Episode One-Derland: Extreme Dinosaurs

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Plot: An interdimensional criminal named Argor Zardok has traveled back to prehistoric times and captured four dinosaurs; a tyrannosaurus rex, a stegosaurus, a pteranodon and a triceratops. Imbuing them with a wealth of knowledge, newly designed bodies and powerful weapons, Argor intended on using them as weapons against the Quadrainians, but found that their wealth of knowledge and power was no good when coupled with so much free thinking. He scrapped them and acquired three raptors with which he performed the same procedure just with less free will.

With his new raptor soldiers at his side, Argor attempted to fight off the Quadrainian officials who were on his tail, but one of the weapons that he equipped his raptor soldier with ended up causing the K-T event, forcing Argor to ditch his raptors and flee in interdimensional travel while a Quadrainian official named Chedra saved the four original dinosaur specimens, herself and inadvertently saved the raptors as well by freezing them all.

Awoken 65 million years in the future by archeologists, the dinosaurs have to take down the group of raptors as they try to destroy the world once more.

Breakdown: At face value, hot damn this is a prime example of X-TREEM 90’s cheese. Just read that plot. Just take a minute and soak that in. Anthropomorphic dinosaurs who have been given immense knowledge and weapons (as well as souped up flying vehicles later in the episode) team up with interdimensional beings to fight anthropomorphic raptors who also have weapons.

Who could honestly screw up a premise that seems that awesome?

Well, they kinda did.

I don’t know if I just can’t access my inner 90s cheese lover right now, but this show just didn’t really click with me. Like I said, I love the premise, but it seems like it’s trying a bit too hard to be X-TREEM and rushes with a lot of stuff.

Then I thought too much about the premise. Why oh why would you decide to take dinosaurs, make soldiers out of them….only to make them about the size of humans? I mean, they still have plenty of strength, but they have a T-rex on their team and he’s just slightly taller than the average person. Why would you take something that huge, that intimidating, that awesome and make him 6’5?

Then I read that some people feel this is a ripoff of TMNT which I only slightly see in the fact that they’re anthropomorphic animals who join up to fight evil forces.

I mean, if you look too much into it, the main cast might be counterparts for the turtles.

T-bone, the T-rex, and yes that’s his actual name, is very easily a counterpart for Raphael. He has the biggest temper and urge to fight.

Bullseye, the pteranodon, might be a counterpart for Mikey because he seems to be the most laid back and jokey one.

Stegz, the stegosaurus, would be a counterpart for Donatello because he’s the tech guy and seemingly the smartest of the group.

Finally, Spike the triceratops would be Leonardo because he’s the one that’s left. T-bone’s the leader so he kinda took that away from him.

Really, I even tried to purposely think of this as a TMNT ripoff and it just doesn’t really work to me.

They also don’t know any martial arts and just basically use blunt street fighting along with their individual powers. T-bone gets a Saurian Stomp ability which basically causes a fissure-like effect, though I fail to see how this is such a custom move for him since all of the Extreme Dinosaurs can do it. Stegz can wrap himself up like Sonic and turn into a giant saw blade. Bullseye has supersonic abilities. And finally Spike can….uhhh…he has a gun thing on his wrist….and his Wiki says he’s a—whoops, martial arts expert….*cough*

This show is actually a spinoff of a show called Street Sharks, which definitely sounds more like a TMNT ripoff than this show does, and that show as well as this one are based on a toy line because of course they are.

But all that aside, I guess this show works perfectly fine as a first episode, but it really does feel rushed. I mean, Argor arrives in the Mesozoic and is just like ‘Dinosaurs!? Let me kidnap some and instantly give them insane amounts of intelligence, change their bodies to work more like humans, slap some weapons on them, give them a special ability or two and, boom, instant soldiers before my Pop-Tarts even come up.’ Then, after making these soldiers, he literally dumps them off at the slightest hint of insubordination and makes new ones out of raptors who are trying to eat his ship.

A really quick battle ensues between Argor and the Quadrainian officers who are pursuing him as well as the dinosaurs and the raptors. Argor stupidly gave the main raptor, Bad Rap, and yes, again, that is his actual name, a gun that, when the beam struck the earth’s surface, like I said in the plot synopsis, started the K-T event…ya know, the event that caused the extinction of dinosaurs.

Chedra, someone I’ll talk about later, stays to save the ‘civilians’ of the dinosaurs while her crew flees to pursue Argor, who is leaving his new raptor soldiers behind for really no reason, and leave the dimension before everything goes to crap. 65 million years later, they’re discovered by the world’s dumbest archeologist. He sees a gigantic functional ship in a mountainside with dinosaur beings in glass tubes and thinks it’s all a big joke by his colleagues. Yes, because I’m so sure they’d spend that amount of time and money just to trick you…

The dinosaurs as well as Chedra and the raptors are awakened, and the raptors soon go off to find their brethren in order to…do bad…things of…badness. The Wiki says their main goal is the further global warming so that they, as reptiles, can live more comfortably…..which….is…so….dumb.

The main dino-crew, however, are kidnapped by government officials in Roswell, because of course, and are relentlessly pursued by the government while they try to capture the raptors. Along the way, they meet some old guy who runs a dinosaur museum who is not in the least bit surprised at seeing a bunch of anthropomorphic dinosaurs and a blue pointy eared woman on his property. He states he’s used to such things as he lives near Roswell, and the local TV station has even been taken over by the raptors who are trying to recruit other dinosaurs and for some reason raise money.

In the time frame of, I guess, less than an hour, the dinosaurs soup up a bunch of old junky cars into flying vehicles, which they look absolutely ridiculous driving because they look way too small, and for some reason they put handlebars on an old car.

They fly to the TV station, even though they definitely could’ve walked there in the time it must’ve taken to build those vehicles, take out the raptors, but are forced to leave Bad Rap due to their pursuit by the government. They stick the other raptors in the snowy mountains and fly off into the sunset as they lament on the fact that their kind has been wiped out and they don’t belong there anymore. But after about ten seconds of somber reflection, Bullseye gives them the name of the Extreme Dinosaurs and T-bone adopts it instantly as they prepare to hunt down Bad Rap.

As a first episode, the story is rushed but it also explains most of what we need to know. I would’ve liked more time to spend on the group’s personalities or even the personalities of the enemies outside of ‘they’re evil.’ T-bone and maybe Stegz are really the only two who got personalities somewhat solidified here…..Oh yeah….so did she.

Chedra is the reason that, spoilers, I’m dropping this series. Why? Her one and only character trait is to provide us with a NON-STOP NEVERENDING OHMYGODSHUTUP supply of parroted codes and laws from the Quadrainian code book. I mean it, nearly every goddamn line is another law or code that she religiously upholds. Her life is that code book. I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes sweet love to it every night. She never shuts up about it. Never. It was wearing down my last nerve listening to her talk and seeing as how she’s, I suppose, our April O’neal, so she’ll be a mainstay, I can only imagine how much inane code book bullshit she’ll keep spouting out.

The art is….ew. Most of it is passable, but the dinosaurs look like crap and dear god T-bone’s design is just horrid. The animation is equally bad.

The music is fine for the most part. The OP is trying, but the lyrics are awkward and I can’t catch the beat. And I hate to bring up TMNT again, but if they can make the lyrics of ‘teenage mutant ninja turtles’ insanely catchy then you really have no excuse to not make something good out of ‘extreme dinosaurs.’

