Pokemon (Banned) Episode 18 Analysis – Beauty and the Beach/Holiday at Aupulco

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CotD(s): Brutella/Obaba – A kinda creepy witchy character, Brutella is a big sack of horrible who has a debt over Moe, one that he will lose his boat over if he doesn’t pay her back in time. She ‘hires’ Team Rocket to help with messing with his business to destroy him and get his boat. She somehow treats them worse than Giovanni does.

Reappears?: Surprisingly, yes. She has a minor appearance in the next episode.

Moe/Ryu – Also a little creepy, Moe is a restauranteur who is being put out of business by Brutella. He recruits Ash and the others to help him save his business and his boat when they accidentally stole his boat and crashed it into his pier.

Reappear?: No.

Pre-Episode Notes: Ah, our first banned episode. Though one could say this isn’t technically entirely banned.

4Kids got this episode among the rest of the batch for the Indigo League, but decided against dubbing it since there was questionable content. Namely, this is the infamous ‘James has boobs’ episode. Yup. The big issue with this episode is James crossdressing again, but this time he’s in a bikini and somehow has inflatable prosthetic boobs that he squeezes and shows off. I imagine 4Kids didn’t think it to be reasonable to edit out these scenes since it would bring down the runtime quite a bit. So, instead, they opted to remove it entirely.

There’s also some controversy over some of the scenes James is in, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

The reason this isn’t really a banned episode anymore is because, unlike every other banned episode, it was eventually dubbed. It was finally edited, dubbed and shown in the US……three years later….

Why they waited so long to finally release this episode is beyond me. If they did indeed feel comfortable releasing the butchered edited version, then why wait three years to do it? For the controversy to die down?

They released this as a Lost Episode, and, to my recollection, it was airing right as the Orange League was going down, so it felt kinda weird to watch it.

I can only surmise that they didn’t feel comfortable airing the edited version when the Indigo League was first airing because they felt that to be too big of a gap for the sponsor support they had back then? The episode is a mere 18 minutes long as opposed to the near 22 minutes it’s supposed to have. Maybe they decided to make it into a special “Lost episode” much later on where they could jam in more commercials and get more money? I dunno.

It’s also interesting to note that the two times this aired on Kids’ WB were the only occasions this episode saw TV time outside of Japan. It was never put back in its rightful place in the Pokemon DVDs or VHSs, to my knowledge, it was never released in other formats like Netflix or Hulu, and it was never on any other channel where Pokemon was syndicated like Cartoon Network. The official US Pokemon website didn’t even make a listing for this episode. It’s like they wanted its release to be a secret. It is a legit Lost Episode now.

The only way you can watch it is by hunting it down on the Internet. Many sources have horrible quality thanks to the old VHS recording on Kids’ WB, but someone synced up the English Audio to a DVD version of the Japanese airing and edited it themselves, so there is now a much better quality version out there. Mazel tov.

With all that out of the way, let’s tackle Beauty and the Beach – both the Japanese and English versions.

Plot Color Key: Stuff that is purely in the Japanese version IE banned will be put in red. Stuff that is purely in the English dubbed version will be in blue. Anything that carries between versions will be in regular black.

Plot: At the beautiful island paradise of Porta Vista, Ash, Misty and Brock decide to take a much needed vacation after the harrowing journey they took after the sinking of the St. Anne. As they enjoy some swimming and time in the sun, they decide to take a leisurely boat ride. However, a terrible mix up leads them to accidentally stealing the boat. After a run in with Team Rocket’s Gyarados sub, they lose control of the boat and crash it into a dock.

As bad luck would have it, the owner of both the boat and the dock, Moe, shows up on the scene. Since he’s perving on Kasumi in her bikini, he decides to be lenient with them and let them work off the damages. Since Misty reminds Moe of his granddaughter, he decides to be lenient with them and let them work off the damages.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is hired as waiters at a restaurant belonging to a terrible woman named Brutella. It just so happens that Ash and the others were also hired as employees at Moe’s restaurant, which is experiencing a lull in business while Brutella’s is booming.

Team Rocket mocks Ash and Co. for working at Moe’s crappy dive while they’re working at a nice swanky place. Angered at these taunts, Ash lets out all of his Pokemon to help them out with promotions, cooking and waiting tables.

As Moe’s restaurant has an explosion of popularity, Team Rocket decides to rain on their parade by sabotaging all of their efforts such as using a fan to blow away Squirtle and Pikachu’s fliers, putting gasoline on the coals in the stove to make it flare up in Moe’s face and tripping Bulbasaur and Misty with banana peels to make them dump food all over some of the customers.

Just as quickly as the place filled up, Moe’s restaurant empties completely. Brutella and Team Rocket show up to not only gloat but to remind Moe that he owes her money, and if she doesn’t get it she’ll take his boat.

Moe has always dreamed of sailing the world on that boat, so Ash and the others encourage him to not to give up. However, the problem with the money remains, and they have no ideas to come up with the extra cash.

Professor Oak and Delia surprise the group with a visit, though they don’t explain why they’re at Porta Vista in the first place. Oak shows them a flier about a local Pokemon beauty and costume contest that will draw in plenty of customers to generate the money needed to pay back Brutella.

The plan works as the place is packed when the contest starts. Misty decides to partake in the contest for the extra prize money and makes up a UFO and alien outfit for Squirtle and Starmie during the costume portion.

As Kasumi finishes up her set, Team Rocket pushes her away. They’re partaking in the contest, complete with Kojirou crossdressing yet again in a bikini and inflatable prosthetic boobs. Since they’ve suddenly barged into the contest, Takeshi wonders if they should be barred from participating. But after Kojirou super inflates his boobs, the crowd cheers and welcomes them to the contest with open arms.

Team Rocket butts into the contest uninvited with Ekans and Koffing dressed up as an Omastar. However, they’re quickly booted from the stage by Gary. Surprising Ash immensely, Gary has shown up to blow the contest away with six girls from his fan club. Brock obviously could not be happier and neither could the crowd as they all gush over the girls in their bikinis.

As the crowd cheers for Shigeru’s ‘girlfriends’ Team Rocket stews over the loss of attention. Obaba, however, drags them away with a better idea.

Brutella says she’s fixed Team Rocket’s Gyarados sub/tank, and as payment for the repairs, she wants them to use it to bust up the contest and ruin Moe’s business, to which they happily agree.

As Ash stews over being rejected for a Pokemon battle with Gary, Team Rocket show up and start causing a panic on the beach. Ash manages to calm everyone down, but Team Rocket fires back with a heat-seeking missile. Ash combats this by having Pidgeotto carry Charmander up in the air to fire a Flamethrower at the missile, sending it flying back at Team Rocket. They try to outrun the missile but end up crashing into Brutella’s restaurant, along with the missile, and Team Rocket and Brutella blast off.

Moe gathers the money necessary to pay Brutella back, and sets off on his world cruise after bidding Ash, Misty and Brock farewell. They also say goodbye to Delia, who is now in possession of the contest trophy as a gift from Ash, and Oak as they continue on their Pokemon journey.

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– I guess this is technically our first pun title.

– Ash: “Surf’s up, dude!” Dated dialogue out of the way, 1) the surf’s not up, it’s actually pretty calm water and 2) you’re not surfing.

– I find it odd in both versions how Ash/Satoshi think it’s weird to see Misty/Kasumi ‘looking like a girl.’ Uh, Ash, her regular ensemble is a yellow bare mid-drift tank top with short-shorts that need to be held up with suspenders. If that’s not girly, I dare you to wear it. Also, Brock/Takeshi, why are you gawking at her with Ash? You’re several years older – it’s bordering on creepy.

– How the hell do you accidentally steal a boat? More importantly, even if they did legitimately borrow or rent the boat they’re on, they’re all way too young to be driving the damn thing. Why aren’t any of them asking about that? It looks like Ash might be driving, but why is he driving? I’m pretty sure he’s the youngest of the group even if Misty is the same age.

Also, Satoshi, you think you’re on the wrong boat? No – there is no right boat. You never rented a boat.

– So that boat was Moe’s/Ryu’s? And the dock they crashed into is his too? How convenient yet also horribly inconvenient that they bring the boat back to the dock they took it from after losing control of it.

