Episode One-Derland – Daa! Daa! Daa!


Plot: Miyu has been shipped off to live in another city with family friends after her parents suddenly move to America to work at NASA. She finds her living quarters disappointing but fine considering the nice monk who runs the house. However, she soon butts heads with the monk’s son, Konata. In another stroke of bad luck, Konata’s father suddenly leaves for a lengthy trip across India, leaving the two to live alone.

Miyu is eager to call her parents to set up another place to live when a UFO lands on the property. A flying alien baby named Ruu and his sitter-pet, Wanya, emerge from the craft. They were pulled from their home planet of Otto and are now stranded on earth for at least one year. After some deep consideration, Miyu decides to stay, and she and Konata become temporary parental figures for young Ruu.

Breakdown: I really love anime sometimes. You can have such a seemingly normal plotline and then BOOM sudden alien baby and flying talking cat enter the picture and everything’s still okay.

I’ve really been yearning for a caretaking anime ever since I finished off Aishiteruze Baby so long ago, and I really believe this show seems to have the potential to fill the void left in my heart. Perhaps not in such a heavy tone, but that’s okay.

As a first episode, this show does rush a bit in the first half, and it throws a lot at you, but it never feels too rushed and even the characters seem to acknowledge how insane their lives are quickly becoming.

All of the characters, even minor ones like Miyu’s parents and Konata’s dad, are pretty well-established in their first outing. While Miyu’s parents seem to mean well, I can’t help but feel like they’re jackasses. They don’t bother telling their only child that they’ll be packing up and leaving for America for a very long time and that they’re shipping her off to live with people who are basically strangers to her until like a few days before they’re set to leave. And they actually say ‘Well, we’re going to be so busy there that we won’t have time to take care of you.’

Konata’s dad seems equally jackass-y and rude considering he was taking care of his good friend’s child as well as his own when he suddenly decided to bolt.

Miyu is a nice enough girl who I believe reacts fairly appropriately to the situations she’s thrown into. I don’t even think she’s particularly harsh on Konata, barring one or two times.

Konata’s a bit too mature for his age, I think anyway. He acts a lot like Akito from Kodocha only less violent and temperamental.

Wanya also seems like, while he’s goofy comic relief, he won’t be annoying goofy comic relief. He legitimately cares about Ruu, appreciates what Konata and Miyu are doing for him and seems pretty nice.

Finally, we have Ruu. In these types of show, the child character is really the clincher. If the child is annoying or unrealistic, the entire show falls apart. Yuzuyu had a good mix of childish behavior, bratty moments and childish insightful moments to make for a great child character. It may be a little unfair to compare Ruu to Yuzuyu since she has a few years on him, but Ruu does seem like a very typical baby so far, especially given that the only thing really alien about him that has been revealed to this point is the fact that he can float in the air and may be able to understand things more than normal human babies.

He grabs things he shouldn’t, speaks in few words and gibberish, smiles a whole lot and has already adopted Konata and Miyu as his ‘Papa’ and ‘Mama’ to add more ‘awwww’ factor, though I really wonder where his actual parents are. He hasn’t cried yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.

I really liked Ruu, and just from the first shot of his face you just want to reach through the monitor and hug him, and I’m really not the type of person to even get a little mushy over babies.

The world that has been established for us is is just real enough to feel grounded and just goofy enough to add a unique splash to the story to make it stand out. It’s obvious that Konata and Miyu are being set up as love interests, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. They have pretty good chemistry together, and I think I’d root for them along the way.



It seems like this will be a great anime to watch, especially for fans of similar shows like Aishiteruze Baby. It even has that aged feel to it that makes me all tingly inside. I don’t believe this show will be nearly as heavy as Aishiteruze Baby, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I’m sure that subsequent episodes will have their heartwarming moments.

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Space Fantasia: 2001 Nights Review


Plot: Based on the 1984 manga by Yoshino Yokinobu, Space Fantasia: 2001 Nights follows the main Robinson plot of the manga. Humanity is yearning to enter into not just space exploration but also expansion. In one of the first efforts to establish human life on another planet, the Robinsons are selected to be donors of sperm and eggs that will be frozen and sent to a distant planet where the resulting children will start their lives, starting a century’s long glimmer of hope for the possibilities of colonizing in space, if successful.