Verdict:

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This probably would’ve been a continue or at least an undecided purely to have some stupid dinosaur fun every now and then, but I cannot and will not put up with Chedra and her ungodly annoying code book anymore.


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Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 5 Sub/Dub Comparison

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Card(s) of the Day: Jump: A mischievous little card, Jump obviously possesses great jumping power. Jump can possess other items and make them bounce around.

Plot: A new toy shop is opening up in town, but there’s something odd going on. Apparently, there’s a rumor going around that anyone who buys a toy from that shop will be robbed soon after. When Sakura and Tomoyo see this for themselves, they investigate and find that a Clow card is the culprit.

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During the first scene with Sakura rollerblading, Nelvana adds a girly pop song to the background. It’s just regular music in the original. By the way, I usually only mention song changes when they add vocal songs or replace great emotional music with garbage. In practically all of my comparisons a majority of the music is replaced.

Title Change: Sakura, Panda and a Cute Shop is changed to Trouble at Twin Bells.

After the boxes fall down when Sakura meets the store owner, Sakura has this goofy look on her face like “Doh, what am I gonna do with you?” Complete with tiny eyes and sweat drops. However, this is removed from the dub. In fact, the scene looks insanely pointless and almost serious in Nelvana’s dub due to the background music. ‘OH MY GOD BOXES FELL DOWN! AHHHH!!’

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Name Change: Maki Minamoto is changed to Maggie.

Two scenes are removed after we cut to the school. One of Sakura’s friends, Chiharu, walks up to her as she’s washing her face and asks if she wants to go to the new shop. She says she’s already going with Tomoyo and that they can go together.

Right after that, we see Sakura walking outside when she hears Tomoyo’s voice as she’s singing. We then cut to the choir room where Tomoyo is singing (very nicely) to the tune of a piano. Sakura then tells us as she’s watching and listening with a smile that Tomoyo is in the choir and that she has a great singing voice that has won several competitions. Why these two scenes were cut out, I don’t know. Maybe they were seen as pointless?



Name Change: Chiharu is changed to Chelsea.

I’m not sure why Sakura is “sure” the new store will have camera bags when, for all she knows, the store only sells plush toys and cutesy things. The original talks about purses and notebooks, which are also unlikely, but more likely than a camera bag.

During the cleaning montage, there’s a scene where Sakura is having trouble with tape. It’s sticking to her over and over and she’s flailing around in a cartoony fashion trying to get it off. The dub omits this.

This is one of the stupidest sound edits I’ve ever heard. So basically all music and sound effects are changed for the dub. For the most part, this is no big deal, but this was just insanely dumb. When the girls are leaving Chiharu’s room, we hear a scratch-ish noise to indicate the sound of Chiharu’s window being opened. In the dub….get this, Nelvana replaced this sound with the sound of bowling pins falling down…

…How lazy….or stupid….are you, Nelvana?…Seriously, not even 4Kids would be this stupid. You don’t have to be an adult to tell that that’s distinctly the sound of bowling pins falling down. Hell, you can even hear the ball return.

This was probably meant to sound like a crashing noise to indicate someone breaking in, but seriously guys? That’s the best you can get? Also, nothing in broken in Chiharu’s room to warrant such a sound effect anyway.

This sound edit was so ridiculous that I actually had to watch this scene twice just to ensure that’s what I heard and not something from another tab or an ad. That’s just insulting. Unless Chelsea has a bowling alley in her window, you can kiss my ass, Nelvana.

In the original, Chiharu is much more distraught over her new toy panda being gone than Chelsea is. You can hear the shock in her voice as she tells her friends that her panda is gone, and she cries and hugs Sakura when she suspects it’s a burglar. In the dub, she’s just like “I dunno, but my panda’s gone.” Like she lost a pen she just set on her desk. Also, the crying and hugging are edited out.

After the commercial break, we see a short scene of Toya and Yukito playing soccer as girls fawn over them. Yukito praises Toya, and then we cut to Sakura and Tomoyo. I guess because the evil Yukito makes an appearance, this short scene was edited out.

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The conversation with Tomoyo and Sakura in gym is pretty much the same, but they omit something in the dub. In the original, Tomoyo tells Sakura that her mother told her a story about a shop where if you buy something from it, the item will be stolen and the culprit will never be found. They suspect the new shop is the culprit.

In the dub, they have a disjointed (due to the lip flaps and the way the conversation is set up) conversation that basically says Madison is having a hard time believing it was a burglar since they left no clue behind and they were only out of the room for a few seconds before it vanished.

In the original, Miss Maki tells the girls after her story about her last shop that she used to be engaged. Her fiancé was a designer who loved plush toys and said his dream was to open a plush toy shop with toys that he designed. The reason keeping the shop open is so important to her is because it’s keeping his dream alive. But she says she can’t do it anymore. I guess because of such a grim tale, this was edited out and they just made her say that the shop was her life.

In the original, Kero (jokingly?) hits on a plush of a cat. Sakura shoves into the frame with angry cat eyes, glares at him for doing so and Kero cowers in fear. The flirting, oddly enough, is left in, but Sakura’s angry scene is gone. Logic!

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After Tomoyo talks about video editing, we see quick cuts of Sakura showing Kero a few toys in a row and he keeps saying “Nope, not that one.” In the dub, this scene is removed and all we see is Sakura throwing a toy rabbit down and Kero saying that they’ve checked every one.

Because of the odd commercial placement, Nelvana had to put in an outside shot of the shop before we cut back to Sakura dealing with the toys.

After Sakura tells Tomoyo to stay with Miss Maki and she and Kero leave, there’s a short scene where Tomoyo’s holding Miss Maki saying that it’s a shame that she can’t film them this time. This is edited out of the dub.

After Sakura is knocked down by Jump, they show a short scene of her getting up. Omitted.

As the toys explode, Sakura gets bopped in the head with one of them and Sakura and Kero get these priceless looks on their faces. Omitted because of silly faces….I guess. This is slightly significant, because afterward she states “That doesn’t hurt at all.” Basically insinuating that Jump is basically harmless while possessing toys.

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When Sakura’s flying through the air on Jump, Nelvana edits out about half of her flailing scene.

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In the original, it’s supposed to be a joke that Jump’s “roar” sounds like nothing more than a BOI-YOI-OING sound. In the dub, Nelvana keeps the boing sound, but adds a slight roar to it and makes no mention of the oddity, making the entire joke lost. In fact, the boing sound gets more and more drowned out by the roar as he does it in the dub, making the joke even more lost.

A shot of Sakura running away from Jump is edited out.

After Jump hilariously falls over, Sakura has the look of utter “Huh?!” on her face. Edited out of the dub because cartoonish face. They also add this weird vocalizing music like it’s a fallen god or something.

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They edit out Sakura’s goofy face when Tomoyo tells them that they’ll have to return all of the toys to the shop.

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Some very short shots are cut from the final scene. Mostly filler shots of people looking at toys.

The final shot shows Kero sighing with one of those sigh puffs of air. The dub keeps the scene, but just has him grumble instead of sigh and the puff is gone.

Leave it to Kero/Kero’s Corner: The original mentions nothing of stating that the house was built by Sakura’s family nor that it was built in the same year Toya was born. Kero just mentions the technical aspects of the house such as how many floors it has, it has a garage etc.