– I know the dub always changes food when it’s brought up, but it’s usually to AMERICAN things like cheeseburgers, donuts, hamburgers, burgers and sometimes burgers, but clam juice snow cones? Eughghg.

– Is it really a surprise Moe’s restaurant isn’t doing any better with Ash and the others’ help? Would you feel anymore compelled to visit a restaurant if they had a 10 and 15 year old outside in swimsuits trying to call you to it with a Pikachu?

– Brock: “Jessie looks pretty good in that uniform too!” Since when does Brock notice Jessie in a romantic way? I can only remember this as the only incident in which he does.

– Letting Pokemon help out in your restaurant seems like it would be breaking all kinds of health codes….For instance, birds are disgusting and carry tons of diseases. Ash lets his Pidgeotto use the wind from its wing flaps to cool down corn on the cob….but I guess this is Pokemon where Pokemon are welcome everywhere and can do no wrong

– SDC stuff, but Satoshi says Pidgeotto is using the wind from its flapping wings to cool down the hot corn on the cob. Ash says Pidgeotto is keeping the charcoal toked. I guess both are viable results of that, but why the change?

– So Charmander’s job is to give Moe third-degree burns on his legs?

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– I honestly don’t get why all those people up and left Moe’s place. Most of the stuff that Meowth was sabotaging had little impact on the guests. He blew away the fliers. Big whup. Who really pays attention to fliers that get handed to them? To quote the great Mitch Hedberg;

“Whenever I walk, people try to hand me out fliers, and when someone tries to hand me out a flier, it’s kinda like they’re saying, ‘Here, you throw this away.’ “

People were paying attention to the place either way. It has heavy foot traffic, people just think it’s a dive.

He flared up the stove, which probably burned a little food, as well as Moe’s face, but he could’ve easily made up a new batch. Meowth wasn’t standing there with the gasoline can ready to continuously ruin the food.

The only thing that affected the guests was Bulbasaur and Misty tripping, but come on. Shit happens. Probably 80+ people left because of slight delays in one or two food orders, lack of fliers and a little food being spilled on them after two of the wait staff obviously tripped?

And, again, it’s not like Meowth was there continuously tripping them time and again getting food on everyone. They spilled one drink order and another food order on two people. Those minute things made them go from 80+ customers to zero. These people are pretty damn uptight for beach goers.

– Hold the phone…..Ash didn’t let out all of his Pokemon like he said. Why wasn’t Butterfree given anything to do? You’d think after the crap Ash put him through on the St. Anne that he’d want to spend some time with him.

– Also, that means Ash, Misty and Brock crashed the boat that meant the world to Moe? I know it seemingly suffered no damage, but I’d be way more pissed if my dream heavily relied on a nice boat and three kids steal and crash it….into my own pier.

– Considering this episode was aired three years out from its intended slot, it’s not surprising this note isn’t seen as more of an issue by people, myself included up until this point. However, since I’m doing these analyses in order…..uh….Professor Oak….Delia…..why are you not shocked beyond belief to see Ash….ya know….alive?

Remember, this episode is coming straight off the St. Anne arc. Last the public heard of Ash, Misty and Brock, they were three of the casualties of the sinking. Unless the cops were such complete assholes that they didn’t bother telling their families what happened, which, considering the confusing funeral scene, is a scary possibility, Delia and Oak should be under the impression that Ash and the others are dead.

You might be able to argue that Ash called Delia when he got to the island to tell her that they were all okay, which may explain away Misty’s sisters and Brock’s dad and siblings absence, but that doesn’t make any sense for Ash. If he did, why wouldn’t Delia tell him that she and Oak intended to go out and visit him in Porta Vista? Why wouldn’t she be giving him crushing hugs and sobbing when she saw him again?

Remember the second movie? How she only believed that Ash was in the general area where a bunch of terrible weather events were happening so she hopped on a helicopter to search for him and make sure he was okay? And then when she found him she yelled at him for making her worry so much? Where is that Delia here?

The only way this whole situation would make any sense, if she was told about the situation, is if she and Oak gave zero shits about Ash and the others dying and went to Porta Vista for a nice vacation and/or to celebrate that he was gone.

Or….ya know………the writers forgot about that whole three episode arc. Whoopsee.

– A bathing suit contest for girls and…..Pokemon…..Errrrrr……uhhhh.

– Also, Misty really shouldn’t be able to enter such a contest. Aren’t there age restrictions on that stuff? She’s freakin’ ten.

– How does Oak know how much money they need? Since the reason behind the money is never given in the dub, for all we know, it could be some ridiculous loan with interest or something.

– Where the hell are these fliers coming from?

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I mean, I can think of a place, but ew.

– Notice how most of the people in the shot afterward look surprised or annoyed at the sudden rain of fliers? No one likes fliers, and they especially don’t like when they’re poured on top of they’re heads. Also, isn’t that a ton of littering?

– Why is Brock announcing the contest? Surely they had an announcer in place when this whole event was planned.

– In the original Hanako/Delia and Okido/Oak are just there on vacation, which begs the question of why they had to explain their presence later. Because it takes so much time to say ‘we’re on vacation’…..Also, why are Hanako and Okido on vacation….together? In the dub, they’re there because they’re with a tour group – the Pallet Town Volunteer Patrol…..patrol? Patrol what? Tour? Of what? Volunteer? For what? Your presence in neither version makes sense!

Now that I’m thinking about it, it is really weird that they had Ash crash a boat after the St. Anne arc…

– I knew Starmie could kinda float, but it can really fly in the air for extended periods of time? With a passenger?

– More SDC stuff, but Kasumi loves being in the contest while Misty says it’s completely degrading and embarrassing. I guess this line may have been put in here to give a message about beauty contests, but Misty was excited about entering and now she hates it but is putting up with it for the money.

– The other kinda minor thing I was talking about with the bikini James thing is that he mentions that Misty partook in the contest ten years too early, poking fun at her small chest. This was probably also deemed as a controversial message to young girls what with body image and whatnot. I especially think this now considering the line change with Misty being embarrassed about being in the contest.

Originally, Arbo and Dogas are dressed as a leviathan. In the dub, they’re supposedly an Omastar.

– Usually Gary’s a breath of fresh air in this series, but even though those were Team Rocket’s Pokemon, it was a complete dick move to kick them off the stage. Not only in regards to the contest, but he just kicked two seemingly innocent Pokemon for no reason.

– Also, considering Ash and the others have been lost at sea for like a week, it is a crazy coincidence that not only Delia and Oak but also Gary are at the exact place they happened upon after they finally reached civilization.

– Hey since we’re on the topic of creepy attractions to people way outside of your age range, let’s again talk about the weird fact that Gary has six girls in their 20s who follow him everywhere, seem to live with him on his journey and gush over everything he does – Everything this ten year old boy does. Also, in the original, he outright calls them his girlfriends.

– Let me get this straight…..without Ash and the others getting interested in this contest….it would’ve had no entrants? Misty enters legitimately, but both Team Rocket and Gary’s fan club girls burst in uninvited. They’re the only participants that we see, so I guess no one else wanted to enter. In that case, Misty definitely would’ve won with no problem.

– Technically more SDC stuff, but Obaba tends to add ‘baba’ to the end of her sentences and Brutella does not, for obvious reasons. Musashi accidentally catches herself saying ‘baba’ as they leave in their sub, but since she doesn’t say this in the dub, Jessie puts on a slightly gruffer voice and says Brutella’s rubbing off on her. She made very little effort to sound like Brutella. I don’t know if they knew what she’d sound like at this point, but you can barely even tell she’s altering her voice at all.

– Brutella randomly has a docked underground waterway to the ocean in her backyard…..why?

– *sigh* Please let Ash go, Brock. We hardly ever get to see Ash and Gary battle.

– How the hell does Brock know that’s a heat-seeking missile? It gives no indication that it’s following heat. This isn’t a dub exclusive line either. He just magically knows that the missile launched right in front of their faces directly towards them is heat seeking.

– Why does blowing fire on the heat seeking missile redirect it towards a mostly cold Gyarados sub/tank?

