodes are the detectives working on the case and Shounen Bat himself.
The individual stories are really well-written, and some of them get very dark with their subject matter. They range anywhere from a perfect kid at school getting suspected of being Shounen Bat, to prostitution, dissociative personality disorder and pedophilia.
The story of Shounen Bat is the craziest of all and I’m still trying to make complete sense of it. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s definitely an aspect of the series that I’m still trying to figure out fully.
One of the most interesting aspects to me is the ending. I’ll try to explain this without spoiling it all, but in a world where every episode supposedly ends with ‘freeing’ the victim from something and giving their story a somewhat happy ending, the actual ending to the show is not happy for the main characters at all.
The final two episodes as a whole are a little hard to swallow, but I can honestly accept it in the world that has been presented to us – a mirror of our world while still allowing for events such as that. They’ve basically been doing the same thing to a lesser degree during the whole series.
Some of the episodes are intertwined, and it’s really interesting to see what you believe to be two or three completely separate stories connect in some way at the end.
The characters are all very memorable. Not all are likable, but some of them you’re not supposed to like. They’re very realistic and interesting characters to follow through their different storylines.
Art and Animation: The art and animation are both very well done, expected from Madhouse. The animation in particular is very fluid and nice to watch.
Music: I love the soundtrack for this series. The opening is very unique, contrasting greatly with the average J-Pop we’re usually given. The ED is very relaxing and I love the melody. I’d definitely put it on my list of favorite EDs. The background music is also wonderful as it really set the tone for the series and created its own identity.
Voice Acting:Japanese – Everyone was good in their roles. I can’t think of anyone who annoyed me. Even cute little Maromi, with chibi cutesy characters almost always getting on my nerves, had a good voice that was fitting and nice to listen to. It would probably grate on me over time, but it never annoyed me during the series.
Bottom Line: This is a very funny, weird, interesting and thought-provoking psychological drama/thriller. The only reason I’m not more jazzed about it is because there was never a point that really wowed me in amazement. There’s still more than enough to enjoy in this series, and I highly recommend it.
Additional Information and Notes: Paranoia Agent was created and directed by Satoshi Kon, who was also the director of Perfect Blue, director and original writer of Millennium Actress, director and original writer of Tokyo Godfathers, and director of Paprika.
It was animated by Madhouse, and the English dub was done by Geneon, though the US license is now expired.
Recommended Audience: Psychological series are already quite a bit above child territory but add on to that prostitution, sexual references, suggested pedophilia, animal death, no nudity oddly enough, and they don’t even show the attacks on screen, child death…..14-15+.
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I’ve been nominated for a Sunshine Award! Otherwise known as an irony award because it’s been super cloudy and rainy all day.
I’m very honored and happy to be nominated for the Sunshine Award, and I like to thank Mangataku-kun for the nomination! ^_^
I had no clue what this was until I was nominated, but I see that it’s a cool chain for anime (and manga?) bloggers where people can spotlight some of their favorite blogs, spread some exposure (ooh lala) ask some questions and share some of our experiences and opinions with other fans. Sounds like fun. 🙂
How it works:
1) Thank the person who nominated you.
2) Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
3) Nominate a few other anime bloggers.
4) Write the same amount of questions for your nominees to answer.
5) Notify the nominated bloggers on their blog.
6) Put the Sunshine Award badge (the above picture) on your blog post.
I can’t see anywhere in the rules where there’s a set number of people to nominate so here are some great bloggers that I nominate for the Sunshine Award!
FujinseiA ton of really interesting and well written blog posts about anime, manga, and basically ever facet of Japanese culture.
Mocorochi Great blog with a great writing style, Mocorochi focuses on anime, games, manga and dramas. On a bit of a hiatus right now, but I still wanted to include this one, plus the blog will supposedly be back up and running very soon. ^_^
Standing on My Neck Like this blog’s namesake, and points for the Daria reference from the getgo, this blog tells it like it is and pulls no punches when reviewing any anime.
Moe Sucks Really well-formatted, organized, detailed and funny reviews on anime done on an episode by episode basis. I got hooked on their Ore Monogatari!! reviews.
Anime World Insightful and well-written reviews and discussions on anime.
Now to address Mangataku-kun’s questions.
1: When Did You Start Blogging?
Technically, I’ve had a blog for over seven or eight years on a general discussion forum (That was created from an indie Pokemon game website) that I moderate, but I’ve only been properly blogging with a legit blog for a little over a year. In regards to reviewing, I’ve also been doing that since 2008 on the same forum I mentioned, though I didn’t start doing it very regularly until a few years ago, and I enjoyed it so much that I made a WordPress blog about them. 🙂
2: What Anime Will You Watch Summer 2015?
I don’t really get a chance very often to check out the latest anime since the way I select things to watch is typically pretty random and spans all sorts of genres and release dates. I really only go out of my way for that if it’s something related to a show I know and love or if one of my friends strongly suggests it. While it’s not coming out in summer, I am really excited to watch the new Digimon movies. 😀 And I hope Working!! Season 3 is great.