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Boy this episode had a lot of goofy face edits. This episode was a lot of fun, and while Miss Maki wasn’t the most memorable CotD, she was pretty alright, and her backstory tugged at the heartstrings a bit. Jump seems like a pretty useless card, however. With Fly, it really doesn’t have much of a use, does it?

Next up is Illusion’s debut. Sakura and her friends think they’re seeing ghosts and odd visions, and when Sakura believes she has a run-in her with her deceased mother she believes the ghost stories are true. However, a Clow card may be behind these odd visions and the ghost of her mother.

…..Previous Episode


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Pokemon Episode 12 Analysis – Here Comes the Squirtle Squad

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CotD(s): None

Captures: Ash’s Squirtle – Previously the leader of the prankster gang turned firefighter group, the Squirtle Squad, Ash’s Squirtle has a bit of a cocky attitude, but is ultimately very loyal to Ash. Behind Bulbasaur and discounting Pikachu, Squirtle stays on Ash’s team the longest throughout the series.

Plot: After gaining two new Pokemon in Bulbasaur and Charmander, Ash happily continues on his Pokemon journey only to end up in yet another pit. It’s not Team Rocket this time – instead it’s a gang of Squirtle who dug the hole as a prank.

Ash attempts to capture the leader of the Squirtle, noted by his angular glasses that contrast to the rest of the Squirtle having circular ones. However, one of the other Squirtle takes the brunt of Pikachu’s electric attack to protect the leader. Wanting revenge, the leader faces off against Pikachu but the Squirtle suddenly run off when they hear police sirens.

The Officer Jenny of the nearby town explains that they encountered The Squirtle Squad, a group of Squirtle who have all been abandoned by their trainers and now play pranks all over town.

Team Rocket watches Ash and the others from afar. Just as they’re about to enjoy a picnic lunch, the Squirtle Squad appears again and forcibly takes Team Rocket’s lunch from them after catching them in a pitfall trap and tying them to a tree. Team Rocket hatches a plan to have the Squirtle get Pikachu for them. The Squirtle won’t hear Jessie and James out because they don’t trust humans, but Meowth hatches a plan to pretend that the two are actually his ‘pets’ to gain the trust of the Squirtle.

Meanwhile, Ash and the others rest near a river bank. One of the Squirtle appears and starts making trouble for them. Ash tries attacking with Pikachu, but he ends up in the river after a Rapid Spin attack. While trying to swim to shore, Pikachu suffers from a Horn Attack from a Goldeen, leaving him weak and injured on the river bank.

Ash tries to help him, but he, Misty and Brock all end up getting tied up by the other Squirtle. Now their hostages, Ash and the others try to reason with the Squirtle Squad to get some Super Potion for the badly wounded Pikachu. They initially refuse, but after seeing how desperate Ash is to help his friend, they agree. They say that he only has until noon tomorrow to go to the next town and get the Super Potion or else Misty’s hair will be dyed purple.

Ash heads off as fast as he can, and after a dangerous journey he finally makes it to the desolate desert town. However, as soon as he arrives, he’s knocked unconscious by someone slamming the door to the shop in his face.

The next morning, Team Rocket holds up the same shop that Ash is at. They steal all of the flash powder to scare off the Squirtle Squad from the town in an attempt to steal Pikachu from them in the resulting commotion. They run off, and Ash sets off after them but not before getting the Super Potion for Pikachu.

Jenny saves Ash from the storeowners who mistake Ash for another member of Team Rocket. With Super Potion in hand, they drive towards the Squirtle Squad’s base on Jenny’s motorcycle before the time limit is up.

With the bridge out, Jenny leads Ash to a secret entrance in the cave where he eventually finds his friends safe and sound, as well as freed. Misty states that Squirtle Squad aren’t as bad as they first thought and had no intention of ever dying Misty’s hair.

They quickly apply the Super Potion to Pikachu, but as soon as they spray it on, Team Rocket arrives and puts their plan into motion. Team Rocket makes off with Pikachu and chucks bombs at the group while the others try to protect themselves by hiding in the cave.

The leader Squirtle is stuck on his back outside of the cave and nearly gets blasted by the bombs, but Ash rushes in and protects Squirtle by covering his body with his own.

As more bombs fall, Ash urges Squirtle to run off and save himself, but Squirtle, touched by Ash’s sacrifice, instead gets up, picks Ash up and runs toward the cave while dodging all of the bombs.

Ash and Squirtle work together to send Team Rocket blasting off and save Pikachu, but the bombs have caused a forest fire. Ash suggests that the Squirtle Squad use their Water Guns together to put out the blaze, and they succeed in saving the forest. Thrilled with their bravery in saving the town, Jenny appoints the Squad as the town firefighters.

Later, as Ash and the others continue on their journey, the leader Squirtle starts following them. Ash asks if he’d like to join him on his journey, and he accepts. With a new Squirtle by his side, Ash continues on to the next town and his next Gym challenge.

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– Narrator: “You’ll recall in a previous Pokemon adventure, our hero, Ash, achieved his dream of catching a Bulbasaur with a shocking victory.” Wha…it was his dream now? His first choice back when he was selecting a starter was Squirtle. I get that he really wanted one, but if it was his ‘dream’ why wasn’t it his first choice?

– Narrator: “And that’s how Ash caught Charmander and Bulbasaur.” Well, to be fair, he only legit caught Bulbasaur. Charmander just decided to go with him.

– What is up with the text crawl for today’s title? It goes way faster than usual, which I guess is better because it helps prevent the awkward pauses that Ash usually has to do in order to match up with the speed, but it’s just weird.

– This happens so often that I’m just going to make this a new thing.

Why Use the Pokedex? – Squirtle. He should know very well what a friggin’ Squirtle is. In fact, of all Pokemon, he should know more about the starters than anything.

First, I believe Ash thought day and night over which Pokemon he’d select for his starter.

Second, he watched an educational program on the starters before his journey.

Finally, his dream sequence in the first episode indicates that he does have a fair amount of knowledge on them.

– Also, I know this is their legit classification, but I find it kinda silly to be intimidated by the ‘Tiny Turtle Pokemon.’

– I know that one of the staples of the series is the odd fact that every city and town has their own Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny that are all supposedly sisters/cousins who all look the same (except the emblem on their hats) and have the same name. And I’m also fairly certain that, at least in Joy’s regard, this a poke at the games having the same sprite for the nurses and cops throughout the entire game, but you really do have to wonder what it’s like to be in their families.

They also have to be insanely big families considering that this shtick doesn’t just cover Kanto but also every region to date (Well, it kinda changes in Unova onward because of the art change). At least the Joys eventually get the excuse that Joy is actually their family name and not everyone’s first names (though I could swear that’s refuted in an episode or two) but this Jenny straight out says that all of the Jennys have the first name of Jenny.

– How did Jenny even know something was going on in the middle of a dirt road out in the sticks?

– Let me get this straight….It’s perfectly safe to assume that every starter that Ash now has was abandoned or otherwise wronged by a human? Charmander was abused and abandoned. Squirtle is part of a gang of abandoned Squirtle. And it’s likely that Bulbasaur was either abused or treated poorly by a human or abandoned by a previous Trainer? Wow….That’s…wow.

And not to sound like I’m making light of this, but why would anyone abandon a starter? They’re usually some pretty nice Pokemon, and being the first one that a Trainer obtains, usually, they’re typically much further along in level than subsequent Pokemon captures. Not to mention that they’re quite rare. I know that I kept my starter on my team full game in, I believe, every single Pokemon game I’ve ever played.