– That was some cheap as hell animation on Ash’s goodbye wave.

– Why does Delia have the trophy? She didn’t enter the contest. I guess Misty could’ve won and given it to her….but why? There’s another theory that whichever of Gary’s fangirls might’ve won and gave it to her….but why?

In the dub, the trophy’s plaque is changed to say ‘First place in our hearts: Ash Ketchum’……does that mean Ash won? Because usually people put the winner’s name on the trophy. And I can’t imagine Gary would purposely change the engraving to make it a nice gesture from Ash to his mom. This whole trophy thing makes no sense, and I don’t even know why they felt the need to add it in there without even a line of dialogue poking at it.

…………….Now I have to imagine Ash in a bikini. Thanks, 4Kids.

I will say that this last shot is one that I was very much happy to see when I first watched this episode. In a future episode, there’s a clip show that includes this very scene. Child me, being such a huge Pokemon fan, beat myself in the head for ages trying to remember where the hell that clip came from. I had no clue it came from a banned episode until the Lost Episode event where I was finally able to get this monkey off my back.

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All in all, this episode was….eh….blech. I didn’t really enjoy any of it. There are so many creepy or confusing aspects of this entire episode that it’s actually not that much of a bother that they never aired it when they were meant to. James with his fake boobs is really the only thing even slightly entertaining about it, and that’s just a quick one-off joke.

Plus, since that scene is gone from the dub, it makes the dub seem even more bland.

Ash and the others stealing a boat ‘accidentally’ just seems like a huge plot device, and them subsequently crashing it to get the plot started was predictable the moment we realized it was stolen.

Them working off the damages is nothing special, nor is the whole business vs. business with one business owner obviously being a complete ass while the other owes a debt thing. In addition, this is all topped off with a ‘have a contest to raise/win the money’ trope.

I don’t really understand why Moe couldn’t have gone on this trip up until now. He owes money to Brutella, but we’re never told what it’s for. He owes her rent for the restaurant in the original, but even then it seems like it doesn’t make sense. He runs the restaurant for the boat and this trip, but he has the boat. Did he need to stock up on supplies and stuff? At the very least, Moe was a pretty decent character, albeit a bit of a pedo creeper.

It really seems like they had no idea what to do with this episode so they just threw a bunch of tropes together to see what stuck. Then they realized it wasn’t that good so they threw in not one, not two, but three cameos from side characters whose presence there is one of the biggest coincidences ever.

They didn’t let Gary battle Ash, and outside of some nice connections between Delia and Ash, there was really no reason for any of them to be there at all. Do I even need to mention the whole ‘we forgot we think you’re dead’ thing?

Plus, we can pretty much chalk this up as Pokemon’s first and probably only ‘hot-springs-esque’ fanservice episode, because that’s really all of the takeaway.

Next episode, Tentacool and Tentacruel wreak havoc in Porta Vista, a place they supposedly just left. Thanks sloppy dialogue edits for the sake of trying to fill continuity errors that no one cares about…..not even me……..For the record, this episode actually takes place in Aopulco, which is a separate yet nearby town to Porta Vista…..*cough*

Previous Episode….

Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power Episode 11 (10 for the Original) Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: The Mews find a fifth member of the group and believe it to be Mint’s idol, the famous Zakuro Fujiwara. When they finally catch her in the act, they are crushed when she vehemently refuses to join them, especially Mint.

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They remove a small scene with a close up of Kisshu where he says “She must be it…”

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They remove a short scene of a church and Zakuro praying because religion. And here we gooooooooooooooooo!

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Really love how, even when the characters are reading something out loud, the text still gets removed. ♪ Just take a look, it’s in a book, it’s somehow-knowing-what-blank-boxes-and-shapes-say rainboooooooooowwwwwww.

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Another short shot of Ichigo, hoping the picture’s not of her to avoid being outed to Aoyama, is removed.

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The scene with matching up the cutouts is the same, for the most part, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but I do have to mention that it’s not a good way to ‘prove’ that the girl in the photo is none of them. The pictures would have to be taken from the same distance and the end result would have to be in the same resolution in order for it to even start to count in comparison.

Anyway, one stupid and just meanspirited change occurs when Pudding’s comparing Lettuce’s picture. In the original, she says Lettuce is too curvy to be the girl. Which…I dunno if she’s saying she’s fat or if she’s saying she has big hips and boobs.

In the dub, she says the girl can’t be her because she doesn’t have ‘Grandma hair’ like Bridget. Where the hell did that come from? ‘Grandma hair’? Lettuce’s hair looks fine in terms of style. Straight with two long thin braids has never been known as a ‘grandma’ hairdo as far as I know. And her hair is green, not gray or blue or anything, so I have no clue what this is even indicating nor why Kiki would be a little bitch.

The shot of the girls thinking about who the girl could be is shortened.

Text is removed from the back of the magazine.

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Text is removed and replaced on Mint’s fanbook. Also, I still find it just so insanely convenient that she happened to have that with her when they discovered Zakuro. (Also, sorry the screenshot’s not spot on. The shot is moving and that tends to mess up the screenshots in the dubbed version, so I had to take it when it stopped. The text above Zakuro’s head is gone for the record.)

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After Bridget calls Corina’s book/magazine thing a fan obsession book, Zoey says this; “I thought only boys bought these.” Okay, there’s two reasons why this line is weird. First, what does that mean? Only boys can be big enough fans of someone or something to buy a fanbook about it?

Second, considering the subject here…..does she mean……like….in a porny way? Like this is Corina’s secret dirty book of Renee pictures? Because there’s already plenty of hints in the original that Mint has the hots for Zakuro without that.

To push this even further for some reason, Zoey asks if it’s hers and she says “No, some guy left it on the table the other day.” In the original, she just admits she bought it, but purely on a whim.

Wow, they even left in her heart eyes and crush-like gushing over Zakuro. Give 4Kids this much, they’re definitely not Nelvana because this would be on the cutting room floor in a second.

Huh, they also left the shot of Zakuro in the ‘profile’ scene alone despite the fact that it looks like Zakuro has no shirt or bra on.

But hey let’s ruin all of 4Kids’ good, if not somewhat creepy, work in this past minute for getting the details of Zakuro in her profile completely wrong.

Zakuro was born on September 6th and is a Virgo. The dub has her birthday at December 3rd and lists her as a Sagittarius.

Zakuro is 172cm tall, which is roughly 5ft 7in tall. Renee is listed as being 6ft 1in tall, which would just be a horribly jarring state of proportional error if you paid attention to her beside the other Mews.

Zakuro weighs 49kg which is roughly 108lbs. Renee is listed as being 130lbs.

Zakuro knows French, English, German and Chinese. Renee knows Spanish, French, Japanese and Portuguese. I will give them props for mentioning the dreaded J word, and actually swapping it from English to J word, but there’s no reason to change the rest.

Zakuro is a model and an actress. Renee seems to be a singer and actress (possibly model too) with nine #1 hits and other popular songs.

In addition, whereas Mint is gushing over her features like her black opal hair (uh….it’s purple…??), glittering sapphire eyes, and legs as white as platinum (Okay, come on, she can’t not be in love with Zakuro.) Corina talks about her perfume line and spazzes about how much she wants to meet her and be her.

There’s honestly no excuse for getting almost everything about her profile completely wrong.

Oh thanks for shoving some of the Mew Mew motto in my face during Corina’s little fan splurge. Really enjoyed that.

Akasaka says it might be a coincidence set up by God that someone who Mint adores may be the fifth member. This is omitted.

There’s a scene shift of a better drawn Kisshu (You can always tell it’s a somewhat important episode when they kick up the budget.) talking with Deep Blue about his latest failure in reference to the scene at the start where Zakuro destroys the fish monster. He then says he has an even better idea – to use her to destroy the other Mews. This scene is not supposed to occur until after the scene with the woman being saved from the bat chimera animal by Zakuro. I guess they shifted it to make it for a better scene to end on before the dub-only commercial.