3: Can You Suggest Me More Anime, Otaku, Japanese Blogs to Follow?
Outside of my nominations, here are some other great anime, manga, all-things-Japan blogs for ya!
IntrovertJapan: For any and all things Japanese. They also have cool book giveaways on occasion, if you’d be interested.
Otaku Lounge: I really love the way this blog is set up. There are plenty of thorough and interesting reviews as well as articles on various aspects of anime.
IlostMyHeartInJapan: A blog made with a lot of heart (hehe, puns) about all sorts of great aspects of Japanese culture.
Denny Sinnoh: Cool guy with a bunch of stuff on Japanese culture on his blog. 🙂
If you’d like to discover more, I tend to find mine either through the follow lists of bloggers I’m following or using the tags “anime” and “manga” on the WordPress reader. 🙂
4: Are There Any Anime You Can Suggest to Me?
I’m not sure of your tastes in that regard, but here are some off the top of my head, in handy-dandy alphabetical order. ~~So fancy~~
07 Ghost: Love this series, and it still makes me cry. Lovely soundtrack, great art and characters and decent story. However, the anime does end on basically a cliffhanger with no second season in sight, fair warning.
3000 Leagues in Search of Mother: A bit of a long one and pretty old, but this is still a very heartbreaking and fantastic story.
Baccano!: Absolutely adore this series. Tons of fun, very interesting method of storytelling, and incredibly memorable characters. Be warned of violence and gore, though.
Cowboy Bebop: Contractual obligation as an anime fan to suggest to everyone. Though it is and will always be awesome.
Ef Series: Both Memories and Melodies. Beautifully made, great characters and music, some really heavy storylines. I’d suggest Melodies over Memories, though.
Hell Girl: For lovers of ‘horror’ anthologies and sending bad people to hell.
FLCL: A quick burst of insane fun in every bite.
Fruits Basket: Classic, will never stop loving this series. Though, like 07 Ghost, it does end with no real resolution of the main issue of the series, and they leave off without introducing two characters of the zodiac.
Haibane Renmei: Relaxing and intriguing, I’d love to see more of this series.
Paranoia Agent: Confusing sometimes, but a great ride and a fantastic psychological thriller.
Trigun: Another classic and contractual obligation. Love and PEACE! 😀
Yu Yu Hakusho: I believe this to be one of the best Shounen fighting anime ever made and probably my favorite one.
5: Do You Have Any Other Hobbies Besides Consuming Anime/manga/LN/VN/or Basically Aside from Japanese Visual Goods?
I love drawing, and I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember. Wrist problems kinda restrict me lately, and I had a big slump the past couple of years, but I am working to get back into it. Outside of that, I love learning about animals and playing with my dog, Skye. I also love playing video games with RPGs and horror games being my favorite genres, and I love listening to all different kinds of music.
6: What Part of Japan Do You Love Most?
I’ve never had the pleasure of going to Japan, but I love the temples, national parks/natural spots in general and historic sites. While I’d love to see it at least once, I can’t imagine enjoying Tokyo or the big cities too much. I’m too much of a small town bumpkin. 😛
7: Are You a Certified Otaku?
I’m practicing without a license. *rebel*
8: What Japanese Food Do You Like Most?
Sadly, I also haven’t been able to try much Japanese food in my life. However, I do hear they have some awesome candy. :3
9: What are Your Strategies in Surviving School?
Don’t take your school days for granted. They may be tough in regards to schoolwork, but they can also be some great times that you may not ever get again. Appreciate your good teachers; they do a lot to ensure that you succeed and finding teachers that care is a wonderful thing. Be organized with your schoolwork, especially homework. It’ll save you someday, trust me. Finally, play kickball. Because kickball’s awesome yet no one ever seems to want to play outside of school.
10: Did Someone Introduce You to Anime?
Yes, actually. One of my best friends at the time, Monica, introduced me to Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Digimon in that order. To be fair, I first heard of Pokemon through some student at my school one day as he was playing Pokemon Red, which is the same version I bought shortly afterward, but Monica told me about the anime series. She also was the first person to introduce me to manga, which was, not surprisingly, more Sailor Moon. I also remember us labeling ourselves as certain Sailor Scouts when she said which ones reminded her of me and my other best friend, Beth. She said I reminded her or Sailor Venus and Beth reminded her of Sailor Mercury. After I got into the series, Sailor Venus did indeed become my favorite. 🙂
Questions for my Nominees:
1: What first drew you into the anime fandom?
2: What’s one anime that sticks close to your heart?
3: Has an anime ever made you cry? If so, which one and why? (Mark spoilers!)
4: Do you collect anime merchandise? If so, what’s your favorite type of merchandise?
5: What’s your most hated/disliked anime?
6: A character that nearly ruined an anime that you like?
7: What’s your favorite type of show to discuss on your blog?
8: Are you a fan of Japanese music?
9: Have you every been to Japan or plan to go?
10: What anime show or movie would you pick to show to someone who has never been exposed to anything anime in order to show them how cool it can be?
Thanks again to Mangataku-kun for the nomination, and happy blogging everyone!
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