Their parents will never see their faces nor will they ever see the day that their ship even gets close to the target planet as the trip is much too long for them to survive the length of it. However, as the ship nears the planet, the space age continues to thrive back on earth with more projects and colonization efforts in store. Not just for the curiosity, but also for the hope of humanity’s survival on their ever-deteriorating planet. But space is vast and harsh….maybe too harsh for humanity to handle.

Breakdown: I love 2001 Nights. It is a masterpiece of sci-fi and manga to me. The art is fantastic, the stories are creative and fascinating, the characters are great and realistic, the tone is perfect and I loved every chapter. Space Fantasia: 2001 Nights only contains the main story arc of the Robinsons, which is but one of many stories in this vast anthology. I was most disappointed that they didn’t cover the Lucifer arc, but considering we only have one movie to work with, I understand that the main overarching plotline was the one to focus on.

I think they adapted the Robinson arc very well. There are three separate stories here, subsequently making the three acts of our movie.

The first section is called Orphans of Space. Here we see the start of the Robinson Project while also fast forwarding into the results of the project. The children, of which there are 22 overall survivors, are being born and raised while orbiting the planet Ozma, their intended home planet. They need to stay on the ship while analyzing the planet extensively to ensure that the planet is suitable for human life.

While on the ship, the children are cared for by the Robinsons. Not the actual ones, mind you, but android stand-ins meant to be caretakers and teachers to the children to help keep them alive, healthy and prepared to take on primitive life on a new planet. At the end of this section, they are finally prompted to land on the surface of Ozma to start their new lives.

The second section, called A Present from Earth, takes place a few decades after the Robinson Project was launched. Utilizing anti-matter energy from the newly discovered planet of Lucifer, and utilizing new forms of hyperspace travel, the Robinson’s ‘legit’ son, Adam, traverses into space ahead of his younger….err older? siblings to Ozma with a huge team of workers to terraform Ozma. He wants Ozma to mimic Earth to give the children a glimpse of their origins as well as a more suitable and lush place to live.

The final section is called Song of a Distant Earth. A few years after the first section, Adam, now an old man, again traverses into space one last time. He lands on Ozma, where his brothers and sisters have already established a new life, with the hopes of bringing one last batch of colonizers to a paradise in space.

The space expansion project has proven to be mostly a failure. While humans have successfully colonized on various planets, wars, plagues and natural disasters have wiped out the colonizers and colonies that were established on those planets, and the space age has been effectively shut down entirely by the government.

Earth is now a shell of what it once was. It is terribly polluted, damaged beyond repair and suffers every day. Despite the failure of the project as a whole, the Robinson children stand as a spark of hope for humanity’s survival, and Adam wished to see his brothers and sisters at least once on the planet he helped form while also making one more attempt at colonizing others in space, without intruding on the planet given to his family.

The story is very well told, the atmosphere is solid, and I really believe that this movie did justice to the manga. It saddens me that this movie seems to get moderate to low marks by other reviewers.

I don’t feel like I’m blinded by my adoration of the manga. If anything, I should be especially critical of adaptations of things I love. No, it doesn’t match the quality of the manga exactly, but I still think it did a good job of telling this story, especially given the resources of the time.

Art and Animation: Being an anime movie made in 1987, I was not surprised that they really couldn’t match the amazing visuals of the manga. They do make a pretty darn good effort, especially in the space environments, backgrounds and objects, but the movie does show its age and possibly budget. The designs of the people are very much 80’s style, but they are well detailed in their features. No one really looks awkward, and they all look realistic for the most part. The animation is obviously going to be a little rough. I really don’t expect the best of animation from 1987. It’s not terrible, it’s not even really that bad, but it is rough and a little jumpy sometimes.

Music: The music is where the movie really shows its age. Some of the tracks are definitely more fitting in a ‘space’ atmosphere than others while some are just downright unfitting period. Sadly, all of the music is stuck in the 80’s with the unfitting tracks sounding like 80’s techno and the fitting tracks sounding like something from an old space documentary.

Voice Acting: Japanese – The voice acting was well done. I can’t really think of any instances of unfitting voices or bad acting.