The girls are merely auditioning for a joint America and Japan produced musical that is starring Zakuro. In the dub, they’re auditioning for ‘Real Talent Paris’ – a TV show that sounds like America’s Got Talent where Renee is acting as a guest judge. Must be a stupid as hell talent show if all of the contestants are merely singing and dancing….then again, that is a good chunk of those reality talent shows…

Also, the sign is changed to reflect this.

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Because of this change, Mint’s remarks about hopefully getting the part of Zakuro’s little sister are changed to telling Bridget to stay focused since they’re only there to see if Renee’s a Mew Mew.

Ichigo just thinks of being famous. Zoey says she’ll start a hat line called ‘Luscious Lids.’………That is just horrible. Horrendous business name aside, who the hell wears hats as a fashion statement anymore? Moreover, what kids or teens would get into the whole fashionable hat thing? If any kids wear hats, they’re typically a different fashion statement like beanies or baseball caps, not those fancy sun hats and the unpractical headwear of yesteryear. This isn’t I Love Lucy.

To make the fantasy of her and Aoyama more intimate and dramatic, she calls him Masaya in it. Since Mark is always called Mark, this can’t be mirrored. Though, I guess she could’ve called him ‘darling’ or something.

Name Change: The director of the musical, Junyano Koshiba, is splashed with French-ness and named Monsieur Lepain, a renowned French fashion mogul.

Well, let’s start with the cross removals. Zakuro always wears a cross necklace. In the dub, the sides are removed, leaving a stick.

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Ichigo just stammers in Zakuro’s appearance. Zoey says this insanely dumb line; “How cool! She’s wearing sunglasses!” Yes, plain black sunglasses. The peak in high fashion. Now available from your local Wal-Mart.

An external shot of the building is removed because they didn’t have their commercial at that time.

They remove a shot of Pudding spinning plates and Ichigo getting angry at her escapades.

 

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Despite making the English dude French, they keep in his first lines as English. I guess this might make sense because he’s addressing people that he knows speak English. Better than approaching a native in a foreign country and expecting them to know your language.

The director guy’s assistant doesn’t say anything about his therapy in the original. He just apologizes to him.

They remove a shot of Ichigo bowing in apology to the producers.

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This line’s a change, but I find it funny for some reason. In the original, Ichigo says to just make her, Pudding and Lettuce leave since they were at fault and the director’s assistant says no. In the dub, Zoey says ‘For what it’s worth, I really like your handbags!’ and then the assistant says ‘He doesn’t make handbags!’

Oh and yeah, just as the other American person spoke broken English, same with the supposedly American character here. I can at least give Zakuro a pass because it’s her secondary language, but when you have characters who are American, get native English speaking VA’s or at least people who are fluent….

I especially love when he says ‘It seems to me like they’re wasting my time.’ because he drawls so much on ‘time’ like it’s ‘tiiiiiimeee.’

Because of the commercial, they replay the shot of the others girls and of Zoey speaking.

Zakuro starts speaking English after she takes off her sunglasses. In the dub, she doesn’t start speaking French until after she sits on the table.

Also, Zakuro politely calms the other assistant down whereas Renee rudely says ‘I don’t think I was talking to YOU.’

Prize line; “To me it seems very ridiculous in a STRANGE.” And yeah, that’s the entire sentence. He’s not cut off or anything, that’s all he had to say. Just beautiful.

As for French guy, well, I didn’t speak much Spanish and I speak even less French. I honestly have no clue of how they’re doing on that front. I do think the stereotypical French accordion music is a bit much, though. Why don’t you use that fancy digital paint to put a beret on his head while you’re at it?

And, as before, the subtitles are unreasonably huge, and they are going really fast because of how few words they can keep on the screen with that big font. If you don’t think kids can read, don’t believe they can speed-read.

They remove another short shot of Zakuro telling the assistant that the auditions will resume after she does a performance….This is weird writing. Why exactly does Zakuro need to do this? I mean, he says it’s to set an example for the other girls, but uh….that seems really weak.

I would like to formally congratulate whoever was in charge of editing Zakuro’s necklace because I purposely watched the teeny tiny itty bitty cross during her fast paced dancing and dammit they stuck to that edit. That must’ve been a digital paint bitch. I salute you for your efforts Mr or Ms. Digital painter. I’m sorry your bosses were xenophobic, textphobic, religion phobic old fogies.

Can I just say how stupid it is for Mint/Corina to go off like that in front of a whole group of people babbling on about the Mew Mew stuff? She reveals more in the dub than she does in the original, but either way that’s stupid. She could’ve blown their whole cover with that.

Again, Zakuro, while being blunt, is far more polite about rejecting Mint than Renee is. Hell, Renee even calls Corina a psycho. What a bitch. Also, her bitchy dialogue doesn’t even make sense. She has a bunch of girls constantly pestering her about her being a member of their superhero club? She must attract a bunch of really misguided fans.

Some still-screens are removed after Zakuro leaves the stage, but they leave in the first still screen making it seem really awkward when transitioning into the next scene.

 

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A shot of Mint looking out the window is removed.

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Shirogane’s a little blunt in merely saying that he supposed Zakuro couldn’t have been the Mew then. Elliot’s a straight up asshole saying that’s what happens when one stuck up brat looks up to another.

Okay, look, I badmouth most of the characters for one reason or another, Corina most of all because she IS a stuck up brat, but when dealing with the actual characters in the show this is just cruel and even Shirogane wouldn’t be that crass about her situation. He even laughed about her calling Corina a psycho. Why are so many of the characters in the dub made out to be obnoxious dickheads? This episode is particularly bad in that regard.

Mint says she forgives Pudding for what she did and mentions sadly that it’s not her fault. In the dub, she also forgives Kiki, but she says ‘it’s not your fault my life no longer has meaning’. I would say this is 4Kids being as subtle as a rock to the face again, but I also think they’re overdramatizing it.

Ichigo asks Lettuce if she thinks Zakuro really isn’t the fifth Mew Mew. Lettuce responds that if she’s not then the girl in the picture is still a mystery. In the dub, Zoey asks Bridget why Renee would deny being a Mew Mew. Bridget then asks why she’d want to give up her great career to be a freak, work in a cafe and fight aliens.

Ya know, Bridget, if you never became a ‘freak’ you’d never have this great circle of friends as opposed to that nice trio of bitches you had as friends before. Since when do you find this life so deplorable anyway? And thanks to Bridget being bitchy now too, though in a different way, that means only three characters in the dub, Zoey, Wesley and surprisingly Corina are the only ones who haven’t been complete assholes at one point in this episode. That’s just awful.

Akasaka and Shirogane nod to each other quietly whereas Wesley and Elliot just stare at each other. NODDING IS NOW A 4KIDS NO-NO. EVERYONE UPDATE YOUR RULEBOOK!

Oh great another transformation mashup. There goes my Lettuce transformation comparison again….

However, I can note one thing I never noticed from the mashup – Lettuce’s scenes are mirrored for absolutely no reason. Unless she transforms into a car in it. I wouldn’t know. I NEVER SEE IT!

And you know something else?

I supposedly never will.

I was flipping through the Mew Wiki for information, and on Lettuce’s page it says the dub never once shows her transformation full out because she’s ‘naked’ through most of it.

That’s just stupid. Put your digital paint powers to good use, 4Kids. Don’t rip off the fans of Lettuce just because you’re chicken. Sailor Moon was able to show their transformation sequences, so can you. Next episode that they transform in the mashup, I will show all of the scenes that are missing from the mashup in the dub as this will merely have to count as the actual transformation comparison.

Oh great, dub Ichigo says the motto before they even get to the place where the bad guy is so they couldn’t have heard it. Great job. I really think 4Kids just edited that onto the typical transformation mashup scene to save time. And how lovely to have that motto in my face (GET IT!?) twice in one episode. At least the first time didn’t add the final line.

It’s hard to tell but a cross is removed from the front of the church.

Mini-Mew: “There, Zoey! Inside the creepy dark place!” It’s called a church…Or maybe it’s Dracula’s castle. Hell if I know in the dub.

The girls are informed by Shirogane and Masha that the fifth member is being attacked. The girls aren’t aware of this in the dub, merely that a predasite is attacking.

They remove a shot of the stained glass windows even though I don’t see any religious symbols on it.