– Ladies and gentlemen, I give you JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLYYYYYYYY DONUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTS!!

Okay, not the infamous ‘Jelly donuts’ scene with Brock, but I believe this is the first time that they call onigiri (rice balls) jelly donuts in the series. They also call them eclairs.

It could be that some Squirtle off-screen is eating these things, but the line is preceded by watching two Squirtle eat onigiri along with drinking lemonade, which is another thing Jessie mentions when she says this. I find it weird that James was bitching before about every meal being pizza, yet they have a picnic basket full of food and none of it is pizza.

And who honestly has a lunch made up of nothing but jelly donuts and eclairs? Shouldn’t that be Officer Jenny’s lunch? 😀

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– Meowth: “You’re not gonna Squirtle out of this one!”…….What does that pun even mean? The phrase is to ‘weasel’ out of something. That doesn’t have anything to do with turtles nor does it really sound like ‘Squirtle’.

– I love Ash’s grin after he bites Meowth’s tail.

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– I don’t know why, but these glowing scratch marks actually look much MORE painful than just showing red marks or even blood drips….

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– Really, they couldn’t find any other way to cover up the threat of killing Misty than threatening that they’ll dye her hair purple? Like, oh no, not something that’s completely temporary and reversible. And considering the plethora of colors we see in the hairstyles of anime, I don’t even see why this is a little threatening. Even within the main cast we have blue hair in Jenny and James, pink hair in Joy and cherry red hair in Jessie.

– I know Ash tripped and even got some air time, but was he really considering stopping after that? He doesn’t even have dirt marks or any visible boo-boos.

– Man, if Goldeen isn’t being treated like garbage, it’s being portrayed as a Horn Attack-happy asshole.

– Well, hello there completely random one-second cameo by Gary. Does this mean Ash has finally caught up with the Pallet Town trio?

Also, how did Gary not realize that he hit someone with the door? Especially if he did it hard enough to knock someone out for hours.

– How did some random country bumpkin know who Team Rocket was but not a big city’s Officer Jenny?

– Ice guns? *sigh* I suppose it’s better than turning them into Super Soakers, but I do have to say….James’ gun….yeah, no kid will believe that’s an ‘ice gun’. That’s very obviously a real rifle. I can believe the cannon thing shoots ice or something, it just looks like a generic weapon that could be anything, but that gun is very obviously a bullet shooting lead pumping rifle.

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– Those are very obviously cherry blossoms and not snow that Jessie shoots from her cannon.

– Okay, 4Kids, what’s the explanation as to what guns the storeowners are using? They even make real gun sounds. And you’d think they’d actually want to make a ‘safer’ explanation for these guns since they’re all being pointed at a ten year old boy.

Also, there’s a problem merely with the fact that several people are holding shotguns and rifles at a ten year old boy’s face. What the hell? More importantly, where were these guns when the real Team Rocket was robbing them?

– How the hell did Jenny know something was going on here now? And great police work, appearing after the incident has already occurred yet again….

– She was really intending on driving across that bridge? That one that Ash couldn’t take three steps on without breaking a board and subsequently fell through?

– Now, considering the threat earlier was changed to merely dying Misty’s hair purple, you have to wonder why they kept in the imaginary shot of Misty falling into a bottomless pit, insinuating that the Squirtle Squad killed her. Seeing as how they were all gone from the cave, you’d think he’d be worried that something actually bad happened to all of them, especially the weakened Pikachu. But nope, he’s more worried that the (invisible) hair dye made her fall down a pit.

– I still find it weird that merely spraying something on a Pokemon helps them recover from injuries.

– The Squirtle were bluffing about dying Misty’s hair because they’re just not that mean? When they capture people, keep them hostage, drop them down huge pits, keep injured Pokemon locked in cages without proper medical care etc? Uh…yeah. I imagine this line made more sense when it was something like ‘The Zenigame may play pranks, but they’d never kill anyone!’

– I love when Squirtle’s carrying Ash through all the bombs while crying happily. Him being able to pick up Ash at all is impressive, but that’s just hilarious.

– Yes, Jessie, I’m so sure that the town would hail you as heroes for getting rid of a few prankster Squirtle when you just robbed one of their stores earlier at gunpoint.

– Why didn’t Misty try to help put out the fire with her Water Pokemon?

– And considering how long it seems to take to get from that cave to the town, and especially considering that there’s a huge canyon/river in the land between the two areas, the fire would probably take eons to finally get to the town, if it would be able to get there at all.

– Also, again, Officer Jenny arrives only after the dangerous events have already concluded. Sure, she’s here for the fire, but she can’t put it out.

– Why doesn’t the town have its own firefighters? They have their own cops.

– And the townspeople must really not have seen the Squirtle Squad as such terrible troublemakers if they hail them as heroes for saving them from a threat that was miles away and they likely never even saw.

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I actually enjoyed this episode most of all out of the entire Starter trio arc.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Charmander episode and I like the Bulbasaur episode, but this one just has so much more going on. The Squirtle Squad are cute and entertaining, and their backstory, while being overused at this point, was fine. I think the explanation for their behavior should’ve been revolting against humans since they were all abandoned instead of just ‘they’re lonely and act out because they don’t have Trainers’ but maybe that’s just 4Kids’ doing.

This episode had the main group being taken hostage, a life or death situation racing against the clock, a robbery complete with actual non-painted guns, a second scene with guns, bombs, a (albeit random) cameo by Gary, an…okay-ish plan by Team Rocket, threats to lives, dangerous situations and an action climax during a rain of bombs. It’s very fun and even exciting to watch. Sure the ‘dye Misty’s hair purple’ thing is dumb, but that’s 4Kids for ya.

Bulbasaur’s episode was half made up of nothing but the group falling into traps and then them hanging out in a Pokemon sanctuary with an ornery Bulbasaur. The finale in that was fine, but the majority of the episode, while also being fine, was pretty uneventful. Plus, the lack of any backstory on Bulbasaur was very disappointing.

Charmander’s episode is obviously the biggest contender here. It is a memorable and sad episode with a decent dose of drama, for a Pokemon episode anyway. However, Damian was a laughably over-the-top antagonist, no matter if he does make my blood boil or not.

There was really no huge climax, Damian only got a little comeuppance, and, in the end I find the reasoning behind Ash getting Charmander to be a bit more poorly arranged than this episode. Like I stated, they go the whole episode focusing on Brock’s concern for Charmander with Ash only doing really one thing, then Ash gets Charmander and Brock and Charmander never share any sort of connection. It really seemed poorly planned.

With the finale of this episode, I will admit that it seemed a bit rushed, iffy writing-wise, and the sloppiest part is Squirtle joining the group. I don’t think it’s written in a way where it comes out of left field that Squirtle ends up going with Ash. You can tell simply from the scene where he saves Squirtle from the bombs that he’ll end up going with him, but it would’ve been a lot better if the leader Squirtle saw Ash leaving, visibly made the decision to go with him instead of staying with the Squad, shared a conversation or a knowing nod with his gang members to show that they understand and then have Squirtle stop him as he’s leaving and ask to go with him.

Having the firefighting team be assembled and ending on Squirtle looking really proud of his new job only to cut to the group as they’re clearly far away from the town now being followed by Squirtle and then just say ‘You wanna join us, Squirtle?’ *nods* really does seem like it doesn’t fit properly. It would’ve been nice to have something with Squirtle actually leaving the gang, but he just appears alone.