Bottom Line: This is a great movie for anyone with even a small interest in sci-fi. If it’s not apparent, I cannot recommend the manga enough whether you like the movie or not. It is a pretty solid adaptation, even if it does shows its age sometimes. Like the manga, there are also plenty of nudges to old sci-fi movies and shows. For example, the Robinsons’ name in itself is a reference to Lost in Space and there are many visual pokes at 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Additional Information and Notes: Space Fantasia: 2001 Nights was directed by Toshio Takeuchi and produced by TMS Entertainment.

Runtime: 60 Minutes

Year: 1987

Recommended Audience: There is some tastefully done nudity. No sex, no swearing, no violence or blood. 13+

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Dissecting the Disquels: The Jungle Book 2

Plot: Mowgli misses the jungle life and feels a bit restricted by life in his village. Baloo misses him as well and plans to break him out of the village. Mowgli is happy to be back with Baloo in the jungle, but Shere Khan is thirty for revenge.

Breakdown: Some history on the original for me – I, along with my sister, were very much into the first movie as very young children. We even named our cats Mowgli and Bagheera (and yes, Bagheera was a black cat….though he had white paws.) However, this was at a point where I was so young that I really can’t remember being such a fan of it. I remember the movie, moderately, but I don’t really remember what I liked about it so much. So my take on this movie is a bit weird.

Next, one of the reasons I started watching and reviewing all the Disquels was because the Nostalgia Chick made a few reviews on some of them and made a top ten list exploring the ten worst Disquels and the top five ‘least awful’ Disquels. Every Disquel I’ve reviewed so far has been explored on one list or the other or been featured in her stand alone reviews. I don’t particularly agree with her on a decent chunk of entries, but the point is that this movie…..was not so much as glimpsed at in any of the videos.

I didn’t even realize that until I got bored halfway through and wanted to watch something entertaining or interesting about it from her videos, but there wasn’t anything. Not as an honorable or dishonorable mention. Not even a clip in the little montages used as number interludes.

I wondered why for about five seconds before remembering….Oh yeah. I’m bored.

I started doing a step-by-step review for this movie but, like Bambi 2, I felt it to be pointless because I just didn’t have much to say through the scenes. However, unlike Bambi 2, this was because there’s really nothing to talk about because it’s just completely uncreative.

I want you to consider the first movie. Stop. Now take five seconds to think of a plot of the sequel. What would be the most cliché, predictable and bland plot for a Jungle Book sequel?

Mowgli misses the jungle, Baloo misses Mowgli, Baloo takes Mowgli out of the village, Shere Khan wants revenge, gets defeated, Mowgli realizes he likes the village after all but still wants some of the jungle life so the two worlds somehow merge-ish, the end.

You want to know something else? Even using the simplest and most cliché storyline for the sequel, they still manage to make it kinda stupid.

Mowgli, with only the tiniest of signs that he’s not entirely comfortable living in the village quite yet as he’s adjusted wonderfully given the circumstances, gets incredibly pissed with the girl from the last movie, Shanti, for merely yelling for him to stop crossing the river into the jungle with the other kids because she was worried for their safety.

He gets understandably scolded by the village chief, his adoptive father, who reveals one of the main reasons he’s so adamant about not going into the jungle is because he was scarred by a wild animal. Mowgli gets grounded for one night – one night – and that’s enough for him to basically say ‘screw it’ to the village when Baloo shows up.

He’s specifically mad at Shanti for being the whistle blower, even though she didn’t mean to alert the adults of what they were doing. Again, she was merely worried as they were not only breaking a very stern rule but were also risking their safety.

He gets super mad at this, but when she gets a little bit miffed when he pulls a prank on her, making fun of her completely reasonable fear of a murderous human-hating tiger, she’s overreacting.

Shanti is scared to death of the jungle and wild animals, and while this may seem like a dumb thing to say, I find it kinda stupid that there’s no reason for it. Yes, the jungle is of course dangerous as are wild animals, but if you’re going to make her fear a plot point it’s usually supposed to be accompanied by something that caused this fear.

Why not say her father died because of a wild animal attack seeing as how her father never appears on screen? Give her the scars instead of nameless father chief dude. Give her something to make this semi-conflict more interesting.