They don’t announce that it’s Zakuro until they actually see her take off her hat and transform. In the dub, they know before she even turns around.

Also, a closeup shot of her cross necklace is removed.

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A cross on top of the church is removed. (Hint: it’s near the left tower)

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A cross on top of the alter is changed to a spike.

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Oh but now they show the window! Hey, how about making sense for a change?

HAHA, 4KIDS MISSED THE CROSS IN THE SCENE WITH THE BIRDS! Should’ve put the necklace guy on that!

Since the cross on top of the altar was changed to a spike, it looks like Dren is standing on a spike. Ouch.

In the original, Kisshu plans to kill Zakuro in order to ensure that she doesn’t team up with the Mews. In the dub, Dren makes off like Renee’s now a part of his team.

While I thought this would mean that Dren would take her silence as defiance in the order to attack the girls and then attack her for it, he just mutters off poems for some reason and sends the crows to make her more powerful.

Oh hey at least I get one transformation sequence to compare today.

Zakuro’s Transformation Comparison: Zakuro’s awesome electric guitar theme is changed to pop-song-ness. 😦 Also, they don’t include her saying, what would be in the dub, ‘Power Pendant Activate’. They also cut out the shots with lip flaps since they make her say nothing for some reason.

Zakuro in front of the DNA strands is removed.

A shot of Zakuro’s hands is removed.

They speed up the shot of Zakuro running to the camera on all fours.

They don’t remove her final shot? Well, I guess it’s just flowers and a moon as opposed to the gold things the other girls get but still.

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Renee: “EAT THIS, CROWS!” Yeah, eat my poorly written dialogue, crows!

Kisshu states incredulously that she turned all of the chimera crows back to normal at once. In the dub, Dren makes this pun ‘Careful, Renee. Wouldn’t want to get crow’s feet!’

A close up shot of Zakuro’s ZaCross Whip is edited to remove the sides since it’s meant to be a cross shape. Since you didn’t get a good view in the first episode, here ya go.

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They shorten and I think speed up the shot of Zakuro’s attack where we sift through several shots of her transitioned in her eye.

No attack name change note here because she doesn’t say anything when she attacks. She just goes ‘Huuhhh HA!’ For the record, it’s Ribbon Zakuro Spear.

I’ll give 4Kids credit for actually explaining their made up plot about Renee supposedly joining the cyniclons. It’s because she wanted to lure him there to kick his butt. Great plan that resulted in you not even trying to capture him or anything.

Zoey: “How cool, she single-handedly defeated Dren!” Yeah, I’ll complain about that in a minute. Thanks for reminding me.

And for another dose of ‘Everyone in the dub’s an asshole’, Zakuro just says she doesn’t need friends. Renee tells the girls they’re all freaks. Nice, bitch. Also, they’re freaks for what reason exactly? The powers? The animal traits? The outfits? The fighting aliens? Cuz you have those too, darlin’.

Yet when Zakuro actually does get insulting with saying girls like Mint are annoying, the dub has her say forcefully that she’s merely not interested in joining their team. I will never understand these people.

Ah, because we have a storyline that wasn’t all wrapped up in 30 minutes, 4Kids puts To Be Continued… at the bottom of the screen. Is that the first time they’ve done that in this show? I don’t remember.

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Zakuro’s so powerful that she’s easily been beating chimera animals all over town, transformed a flock of chimera crows back to normal just by her transformation light and she went hand to hand with Kisshu and a chimera animal at once and took them out easily. All by herself, mind you…

So…..why is she not the leader again? Call it Tokyo Bark Bark, it would work. Especially considering that she’s a wolf and thus would fit a leader role perfectly and they, ya know, eat cats. Plus, I hate that she’s this powerful, yet she’s not much better than the other mews in terms of role when she actually does join the Mews because she’s not the leader.

Zakuro is abrasive and I can’t remember really enjoying her character that much. She was kindhearted and mature, but I never really grew to really like her a lot.

I’m not even sure how much I liked this episode, to be honest. The dubbed version is just awful and full of so much meanspirited garbage it’s just more annoying than usual to watch.

Next episode, Mint mopes about Zakuro not joining the group and then Zakuro joins the group.

…Previous Episode

Minor Update (TMM episode 9 Sub Dub Comparison Images)

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Just a quick update; I mentioned in my Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 9 Sub Dub Comparison that I had lower quality visuals for the Japanese images than usual since I couldn’t find a working version of the higher quality episodes I’ve been using for the comparisons. Well, I have indeed found a working version of the episode in higher quality and have updated the images accordingly.

Also, I was embarrassed to notice when I was replacing the images that I flat out forgot to add the final image to the post, so I grabbed that screencap and added that real quick. 🙂

~Fiddletwix

AniManga Clash! Air(Manga) vs. Air TV

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Plot: Yukito is a drifter on a mission to find ‘the girl with wings’ from the story his mother used to tell him as a child. While on this journey, he stops in a town and meets a girl named Misuzu. He’s initially put off by her energy and child-like optimism, but after she offers him a place to stay and some food, the two slowly develop a friendship.

However, Yukito quickly realizes that Misuzu suffers from a strange condition. She is plagued by unusual dreams and cannot get close to anyone without bursting out uncontrollably into tears. They each have a place in this story of the girl with wings, but can they do anything to change the tragic ending?

Breakdown: Ah, Air. I’m breathing it right now. Also it’s the name of a visual novel, manga, anime and anime movie.

In chronological order, the visual novel came first, then the manga, then the TV series and finally the movie. This does kinda create a kink in my setup of AniManga Clash. Afterall, I think one major reason people have a big bias toward manga is because manga is usually the first product or ‘original’. And as we all know from the comments section on Youtube, being first makes you better than everyone else.

I’ve never played the visual novel, but I did watch the TV series a few years ago and just recently read the manga. So how do they match up against each other?

Round One: Art – The art for the anime…..is awful. The scenery is lovely and the animation is great, but my god the faces. I think this is how everyone who hates anime’s style sees anime. Gigantic eyes, tiny itty bitty dot noses and mouths that are both way too small and scrunched together too much with the eyes and nose. It’s like they’re old-timey cartoons and just got an anvil dropped on their heads. Also, the proportions for the characters’ bodies just look wrong. They all look very thin with large heads.

I can’t really blame them too much for that because the visual novel art is just as bad.

As opposed to the manga’s art which, while still not being mind-blowingly fantastic is still eons above the anime’s. The faces look much more normal, the details are more fine, and the proportions are a lot better.

Let’s get some visual comparisons, shall we?

 

 

 

Winner: Manga

Round Two: CharacterizationI believe this is about even between the two, at least for the main three characters of Yukito, Misuzu and Haruko. The manga may have a slight advantage with the friendship between Yukito and Misuzu, but it’s balanced out by the fact that I believe the anime does the relationship between Haruko and Misuzu better.

When it comes to the other main girls, Kano, Minagi and Michiru, the manga just barely touches upon them while the anime goes in depth into each of their stories. They suddenly decided to dump a good chunk of Minagi and Michiru’s backstory on us in the manga, but they didn’t resolve it all. It’s like a car crash of exposition. And pretty much forget about Kano in the manga, she gets no focus whatsoever.

The anime, deciding to do its best to cram all three paths from the visual novel into the anime, thoroughly characterized all of the girls and even more characters.

The question is, can I really count that against the manga when it clearly just wanted to focus on the Misuzu and Yukito story? I kind of can, yes.

I honestly wouldn’t have if not for the fact that they mushed in Minagi’s story or at least some of it in the final part of the book, leaving you somewhat confused and unsatisfied in her characterization. Is this advertising to go out and play the visual novel or did they just want fanservice for the Minagi fans? I like Minagi a lot too, but I just found that final chapter pointless if they weren’t going to go all the way and include Kano’s story (abridged if need be) as well.

Winner: Anime

Round Three: StoryLike I mentioned before, the anime delves deep into all three paths from the visual novel while the manga only focuses on the Misuzu and Yukito aspect. Since manga is praised for having more content than the anime counterparts usually have, I think it’s only fair to give the same props to the anime for doing the same. So the anime’s starting off with an advantage here.