Though it is weird that all these episodes have two things in common. 1) All the Pokemon distrust people or at least the main group for some reason. 2) The Pokemon decides to trust Ash and/or go with him because he saved their lives. Yet another trope that will continue to pop up through the series.

Let me just finish by saying Jenny was such a useless person in this episode. She did three things; explain who the Squirtle Squad were to the group, explain that the town will eventually catch fire if the blaze isn’t put out and give Ash a ride back to the cave. And, to be honest, she wasn’t necessary for any of these things. For some dumb reason she was always arriving after the fact, only really arriving ‘in time’ once to save Ash from, ironically, the storeowners who were just victims of a robbery.

Next episode is Bill’s debut as well as Dragonite’s….kinda. I believe this episode will be really weird to analyze considering several factors….

Previous Episode…


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Devilman (Manga) Volume 4 Review

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Plot: The worldwide attack of the devil army is underway, and Devilman is forced to watch humanity fall in front of his eyes. As millions of people are wiped out by the demons, it seems like even more human-on-human violence and insanity is erupting. The demons, having taken over numerous government heads, start launching attacks against each other. There are still numerous devilmen out there who can help save innocent human lives, but will they be wiped out before Akira even has a chance to start his devilman army?

Breakdown: Whoo boy, the first quarter of this volume is insane. It is just non-stop massacre and destruction. They really weren’t playing around with wiping out humanity, even though it seems like the killing definitely slowed down substantially after the initial blow. And here Ryo said nearly everyone would be wiped out after the first wave.

After the insanity starts to calm a bit, we see that the demons’ endgame is for humanity to destroy itself with nuclear weapons. They purposely spark war between the nations and send out hundreds of missiles towards Russia. However, the missiles mysteriously disintegrate in mid-air, and all of Russia is wiped off of the map by a huge sphere of white light.

Ryo believes that this is actually the apocalypse as foretold in the bible. While this theory brings about even more worry as the threat of Satan himself leading this army makes hope dwindle, it also invigorates Akira even more to find the other devilmen and make an ‘army of god’.

However, it really seems like humanity itself is the biggest threat to his cause. I guess the Japanese government has been hauling ass in mere hours as it not only has numerous ways of combating the demons now, even avoiding the various powers of the demons, but they’ve also developed an incentive that is surely designed to be the downfall of humanity in every way.

Yeah, after this is over, could you guys direct your attention to finding a cure for cancer? Because you seem to really have it together.

Some scientist believes he has found the reason behind the creation of the devilmen and failed mergings lately; frustration, stress, anger and anxiety. The government decides that anyone showing such symptoms is a demon and will be killed on sight. However, they don’t realize that the devils have mostly retreated from merging with humans and most of the people who will be killed will be innocent people and devilmen.

Meanwhile, a major hint is given as to Ryo’s nature as his body starts to emit light just like the sphere of light in Russia. However, no one else immediately near the light has shown such symptoms. He also believes that he’s been a little too spot-on with his predictions and feels like he’s actually been dictating things that will happen.

We also meet back up with Miko who is sadly being horrifically tortured in a government facility and being used as an experiment. Luckily, she’s saved by Devilman at the end of the volume, though.

Despite wars erupting in every country, the devils still attacking every which way, the governments of the world killing everyone who shows natural human emotions, especially in times of war and mass panic, and a suicide rate probably so high that they’re killing themselves faster than anyone else is killing them, humanity is still around and kickin’ at the end of the volume, which seems to be at least a few weeks or months after the government has called for these measures.

Akira has formed an underground rebellion of sorts, and he has found a handful of devilmen to help him with his attack. Dosuroku and the other thugs have joined up with them as well, acting as their information gatherers and security.

A band of monks contact the devilmen telepathically, revealing that they are also all devilmen who have maintained great composure and sense of mind after much training. They promise to provide Akira and the others with a great devilman army in one month, and Akira states that as the moment when they’ll strike on the demons.

This is another great buildup to what I hope will be a fantastic battle and finale. The opening was insane and really made you lose hope for humanity. I mean, even if the devilmen win, it would be incredibly hard if not impossible for humanity to come back from this.

Akira’s frustration here was well done, even if you can understand where Ryo’s coming from too. Regular Akira shines through here several times, which is nice to see every now and then. Despite his desire for fighting seeming to take hold of him, you can see where Akira has the bigger hold several times.

Miki also wasn’t terribly annoying for a change. She did keep worrying about Akira when he was gone during the attack, but that’s understandable. She also had one moment of irkness when she acted like she knew all along that humanity would be fine and beat the demons, but that’s also not terrible considering that she could just be trying to make light of a bad situation and latch onto some hope.

She also didn’t really do much in this volume. She and her family did get attacked by a demon, but Dosuroku and his gang beat it and saved them off-panel.

The art has even gotten a bit better, especially in the softer shadows and shots where they try to be realistically detailed, possibly to give us a realistic view on what’s going on to connect to the situation even more. It’s very effective, especially in one scene with an air force pilot that was affected by the light. That was awesome.

This is a fantastic volume, and I’ll be sad to see it end, but here’s to volume five!

Recommended Audience: Wow, they really amp up the gore even more here a few times. They even kill a baby on-panel, though it’s in silhouette. There are some instances of nudity, no sex, a few swears. 16+

Next Volume…..

….Previous Volume


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Episode One-derland: Hitohira

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Plot: Mugi Asai is an incredibly shy girl who gets so nervous in crowds that she sometimes loses her voice entirely. However, in times when she’s particularly excited and forgets where she is, she proves to have a powerful voice. During one such time, she yells after hearing her acceptance into the school. She is soon drafted by the drama research society, but can a girl so shy really be in such a club?

Breakdown: Hitohira’s first episode does a fairly good job at establishing our main characters with only a few dangling in the wind. Mugi is very shy to the point where she can lose her voice entirely in crowds or if she feels she’s embarrassed herself in front of someone. I can relate to her situation pretty well, so it does break my heart when she’s in particularly stressful social situations.

Mugi’s a very nice girl, and her shyness doesn’t really get irritating to me like it sometimes did with Tama of Bamboo Blade, but that was really just with the volume of her voice sometimes. I will say that her voice….I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t really seem to fit with her character design and personality. It seems more suited for someone older and more outgoing, which might be for sometime in the future when she performs on stage and improves her vocal ability. However, her VA should have the range to make her default voice a bit more fitting.

Kayo is Mugi’s best friend and one of the only people that Mugi can talk to comfortably. She understands Mugi’s situation and tries to help her out, but this first episode kinda makes her seem mean about it sometimes.

For instance, Mugi tries to write out what she’ll say in the class introduction so she’ll be more comfortable talking in front of the class when called upon and Kayo tells her to ‘stop making such useless things.’ She seems to have more of an attitude of ‘you really need to get over this’ without addressing it as a real problem. I haven’t seen enough of her to say she’s a bad friend, and she really doesn’t seem like it, but her attitude at Mugi’s situation puts me off a bit.

Nono is the president of the drama research society and one of the founding members. She’s a very calm, reserved and interesting person. There’s also Kai who is a bit rambunctious, but doesn’t seem like that much of a trouble maker. I liked him. I also thought the short scene where he smiles at Mugi when she’s looking at his drawing was cute.