It’s not even like this matters because it really doesn’t amount to much if anything. It’s not a big moment when she crosses the river. It’s not a revelation to ally with Baloo. It’s a plot thread made of thin air.

They add in an incredibly annoying little toddler kid named Ranjan who for some reason is like Shanti’s non-related little brother.

Shanti can talk to animals for absolutely no reason. Mowgli can do it because he grew up with them. Are they now just default talking animals? She doesn’t even question her ability to do this or even seem surprised at it. Baloo starts talking to her, and it’s like she’s been doing it her whole life. Ranjan can do it too. I don’t get it.

Shere Khan is seen throughout the movie looking for Mowgli to get revenge. It’s played up like it’s building tension, but he’s introduced so early and we see him so often that it really makes it lose tension. Considering the boring nature of the rest of the movie, if there is tension it’s in the anticipation of finally getting to the confrontation so something, anything, will finally happen.

And why would such a feared animal barely beat up a vulture who mocked the crap out of him? Makes Shere Khan look more like a bully than a bloodthirsty tiger.

Just to shoehorn in some tension, we get a completely random temple with copious amounts of lava everywhere to hold the climax. I mean, at least they’re trying, but where did this place come from?

Let me just spoil the end because I know you’re on the edge of your seat. Shere Khan ends up trapped in some statue head in the temple on a small slab of stone in the moat of lava while the vulture from before mocks him. I know The Jungle Book isn’t that dark and wouldn’t kill off even the main villain, but uh, he’s surrounded by lava on a small slab of rock trapped in a stone statue. Let’s go over Shere Khan’s ultimate fates at this point.

Being optimistic, let’s say he gets out of the statue somehow. He’s clearly not afraid of going into the village to kill Mowgli so what’s stopping him from trying that again?

Being not so optimistic, let’s go through the various ways he’ll likely die horribly in there.

  • Starvation.
  • Dehydration.
  • Burns from splashing lava.
  • Eaten alive by scavengers as he’s too weakened from hunger and/or dehydration to stave them off.

You want to know the actual legit ending after that? Mowgli leaves Baloo and the jungle to return to his life in the village, of course, even finally accepting his adoptive father as his ‘pop’.

Everything ends in a rather touching manner with Baloo and Mowgli…..until Baloo gets an ‘idea’. Apparently the kids aren’t restricted to not crossing the river anymore for some dumb reason. What, is the fact that Mowgli likes the jungle more important than the Chief’s completely founded fears of the dangers in the jungle?

And even if Mowgli was allowed back because of his experience in the jungle and his friends, why are all the other kids? They have no experience in there. Stop pretending like just because Shere Khan is maybe permanently trapped or dead that the jungle’s not still dangerous!

Unless they really aren’t allowed to go still…in which case the message here is ‘disobey rules that are put in place to keep you safe, kids.’ Thank God, I can finally run that marathon with that comically large pair of scissors.

Shanti is also now completely comfortable going out into the jungle even though her last trip there just reinforced her fears what with her run-in with Kaa who will never stop being a complete non-threat due to his Winnie the Pooh voice, and Shere Khan. Maybe realizing she can talk to animals made them less scary. I dunno.

Now Mowgli, Shanti and Ranjan have scheduled meetups with Baloo and Bagheera in secret, making the somewhat touching farewell before now completely null and void.

The end.


Despite it being really boring, cliché and uninspired, it does have some redeemable qualities. The art and animation are probably the best I’ve seen of the Disquels so far. I especially appreciate the little details in the lines sometimes as they have this ‘colored with a pen’ look that the original had on occasion.

The music is also good, but I can really only give it half points for that. Only two of the three songs in the movie are original. The third is just ‘Bare Necessities,’ not even redone with new lyrics except for Baloo’s short version.

The first song, ‘Feel the Jungle Rhythm,’ holds a lot of the spirit of the original in the very start, but I dunno. The start of it is really quite good, but once the other kids join in it dives down to decent, once Ranjan starts ‘singing’ and being annoying it becomes bad, and it starts grating on my nerves when all the kids start mimicking animals. The very end reverts back to decent again, but I feel it was poorly handled overall.