However, I do have to note that the fact that having all three of the stories are in the anime is actually a bit of a negative. Like I mentioned in my review of Air TV, it felt a bit overwhelming to give nearly every character a screwed up home life or some sort of supernatural occurrence causing them to suffer or some mental issue to deal with. I appreciate trying to give everyone their shot in the limelight, but it does start to weigh on you.

Now, focusing on purely the Yukito and Misuzu story, I think both versions did a great job with it. Both stories are exactly the same, but the manga did answer a few more questions and made the situation with Yukito and the crow both less and more confusing and jarring.

You’re lead to believe Yukito turned into a crow from the very second he made his wish in the anime, yet in the manga he pretty much disappears and we don’t see the crow until much later. Misuzu is the one who tells us that the crow is Yukito, but it’s left ambiguous as to if it’s really him or not. The bird never speaks or has inner monologue in the manga like it does in the anime so it’s still a bit confusing, especially when the crow shows up in a side story near the end when Yukito is still around.

Misuzu’s death is not shown in the manga, and it’s only slightly implied that she died if she even did die in the manga. If she did, I feel a bit robbed. Her death and Haruko’s scene afterward was almost as heartbreaking as the scene on the beach. I guess a mostly-implied-as-happy ending is fine too, and it does make sense given Yukito’s wish, but that ending really resonated with me and I just feel weird seeing it play out so differently.

Yukito’s pain and his connection with the story is not as highlighted in the anime as it is in the manga. I don’t even remember him ever being in pain in the anime.

Finally, the true backstory behind why Misuzu and Yukito suffer because of this story and these dreams is explained in the anime, albeit a bit confusingly, and in the manga…..they don’t explain anything. We get quick shots of Misuzu’s dreams, she explains some of them a bit to us, but other than that we really get nothing, which makes the story pretty confusing in hindsight.

Yes, Yukito telling us the story his mother told him does explain in a prophecy type of way why this is happening, but it doesn’t explain why this is happening. Moreso it doesn’t explain why the story itself exists. The story tells of a girl whom we’re meant to assume existed. She had wings and flew in the sky, but she was constantly sad. Misuzu is apparently this girl, even though she doesn’t have wings, and her pain is caused by growing invisible wings.

Okay….why? If you never played the visual novel or watched the anime you’d really be wondering why this is happening. Why is she growing wings? What is actually happening in these dreams? Why is she the reincarnated girl in the sky? Why is whatever this is seemingly killing her? What’s the cause of Yukito’s pain? Why does Misuzu cry uncontrollably when she gets close to someone? How is Yukito’s puppet magic, and why can it seemingly grant one wish? Why did Yukito turn into a crow when he made that one wish?

Okay, those last three are questions I have for both the anime and manga, but still. It doesn’t explain what’s going on to make all of this happen very well, it just tells you a story Yukito’s mother used to tell him and asks you to roll with it.

Winner: Anime

Final tally:

What the anime does better

More exploration on the other characters, possibly slightly more exploration on the main three of Yukito, Misuzu and Haruko.

More story to explore the other three routes from the visual novel.

More exploration on the backstory behind the girl with wings.

What the manga does better

Much better character art.

Slightly more details on the story of Misuzu and Yukito to make things less confusing.

Some of the characterization between Yukito and Misuzu is a bit better handled.

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Wow, I didn’t think I’d find an anime winner on my first try out with this series, but yup. It was a close call, but I just think the anime had more to offer in both quantity and quality. The manga definitely wins in the art department and has some of its own specific benefits in storytelling, but overall the anime is just a more fulfilling experience to me.

Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power Episode 10 (9 for the Original) Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: The girls learn of Mint’s brother, Seiji, who used to be really close to Mint but drifted apart from her as he was under more and more pressure to be an elite student. Learning of how lonely Mint’s home life is, Ichigo and the girls take it upon themselves to bring Seiji to Mint’s ballet performance and hopefully respark the closeness between the two siblings.

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The girls just tell each other they did a great job today. In the dub, Corina complains about her lack of tips to which Bridget replies that maybe she’d get more tips if she actually waited on tables. Heh, yeah you tell that bitch! Corina’s about to reply but since this entire conversation was shoehorned in, it’s cut off by Kiki’s next line.

The writing on the inside of Lettuce’s locker is painted away. Yet another moment where I honestly never would’ve noticed if I didn’t know to look for that stuff.

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Aoyama invited Ichigo to the library. Mark invited Zoey to a benefit for the Kendo team.

More text on a sign behind Pudding is erased.

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Ichigo says her dad can’t pay for a new dress until he gets his paycheck. Zoey says she doesn’t get her allowance until next week and her dad won’t help her because he keeps telling her to be more responsible. Eh? She has a part-time job as a 13 (well, 15 in the dub) year old. A part-time job I’m not even sure she’s supposed to have considering that Japanese schools seem to commonly have rules about having jobs. That’s not a show of responsibility?

Mint actually says she doesn’t mind lending Ichigo a dress. Corina starts denying Zoey this favor in the dub before Zoey practically begs.

Another sign removed behind Mint.

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Pudding says they want to see Mint’s house because it’s so big and cool like a castle. In the dub, Kiki says she and Bridget are coming along to ensure that Zoey doesn’t make any fashion faux ‘poes’

Why are there two extremely deep voiced women in both rows of Corina’s maids?

Name Change: Mint’s brother, Seiji, is changed to….Sergio……..Really, Sergio?

Ichigo says Mint’s closet is bigger than her own room. Zoey says the closet is bigger than her house.

As I noticed some Mew mark removals, I got to thinking. I spent a lot of time wondering why the Mew marks sometimes get removed and other times don’t. For Ichigo, it’s obviously the placement being too far near her crotch I guess, plus they’d have to just remove the concept of the Mew marks entirely to avoid not bringing them up or the scenes where they’re highlighted on screen, though I wouldn’t put it passed them either….But you want to know what I really think?

And, be prepared, it’s dumb.

….I think they removed them because they seem like tattoos and they didn’t want kids to think tattoos were acceptable. See? I told you it’s dumb but, again, would you really put it passed them? Plus the fact that the guys at 4Kids really just seem to be a bunch of crotchety old fogies.

Seiji’s going to study abroad in a year, Sergio’s going to college.

4Kids leaves some things off of the long list of food given at dinner, but I’ll definitely give them props for getting as much as they did which was about 98% of it.

Mint’s father and mother are away in a ‘foreign country’ on business and typically aren’t home very often. Corina’s dad is apparently missing dinner to have a meal with clients from overseas while her mother is at a charity function. I was thinking about skipping this note, but it does skew the tone of ‘her parents are never around’ to ‘her parents aren’t around tonight and maybe don’t spend enough time with her.’

Pudding says she loves ballet and she ‘performs’ it by spinning plates on sticks and riding on a ball. Chibi versions of the other three, as seen from the back, comment on her performance with Ichigo saying how good she is, Lettuce points out that she’s just riding on a ball not doing ballet and Mint calls her a monkey. This entire scene is removed.

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Mint’s grandma says she plans on inviting Mint’s father and Seiji to her ballet performance. I don’t know why her mother’s not included. In the dub, she says she’s inviting her mother and father. Why Sergio isn’t invited is not explained either.

Mint only says the ballet performance is not something to show amateurs. In the dub, she says her mother and father never went to her previous performances so why start now?

A much longer scene is removed after the dinner. Ichigo’s father is upset that Ichigo is going on a date with Aoyama so he tries to convince her to go to an Edo craftsman gathering with him instead, but she says no. Her mom and dad talk about her date for a bit before segueing into talks about how they used to go on dates to the library. They argue about who was pestering who about going on dates when Ichigo starts thinking to herself that Mint must spend a lot of time alone at her house. I honestly don’t know why this was removed.

 

Oh goodie, 4Kids making girly songs again. Happy day. Oh and there was no vocal song accompanying the flashbackbuytheiralbum.

Ya know, Mint’s grandma says Seiji ‘chose the path of an elite’ but it really seems like he was forced into it by his parents. The flashback practically indicates that he was essentially kidnapped on a regular basis to get him to focus on his studies.