Another founding member of the club is Takashi who doesn’t get explored much. He seems responsible and somewhat boring so far.

Risaki is another founding member of the club, and she’s really loud mouthed and kinda violent. She’s Kai’s older sister, but that wasn’t relayed in the first episode. I don’t particularly like her so far.

We skew off from this main group to follow a girl named Kanna who is so incredibly moved by the drama club’s performance of a play that she immediately joins the club.

The club’s current president, Sakaki, is barely here, but she seems fairly kind and humble. It seems like she can’t do the club anymore or is quitting or something at the end of her scenes.

The show does a very good job at starting our story off with smooth pacing. The story itself is pretty interesting, and does enough with its story to seem unique.

The art is nice. It’s a toned down shoujo style. The girls are cute, and aspects like hair and eyes are exaggerated of course, but the eyes aren’t gigantic like they commonly are in shoujo shows. They’re at just the right size to look nice and expressive without being distracting. The overall style of the eyes was also nice and natural. The character designs weren’t horribly memorable, but they were good. The one I remembered most out of all of them was Takashi because his hair is so weird.

The overall art is very detailed and the animation is fluid with only a few small hiccups I saw. However the colors can be downright ugly, especially inside the school. I hope you like orange and brown.

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I mean….eugh. The uniforms on their own are perfectly fine, I actually really like them, but when they’re put in such an orange and brown classroom….eugh. The walls are yellow-orange, the desks are orange, the floor is brown, the uniforms are light brown for the guys and beige-ish orange for the girls with brown skirts. The only color of contrast in this whole room is green and that just makes it more ugly.

I feel like this school is what the fairy godmother would’ve made out of the pumpkin if Cinderella needed a school for some reason.

It would be better if the colors weren’t so muted. It just melts into a pile of earth toned mush in front of your eyes.

The music is okay, but completely forgettable.

I’m interested to see how this will go in the future, and the first episode was a really easy watch, when they weren’t in that classroom, with plenty of interesting moments and room for growth.

Verdict:

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The Wrath of the Ninja (The Yotoden Movie) Review

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Plot: Set in the Sengoku period under the rule of Oda Nobunaga, three separate ninja clans, the Kasumi, the Hyuga and the Hagakure, known throughout the land as The Shadow Warriors, are being attacked by a demon sent by Oda Nobunaga himself. The Kasumi clan has been wiped out, leaving a kunoichi named Ayame as the sole survivor with a special holy weapon in the form of a short sword. Ayame changes her name to Ayanosuke to take on a masculine status and vows to take revenge for her village.

The Hyuga were also wiped out by the creature, leaving a man named Sakon, wielder of a holy long sword, as its sole survivor. He becomes a bandit leader, for some reason, and later meets Ayame.

They decide to join up and go to the final clan for assistance, the Hagakure clan. While the Hagakure are glad to help, they soon also get attacked by Nobunaga’s forces, including a group of demons called the Oboro. The main warrior in the Hagakure is named Ryoma and he wields the holy halberd. Together, they must beat Nobunaga’s warriors and get revenge for all they have lost.

Breakdown: I am working off the Japanese version of the movie and not the OVA series, so many of my complaints probably stem from the fact that 45 minutes of runtime were shaved from the OVA series in order to make this movie.

This movie is a bit of mess in the first two thirds. The plot’s cliché (sole survivors of their clans, must get revenge with these awesome magic weapons we have for some reason etc.) and we jump around quite a bit. I also had a slightly hard time connecting emotionally with the main characters, but one of my main beefs was the side characters.

Side characters pop up like the strike of a match and then get extinguished just as quickly. Some prime examples are Kikyo, Kayo and Jinpei. These are supposedly people with strong connections to the main characters and yet they appear so briefly and don’t do much until they croak.

I can forgive the clicheness as the title is rather old and it brings some stuff to the table to spice things up, but the first two thirds really left me not caring very much.

I can’t even remember most of the Oboro members. And I love how one of them actually said that we should’ve guessed that it was his doing when the character hadn’t even been introduced yet and no one knew the guy.

The final third is when the bets are off. The final battle is pretty good, and includes some fairly brutal fights and plot twists. However, it doesn’t make much sense.

SPOILERS

Ranmaru, Nobunaga’s right hand man, turns out to be the real bad guy in this whole mess. (The battle with Nobunaga is actually kinda disappointing.) He’s really a demon (if the red eyes weren’t a giveaway) who orchestrated the whole thing. The holy weapons, the clan genocides, the betrayals, everything was in order to open a gate to the underworld and call forth powerful demons. He claims that, since he made the holy weapons, they can’t harm him, and it seems that he’s right since Ayame’s short sword powers don’t faze him at all….Yet, what defeats him and seals the gate?

…..Combining the powers of the holy weapons.

Yup.

Grade A plan you made there, dumbass.

A plan that was, I’m not lying here, over five CENTURIES in the making! Five centuries to make this incredibly complex, somewhat convoluted plan and one of the steps is to give three of the best ninja clans in existence three holy weapons that have the power to both kill you and thwart your plans. Oh yeah, that’s not a recipe for disaster or anything.

END OF SPOILERS

Besides that, the ending actually is good and I did get emotional at a point. Not nearly crying or anything, but I felt for the character.

The main characters, Ayame/Ayanosuke, Sakon and Ryoma are alright. Ayame is not an annoying female main character like this genre tends to favor,  and she actually does stuff! WOW! She’s brave and some of her fighting moves are pretty cool, even if she does get the lamest holy weapon.

She does tend to cry a lot, but she has good reason at least, and you can tell that Sakon and Ryoma definitely outrank her in power much of the time. However, that can also be excused since they’re seemingly ‘masters’ and she’s, for all I know, just another Kasumi ninja. She’s still a lot stronger than most female leads are in fighting shows, especially back in the 80’s, and she has a few moments that are badass.

Sakon is interesting as he doesn’t really have a drive to fight much after a certain point and even leaves in the middle of a war. He has good reason as he just doesn’t find much point in the battle. He sees it as warriors throwing their lives away for no reason, and even states that if the others were fighting to give the other clans and innocent people a chance to escape that he’d gladly lay down his life for the cause.

Sakon eventually comes back for no given reason. I’d suppose it’s for Ayame’s sake, but I can’t be sure. He stays up in the mountains doing nothing but meditating and trying to reach enlightenment or something, explains how, even if he wanted to help them, that he’s too far out of practice to do much good, yet a couple scenes later he suddenly comes to the rescue….in a mask that he’s wearing for no reason.

Ryoma’s kinda boring, but he’s, by no means, a bad character. He loses quite a few people that he knew and loved right in front of his eyes as opposed to Ayame and Sakon where we got small flashbacks (with Sakon we barely got anything). However, even this isn’t very impacting since, like I said, we don’t get to know these characters much at all so it’s hard to empathize with any of them when they die. However, he’s very loyal and kind and a great character to follow.

Art and Animation: The art and animation are pretty good for 1989. The art never seemed bad and was pretty consistent throughout the film. The animation wasn’t fantastic, but it was still pretty good. The motions were fluid and I didn’t find many animation errors.

Music: Here’s another part where I fell off. For the most part, the music is awful. It’s unfitting synthesizer music that sometimes sounds like an NES game. Some points even have music that is really inappropriate for the scene. “Oh hey this character that we don’t care about yet one of the main characters loves is dying by the hands of aforementioned main character! Let’s play really upbeat heroic-ish music!” Not all of the music was bad. Some of it was actually good and fitting, but that just irked me.