The second is a song called ‘W-I-L-D’ which is a fun dancing/party song. I imagine this was supposed to be King Louie’s part in the movie, but due to legal issues with the original voice of King Louie, Louis Prima’s, widow, Gia Prima, he wasn’t included at all in this movie. Instead it’s done by Baloo, who does do a good job. It’s kinda his thing.

The only other two songs, which are end credits songs, are a remix of ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ which seems like a ‘screw you’ attempt towards Mrs. Prima, done by Smash Mouth. While I like Smash Mouth, I don’t much care for this remake. It’s another song that doesn’t make sense when redone modernized and also doesn’t make any sense being at the end of this movie, really.

The final song in the end credits is ‘Right Where I Belong’ sung by Windy Wagner, and it’s fine but just as bland and forgettable as this movie.

I also have to say that a few jokes worked for me, and the voice work is very good, but overall this is just a really, really, really boring movie. You know everything, every damn thing, that is going to happen from start to finish. Clichés don’t have to be bad if you put a good spin on them. Some of the best stories out there are clichés when you get down to it.

It also ruins the ending of the first movie. It was bittersweet that Mowgli had to leave the jungle and his friends, but it’s something that needed to be done. He needed to live a normal life and try to leave the jungle life behind him.

This movie negates all that, brings them back together with no issue whatsoever and gives off a mixed message. Is it bad to move on with your life and try to live normally? Should you try to force two worlds together when it’s natural, healthier and safer for them to be mostly apart? Does nothing matter as long as you get what you want?

This is really a prime example of a movie that just in no way, shape or form needed to be made, and a lot of effort by the voice actors, animators and musicians just seems wasted on this complete waste of a movie. Maybe the ‘Ranjans’ in the audience, IE easily entertained small children, would like this more, but I don’t think it has much appeal outside of that group.

Recommended Audience: Nothing really happens at all. You think Shere Khan kills Lucky, the vulture, but he just beats him up a little and comes back later mostly fine. E for everyone.

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Episode One-derland (Cartoons) Yin Yang Yo!

Plot: The world is mostly blind to the mystical evil around them, and there’s only one force in the world left to take them on – the siblings Yin and Yang who are being trained in the magical martial arts style of Wu Fu by their lazy master Yo.

Breakdown: Well, at least that’s what I found on their plot synopsis. The story gathered from this episode is that Yin and Yang are the sole students of Yo who teaches them the mystical martial art style of Wu Fu and that’s about it.

This is a really messy first episode, and I mostly mean that by the writing and pacing. The introductions of the characters are fine, though their personalities are horribly cliché especially for the early 2000s. They have a very typical older sister younger brother dynamic. Yin is kinda a feminist who is also very responsible and girly. Yang is more interested in goofing off and doing anything he deems as cool. He also wants to be accepted into groups that are seen as cool. And in the end they prove that they really love each other.

Yo’s not very characterized at all here. He seems a little lazy, but that’s it.

The pacing in this episode is exhausting. It never takes a damn break. Granted, it’s ten minutes long so rushing might be excused, but I could barely keep up. It constantly makes cuts and edits and rushes around like it’s on speed.

They try way too hard to make the antagonist of this episode, uhhhh…..the ultimoose martial arts teacher guy (?) to be funny. They put on a ‘Mr. Crocker’ act a bit with him having him spout out words or gibberish enunciated with random body movements.

I just never got into it. I never laughed or cracked a smile, the action wasn’t interesting or creative enough to keep my attention, and neither were the characters.

Even the art was fairly ugly with weird shaped characters and boring backgrounds. I don’t even know why everyone in this show is an animal. Our two main characters are bunnies, their teacher is a panda, the ultimoose guy is a moose obviously, there was a monkey in the class. Granted, a lot of shows exist in worlds where everyone is an animal for really no reason (Kung Fu Panda might be the best comparison in that regard) but I just don’t see the point.


It pretty much fails to me as a starter episode, and the show just doesn’t give me any reason to want to continue. Really hyper kids with a love of fake martial arts, magic and animals might enjoy it better.

Recommended Audience: Some incredibly minor instances of potty humor like underwear jokes and showing someone on a toilet, both of which alone are meant to be jokes, but that’s the worst of it. E for everyone.

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