Seiji tells Mint in the flashback that she’s lucky because all she does is enjoy ballet, which can be construed as him being jealous that she gets to spend her time doing what she loves. In the dub, he berates her for doing ballet, tells her to grow up and stop taking dancing so seriously which can’t be construed any other way besides he’s an asshole.

They cut to a black screen for a second after they zoom in on Mint’s eye because, well, the pupil is black. In the dub, they cut this out and fade over to the next shot. What did you think kids would get bored and change the channel with that less than a second of blackness?

Mint says she won’t fall behind Seiji. Corina says she’ll show Sergio that one day she will be famous.

Bridget: “Come on, Zoey, don’t have a conniption!” A CONNIPTION!? Look, 4Kids, if you’re so strong in your stance that your audience is a bunch of inbred zucchinis who have all undergone a lobotomy, stop using words like that. Also, you’re old.

They made a booboo. I avoided bringing this up before because they could’ve meant the same thing, but in the original, Mint’s grandma says the performance is this weekend and in the dub it’s supposedly tomorrow afternoon. Well, an entire day goes by and no recital. So it couldn’t have possibly been scheduled on the day after the dinner.

Aoyama tells Ichigo that it’s okay to cancel their date, because if she found it necessary to cancel whatever came up must’ve been very important. There’s an odd period of silence where Ichigo just thinks to herself that Aoyama is very important to her, but tomorrow she really has to do this for Mint. Well, I assume that’s what she was going to say. She trails off after ‘Tomorrow I really…’ and Aoyama says it’s still okay, and they can see each other anytime.

In the dub, Mark talks about how it’s okay for her to cancel because the benefit party’s just going to be a bunch of posers and jerks who think they’re so cool just because they’re on the team. Something Aoyama would just not say.

He’s not the type of person to ever badmouth people behind their backs. Considering this is the second time Mark has done this, maybe he is. He continues talking, something that actually makes more sense than the original, as Zoey thinks to herself that she hopes he would be this understanding if he ever found out she was a mew mew.

A shot of the sign that says ‘Ikumi Ballet group 2002 performance’ is removed.

Also, blurry and unreadable Japanese text on a sign in the background is actually changed….to blurry and unreadable English text….good….job…??

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Actually I can make out some of it. The Japanese version is the sign that was cut from before and the English…..all I can make out on the English version is ‘(illegible) Ballet Academy.’

They mirrored the scene with Ichigo and Pudding at Mint’s house because……uhhhh…..*shrug* They usually only do the mirror thing when someone’s driving because they drive on the left side of the road in Japan and they don’t want to confuse the kiddies who would obviously notice that and question it so severely it would spark WWIII, but this has no purpose at all.

Oh now they decide to leave the shot in with their purty new sign….that I still can’t read very well thanks to the ugly font choice…..Fairhiem Ballet Academy?

The SCRIBBLES behind Mint in the dressing room are removed and replaced by a silhouette of a ballerina.

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Oddly enough, this scene of Ichigo and Pudding at Mint’s house is not mirrored. I don’t get it.

Wait, okay, now it’s mirrored again….OH BECAUSE THERE’S A CAR IN THE SHOT….Still doesn’t explain earlier because the shots were all of the girls, but that explains this.

Even though both versions have the car with a blank license place in the shot before, fairly close up even, 4Kids, being ever so helpful, makes their license plate read “BXWRTH” in the closer shot when it was still blank in the original. Nice complete and utter waste of money there.

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Signs at the ice cream shop are removed, and entire sign was painted away at the dress shop, and the scene is mirrored all the way through.

Sometimes I don’t know how 4Kids manages these things but a sign that you see for less than a second is digitally painted to have its text removed in another shot that goes by so fast I can’t get a screencap. Shots like this just baffle me. Erasing these things is pointless enough, but the effort that goes into going through the footage frame by frame to catch and edit minute stuff like this….geez.

Pfft nice going, 4Kids. They keep mirroring this scene because they’re in the street, but they also mirror the shot of Mint’s photograph that has been shown numerous times in the episode because of it. So meticulous to get miscellaneous garbage but they fail to catch that.

The text on Seiji’s book is removed.

They shorten the scene of the car, notably the shots of the storefronts. And when they pass the storefronts, they erase all the text from the signs.

This is just a performance by a ballet group, not a special performance by the graduates of this supposed ballet academy.

It’s bothering me that we keep seeing that ‘BXWRTH’ license plate. Not just because it’s pointless but also because it’s constantly moving, making it that much more difficult, expensive and pointless to do.

Guy running the ballet I supposed: “Ten minutes to sparkle time!”

Sparkle time? Really?

They erase the mew marks from Mint’s back.

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Pudding says they have to transform. Kiki says ‘Whoever said feathers were soft?!’ a joke that’s supposed to make sense given that they’re fighting a bird-ish enemy, but doesn’t make sense because they’re not being hit by the feathers.

There’s no singular shot of the transformer in the original and oh wait, let me guess. I’m STILL not going to be able to compare Lettuce’s transformation sequence, right?

MmmFRIGGINNOPE. They transform in sequence after Mint starts them off in the original and we get a damn mashup with the stupid vocal song again in the dub. Neither version gives us the full transformations of all the mews, with Mint getting a full one in the original and the others getting a mashup, but the dub has a complete mashup.

I’m starting to lose hope that I’ll ever get to do this. Also, since this is obviously a Mint-centric episode, Mint was supposed to get the focus on her transformation today. Thanks for screwing that up too for your dumb pop song mashup.

I thought I’d be free of mew mew power in my face today since Ichigo originally just includes her catchphrase in the end of her transformation sequence, which 4Kids wouldn’t have done because it would ruin their precious song. However, they reused stock footage of it because they love us so much, awww.

In the original, we hear ‘1, 2, 3’ chanted over and over as the monster dances, which gives Mint an idea. This isn’t present in the dub.

See, the feather attack would’ve been a fine place to make that dumb joke from earlier.

Mint says that she won’t forgive the monster for hurting her brother. Corina says she’s dealt with divas like this before (you’ve dealt with girls who were bird monsters?) and declares she’s a dancer….yeah, so much better than declaring that she’s fighting for her brother….

Wow, I’m actually surprised the character who got spotlight today actually got to finish off the monster. Even in episodes with focus on other mews, that usually always goes to Ichigo anyway.

Zoey: “Yeah?! We’ll see about that slime-maclon!” Ooh…..Burn.

More signs are erased and replaced by random ballerina silhouettes. Also, a tiny symbol above the doorway behind Mint is removed.

Oh god, they reprise the cheesy vocal song. Someone help me.

I love how Mint’s dance performance is just still shots of it overlayed on the stage. Then again, this is Studio Pierrot we’re talking about. Wouldn’t want them to actually animate stuff.

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This episode was decent enough. We never see Seiji again to my recollection, but it does allow us to connect more with Mint. The dub is pretty awful as usual, but not really outstandingly awful.

Next episode, we finally meet Zakuro, yay! Which means, dear god, we finally meet Renee. This next episode is going to be long and painful….To give you a sneak preview, we have 4Kids dealing with a language barrier scene again, tons of crosses and a new transformation sequence (as well as possibly Lettuce’s?…..Please?) to tackle. Yep, it’s going to be fun.

…Previous Episode

Thanksgiving Special: Rugrats – The Turkey Who Came to Dinner

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Plot: The babies learn about the first Thanksgiving while having their first Thanksgiving celebration. While the men are off obsessing over watching as many football games as possible, and the women are busy trying to prepare a dinner, the babies try to befriend a live turkey that Grandpa Lou won. However, the true meaning of Thanksgiving starts to get lost in the chaos around the house.

Breakdown: Since there aren’t nearly as many Thanksgiving specials as Halloween or Christmas, I decided to just review one special per year instead of blowing through most of them at once.

This one isn’t nearly as strong of a holiday special as the Rugrats Hanukah special, but it’s still pretty good.

It’s just a bit on the predictable side is all. Plus there are a bunch of little things that irk me about it.