Bottom Line: It’s a harmless movie, but I’d try to track down the OVA as that likely goes into more detail about the main and side characters and might make you give more of a damn. Seeing as how this series is very highly praised, it’s likely a good bet. The ending does make up for a lot of my complaints, but it still wasn’t fantastic to me.

Additional Information and Notes: The Wrath of the Ninja (The Yotoden Movie) was directed by Osamu Yamazaki and was written by Shou Aikawa, who also wrote for Angelic Layer, Fullmetal Alchemist, Love Hina and Oh! Edo Rocket. It was produced by JC Staff, and was licensed in the US by Central Park Media, but the license has since expired.

Runtime: 87 Minutes

Year: 1989

Recommended Audience: Holy crap, this is gory. People get slashed in half, beheaded, eaten alive, people’s heads blow up (which is another thing that made no sense to me. The monster making these people’s heads blow up can do it with just a glance, yet when he gets to Ryoma he suddenly can’t do it anymore and can’t even crush him properly.) people blow up entirely – just a lot of blood and gore. One instance of nudity which came up for what seems like no reason, but even that was from far away. No sex, no real swearing. 16+


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Dissecting the Disquels – Atlantis: Milo’s Return

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Plot: Milo and Kida are reunited with their old friends and are given the mission to solve strange, possibly Atlantis-related incidents in the surface world.

Breakdown: Atlantis: Milo’s Return is the sequel of the iff-ishly received Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Now, I personally really liked the first movie. Is it fantastic? Mmm, not really. But I really enjoyed it. Plus, it had voice acting from Michael J. Fox, and that’s always awesome.

This sequel was made as a pilot for an Atlantis animated TV series. Never heard of the Atlantis animated TV series? Not surprised. It never got made. So that makes me….ssooooooo super excited to see what’s in this movie if it couldn’t even land a TV deal for Disney Channel.

Let me give you some background on the original movie before we go on. Milo is a linguist, historian and cartographer who has been fascinated by the lost city of Atlantis for his entire life. After a map of the lost city surfaces, Milo and a team of explorers and scientists go searching for the lost city.

Eventually, they find it and meet Princess Kida and her father, the king of Atlantis.

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No, no.

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Nooooo.

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There ya go!

Milo is enthralled to explore the city with Kida, but is troubled when she tells him that their society is actually dying. The crystals that give them their power of immortality and tons of other stuff are losing their glow so she wants him to help her discover what is basically the core crystal and revive it to help restore her city and her people.

Once they discover information about the crystal, Kida and Milo are kidnapped by the two characters in the group who were obviously bad guys from the very beginning. Following the completed map that Kida and Milo found, they discover the main core crystal, to which Kida instantly fuses with due to her Atlantean nature.

The bad guys team up with the rest of the crew who obviously are going to side with Milo again, and they act like all they want is the money and go with the bad guys until they go back to Milo when the bad guy beats him up.

After the bad guys leave with Kida and the crystal, the people of the city lose their crystal power and the king, being incredibly old and sickly without it, dies after giving Milo his crystal and telling him to save Kida.

Milo uses ancient vehicles that were found in Atlantis to track down the bad guys and they have a huge fight that results in one of the most brutal Disney villain deaths ever.

After retrieving Kida from the crystal’s power and saving Atlantis, Milo decides to stay behind with Kida in Atlantis while the others return home and swim in the riches that they gained from gifts given by the Atlanteans.

In this movie, Milo’s friends return to Atlantis to tell him about sightings of a local sea monster called the Kraken, and before I go any further, can I get opinions on this? In the movie, everyone calls the monster the Kraken (Kray-ken) but I’m 99% sure it’s supposed to be Kraken (Crack-en). Milo and Kida, in the midst of rebuilding Atlantis, decide to go to the surface world with the others to check it out. After they solve that mystery, they discover that even more weird things are going on in the world above that seem Atlantean related.

So, yeah, you can see how they made this into a series pilot. The movie itself is set up like episodes melded together into a movie. Not as bad as Cinderella 2, but still.

The first third of the movie is about the Kraken and a village that is supposedly under the control of the Kraken. The second is about a pack of sand coyotes who apparently are trying to protect ancient artifacts. And the final one is about some crazy guy who steals an Atlantean spear and thinks he’s Odin and wants to bring about Ragnarok.

I can also see why they didn’t pick it up. It’s no different than any other Disney movie inspired TV series like Aladdin the TV series or The Little Mermaid the TV series. Every episode there’s a big baddie, the heroes solve the problem – the end. I mean, Aladdin was probably the best TV series made from a Disney movie, and even that followed this procedure.

Atlantis, in my opinion, also doesn’t have a strong enough cast to carry an actual TV show. Don’t get me wrong, I like the characters, but none of them really shine enough to carry a TV series. Also, Kida seems to be annoying in this movie. She was endearing with her lack of knowledge of the world above in the first movie, but here, since she is surrounded by land-based stuff, she gets confused on everything and the joke of her not knowing seems to be a running gag. And gag you will do since I practically strained by eyes from rolling them whenever they brought it up.

Something else that’s weird; one of the group always seems to go missing during these ‘episodes’. In the first, Dr. Sweets went to Atlantis to get Kida and Milo, but he wasn’t in the battle against the Kraken. In the next episode Dr. Sweets has returned to the group but Vinnie’s gone. In the third episode, Vinnie’s back but Sweets is gone. Is there a limit on how many characters they can have per segment?

We also have an animal sidekick now. A somewhat interesting one; a lava dog thing that eats anything, especially rocks, and loves playing in lava and fire.

Also, I’m really surprised at this, but this movie has several villain deaths whereas I’ve been hardpressed to find one in any of the Disquels I’ve reviewed. The old man who was supposedly controlling the Kraken from the first segment, but was really just an instrument for the Kraken, ends up turning to dust. The greedy shop owner who steals a pot from one of the characters is killed by a bunch of sand coyotes (wow, pretty harsh punishment for thievery) And though it’s not a death, the lava dog bites a real dog on the leg WHILE COVERED IN LAVA, and we never see that poor dog again.

I find it odd that the one villain who doesn’t die is the one that wanted to bring about Armageddon. Exploiting a village; death. Stealing a pot; death. Trying to end the world; eh, send him to a mental hospital.

As for the ending…it makes no sense whatsoever.

At the end of the first segment, Kida’s thinking to herself that the power of the crystals, now that the Heart of Atlantis has been raised, is what’s causing problems on land. Throughout the whole movie, this is only reinforced. After the Kraken problem came, the sand coyotes came soon after, and after that came the crazy person who thought he was Odin using the power of an Atlantean spear to end the world (Also, why are so many Atlantean artifacts being found now?) So what does she decide to do at the end of the movie?

Make the Heart of Atlantis and the power of the crystals even closer to land by raising Atlantis above sea level once more with the power of the spear.

Yeah….yeah, that’ll sure stop those supernatural occur–…..Wait, that’s what the writers were hoping for, wasn’t it? They wanted more problems on land so that Milo and the others could make the series out of solving them. Wow, that’s super awful.

And Kida, you really, honestly believe that the world will accept Atlantis with open arms and vice versa? It’s a nice sentiment, but just because a small group of crazy people embrace Atlantis doesn’t mean everyone will do so rightfully.

My final gripe with this movie is Kida and Milo. I thought they were cute in the original movie because they didn’t throw their budding relationship in your face like many other Disney couples. It was pretty subtle even with their great chemistry, and they didn’t even kiss at the end. Despite not kissing until the final scene, they’re constantly hugging and giving each other goo-goo eyes in this movie. It got to be a little annoying.

Art and Animation: Not on par with the original at all. The movie has been very TV-ized and some of the character designs look downright weird sometimes.

Voice Acting: Michael J. Fox does not reprise his role as Milo,  but most of the other VAs return. Milo’s new VA doesn’t do a good job of emulating MJF’s voice. They should’ve gotten that guy who did it in the Back to the Future Telltale games.

Music: Nothing stuck out to me, but I guess it was fine. Unlike many other Disney movies/sequels, Atlantis is not a musical. No one sings and there are no vocal songs. The only notable song from the first movie was ‘Where the Dream Takes You’ and that was an end credits song.

Bottom Line: This movie does not need to exist. It’s not boring, per se, especially if you are a fan of the first movie, but even as a fan I find the movie uninteresting, and I understand completely why this didn’t get picked up as a TV series. The movie itself feels too much like three TV series episodes and not a movie. None of the arcs are really interesting; it’s a movie that’s just kinda there. I can’t recommend this movie to anyone.

Recommended Audience: Unlike your other Disquel fare, this actually has two deaths and one injured animal, but none of it is particularly graphic. No sex, nudity, swearing and whatnot. This is Disney. 7+


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Episode One-derland (Cartoons) ATOM: Alpha Teens on Machines

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Plot: Five teens are recruited by an insanely rich man to test out his various high-tech vehicles. When a prison break occurs, releasing a man named Alexander Paine, the five, especially their leader Axel Manning, take it upon themselves to pursue him since he supposedly killed Axel’s father over a decade ago.

Breakdown: This show is really silly…..but kinda fun?

It kept going on and off for me. I couldn’t really get a good lock on how I felt about this show. The premise is simple; five strangers are selected via weird challenge show to test out the latest tech creations of a man named Janus Lee, a man so rich he basically owns the entire city. After a prison break results in the release of a man that Axel has a grudge against, they group up together to stop him. When they find they have failed, they vow to stop him no matter what.

I was going to complain that this seemed like half a story, and it is because it’s a two-parter. But even as a part-one this episode’s second half seems rushed and weird.

I really believe they spent too much time focusing on the game show, especially considering that the show was basically fake. They could’ve started out the episode with introductions to the characters, have them be new recruits to be testers for Lee’s creations simply because they’re X-TREEM and cut a good five minutes down for more exploration. I don’t know what happens in episode two, but I really believe it would work as a standalone.

Speaking of the second half, oh god. First off, just to get this out of the way, COPS? Hellooooo? Rampant escaped convict involved in a really destructive car chase? Kidnaps the guy following him? Yoohoo? Are you there?

Then………I really thought this show would just be focused on X-TREEM sports and cool vehicles and doing crime fighting stuff with that. For the most part, yeah, that’s right, but then…..they introduce magic martial arts.

I’m not kidding even a little. The leader, Axel, because leaders always get the best stuff, knows a martial art called Jo-Lan which makes his eyes glow and allows him to shoot Kamehameha waves or pseudo-Hadokens, if you will, from his hands. Reading the Wiki, this martial art only gets more insane and more like arcade game and DBZ fare.

It just does not fit. I thought this universe was just ours in the fairly distant future, then you throw magic martial arts in the mix? You didn’t think your premise was strong enough on its own with cool machines? Hell, the team is called Alpha Teens on MACHINES. Why do you need to bring magic martial arts into it?

At the end, the bad guy gets away, and Hawk suddenly leaves because he doesn’t want to damage his precious face while chasing baddies even though he decided to help Axel this time of his own free will, even without knowing the connection between the two of them. The departure is framed as a cliffhanger. Gee, wonder if he’ll come back in the next episode.

The characters are pretty much cutouts and stereotypes. Axel, the leader, is brave, responsible, smart, and of course has the most cliché backstory of ‘The villain killed my father. REVENGE!!’ That coupled with the magic martial arts out of nowhere makes this show kinda smell B-Movie-ish

Then you have Hawk, a complete ego-maniac, but one of those ego-maniacs who is so full of himself and kinda dumb that he doesn’t even have time to be a typical jackass most of the time.

Shark is comic relief and a surfer dude.

Lioness is the girl, and, man, she blinds you with ‘I AM THE GIRL OF THIS GROUP OF X-TREEM TEENS FIGHTING CRIME.’ She’s hot, she can fight though that doesn’t seem to matter much because she still has no effect in her one lone fight and needs to be rescued in some way afterward, and because she’s a lone female in a group of males, she’s so obviously the projected love interest.

So far she has three of the four guys hitting on her, even though, like so many shows before it, it’s so obvious that she’s going to fall for the main guy. They even have the dumb ‘falling on each other’ trope. Oh and if you want to get a good idea of her girlness, her Wikia page reports that her biggest fear is getting fat. Yup.

To be fair, she can seemingly take care of herself and has a good head on her shoulders, but she just matches up so perfectly with her character archetype that it’s appallingly obvious. Hopefully she gets better with this down the line.

King is a big tough strong guy who is also noble.

Janus Lee is a bit of a doofus for a tech genius with 6000 patents, but seems nice enough.

Alexander Paine is a very, very, very typical bad guy. Big and muscular, gruff voice, brute with intelligence etc.

No one really stands out or impresses me, though Hawk kinda annoys me.

This show is also directed awkwardly. It has anime-isms like Totally Spies did, though to a lesser degree. They have splitscreens sometimes for no reason. And the most awkward of all, they have this insanely annoying habit of halting a shot, putting a colored filter over it and then overlaying the characters onto that frozen shot while animating what they’re currently doing.

For example, Axel gets Paine to the ground and Paine pulls a laser gun thing on him. You can imagine how this scene would normally be shot quite well, right? In ATOM, they freeze on the shot of Axel being surprised, put a blue filter on it, then overlay the gun on the shot from a different angle and animate Paine getting up in the same manner over the still shot before returning to normal animation. It’s awkward, adds nothing, is very distracting and sometimes even makes scenes confusing. That scene with the gun didn’t show the gun for a good five seconds so I was confused as hell why he was surprised.

The animation itself is merely passable. Despite having a few anime-isms, the show is really not anime style. It’s a somewhat craggy regular western cartoon style with a little bit of Flash-ness to it. The CGI is cel-shaded and looks okay.

The voice acting is pretty good. Everyone seems to be having fun in their roles at least. Plus, Brian Donovan, voice of Davis from Digimon and Rock Lee from Naruto, as well as Tom Kenny of all people is also a bonus.

The music is completely forgettable, and the opening doesn’t do a great job getting you pumped for this supposed X-TREEM show about cool vehicles, machines, fighting and whatnot. It’s a fairly fast song, but it’s also awfully quiet and has no real energy.

I’m going to give this show an ‘undecided’, bordering on ‘no’. I’m mostly just hoping that it gets crazier and more fun with a little more time. Maybe it’d become a nice ‘turn off your brain, sit back and enjoy’ kind of show. However, I don’t have too much hope for that, and the directing style is bound to become very annoying.

Verdict:

ebzss3e

Recommended audience: Mentions of murder, minor violence, and that’s about it. 7+


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