First, there’s the typical annoyance of Rugrats that is the adults complete inattention to their children. Sure, they’re staying within the confines of the backyard, but they’re still not being watched at all; being ignored by the parents when they are home and left in the care of the ever-napping Grandpa Boris when they aren’t and spending a lot of time with a wild bird that could be covered in diseases and getting poop everywhere.

Second, why is it such a trope to not buy a damn turkey until it’s Thanksgiving day? It’s like the trope of not buying a Christmas tree until like a day before Christmas eve. It’s a huge hassle to wait until the last minute, and it’s a big risk because chances are you’ll end up with a crappy turkey or no turkey at all. We always buy a turkey at least a couple weeks before Thanksgiving. At the very least, when the sales start. And of course when they finally go to a store to get a turkey, they have to do the trope of ‘the last one is taken by an aggressive shopper.’

Third, while I’m fine with a kid being accepting of the fact that animals have to die in order for them to eat meat, it’s just a fact of life afterall, Angelica is way too friggin’ excited and driven to have this turkey be murdered just to spite the babies. Like, potentially serial-killer-esque excitement.

Fourth, Betty was a bit insufferable in this episode. Betty’s always been rough around the edges, but she has these episodes where she’s just an asshole. She consciously decides to ditch the other women at the store so she can get what she wants to make the dinner her way.

Next, she shoves every turkey item that they end up buying in the microwave. No taking the packaging off, and she is literally shoving them in there, they just barely are contained in the microwave.

Then, when the food catches fire, she blames the turkey. While the turkey does inadvertently cause chaos in the end, the chaos was 100% disconnected from the food plot outside of it being, of course, a turkey. Betty, the food caught fire because you’re too stupid to use a microwave correctly, not because a turkey was running around the yard. Speaking of the food, was that all you guys were planning yo make for the dinner? A clusterfuck of random turkey products? Because they’re all just sitting around the table doing nothing as the turkey microwaved.

Fifth, what is up with the football on Thanksgiving trope? I know it’s probably tradition in a lot of houses to watch football on Thanksgiving, but I mean the trope of being obsessed with football on Thanksgiving. Like, the game is an absolute must-see game of the century. How are Thanksgiving games any more special than any other football game? I don’t get it.

This episode even amps up the trope because guess what the fathers are doing? They have set up a bunch of satellite dishes and a bunch of TVs to watch a bunch of football games at the same time. And yes, it’s as stupid of an idea as you think it is. You can watch that many games, I guess, but you definitely can’t listen to all of them. I can see why Stu overlooked this, but Drew should’ve been smarter than that.

Sixth, Grandpa Lou really didn’t think to mention to the women that the turkey he won was alive? Also, was he seriously dumb enough to believe they could pluck and dress a live turkey and fully cook it before dinner time? Especially when it wouldn’t be delivered until four o’clock.

Seventh, the aspect of the turkey being in love with Spike is just really weird and doesn’t make sense. It’s a turkey. Spike’s a dog. You’d think turkeys would be naturally deterred by dogs considering they’re commonly used by hunters. Even if it wasn’t, why would a turkey fall in love with a dog?

Eighth, the babies seemed to have ESP at a certain point. When Angelica is trying to get her parents to notice the turkey in the backyard, they seem to sense when she’s finally got one and manage to hide the turkey in time. One time, they actually stripped Chuckie, clothed the turkey in his clothing and partially hid it behind a tree in the few seconds between when they were minding their business trying to get the turkey to leave and when Angelica and Charlotte got to the door.

The major saving grace of this episode is the plot of the babies trying to celebrate Thanksgiving properly and trying to save the turkey from being eaten by the adults. This plot actually has some funny moments, and the babies have a cute approach to Thanksgiving. They make a feast of Reptar cereal being served in their Native American headdresses. That’s just adorable.

The ending is really predictable with everyone realizing that they’ve been acting like idiots and instantly making up when Didi points out the true meaning of Thanksgiving isn’t the food or the football, it’s the family and friends. Also, Drew and Lou make up at the end despite the fact that they weren’t fighting at any point.

In the absolute end, the babies have the idea to make a feast of Reptar cereal for the whole family, and, surprisingly, they do end up eating just Reptar cereal for Thanksgiving. I get that it was a cute gesture from the babies….but do they really have no other food in the house? Did they SERIOUSLY prepare no other food when they were heating the turkey items earlier? They suck at Thanksgiving.

I do have numerous problems with the side plots, but the main plot is solid, fairly funny, pretty cute and somewhat heartwarming. And I think we can all relate to having a bunch of fighting and chaos happen on the holidays only to end with a bunch of laughs around the dinner table.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, whether in the USA or not. I’m thankful for all of you.

Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek Review

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Rating: 8/10

Plot: There’s a rumor going around that, late at night, in a certain part of the city, you can follow mysterious lit signs that read o-to-ko-yo. One sign for each symbol, leading children through the streets to play a game of hide and seek. Six children gather at the designated area wearing fox masks and start the game. Some say demons appear to take the children away, and some kids have indeed disappeared. In this game of hide and seek, who is ‘It’?

Breakdown: I’ll admit, this is an Animating Halloween leftover. I started watching it for the series and just never got around to watching the rest until now.

Shame, because this is a pretty interesting little horror anime. It’s not the scariest thing in the world, but it’s fairly creepy and has numerous creative aspects to it.

The movie itself is merely a 26 minute long short, including credits, so there’s not a lot of time to flesh out characters. However, you do get to know a decent amount of their personalities at least.

It isn’t quite enough for me to feel too emotional when we get to the ending and several of them meet their fates, especially not the twins who I could swear were demons themselves with their glowing red eyes.

Really the only ones you have to worry about are Hikora and Yaimao. Hikora wanted to play the game because his sister, Sorincha, supposedly played the game a while back and has been missing ever since. Yaimao is his best friend, determined to help him find her.

While the big twist is indeed very creative and interesting, I can’t help but note that the rough idea of the end game was predictable. It’s obvious there’s something up with that girl. They even noted that there was seven people when there are only meant to be six. I won’t say anything beyond that, but it is a bit too easy to see where they’re going.

The absolute ending was more sad to me than scary, plus these kids are really stupid to keep pursuing this mysterious game when kids are legitimately going missing. I know some are looking for their loved ones, like Hikora, but most are just curious.

The designs, and particularly sounds, of the demons were very creative and well-made. None were particularly horrifying, but they served their purposes well enough.

The art and animation are done in cel-shaded CGI, which takes a little bit to grow on you, but I believe it works pretty well given the environment they’re in. I think it helps that all of the characters are wearing masks for the entirety of the movie, so we don’t have to see the usual odd CGI facial designs. I did enjoy the various versions of the fox mask as well.

The music is very well done, adding plenty of ambiance to the story.

Voice acting, Japanese, is very well done. Everyone emoted really well and were very fitting for their roles. I especially enjoyed ‘Sorincha’s voice work.

Bottomline: It’s an enjoyable little horror story that could easily be told around a campfire. It’s a tad on the predictable side, but it has a creative and unsettling enough ending to make up for it.

Additional Information and Notes: Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek was written and directed by Shuhei Morita, who also directed Coicent and Tokyo Ghoul. It was produced by Comix Wave Films, and is available in English dub by Central Park Media.

Runtime: 26 minutes

Year: 2005

Recommended Audience: Children do die, but in very non-graphic ways. That’s about it. 10+

Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 9 Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Lettuce wins a free trip to a luxurious resort and brings the other Mews along for a much needed vacation. They meet a boy named Aoyamada who looks exactly like Aoyama and has a rough first confrontation with the girls. They soon find out that the free pass to the resort is dated for next year and the resort hasn’t even been built yet, but it’s well into the process. Aoyamada is hell bent on stopping the construction, but things get more complicated when Kisshu decides to use the boy’s pure spirit to make a chimera animal.

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Mint says that the increase in attention that Pudding’s creating is making them do more work. In the dub, she says customers are sitting where she usually sits. Poor baby.

What the unholy hell is up with the dub mailman’s voice? He sounds like Christopher Walken.

The Hakogawara princess resort suite cottage is changed to the ‘Pamper Princess’ resort suite and spa.

A small bit of text is taken off the paper.

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Dubbed: m3v1dyc

Lettuce doesn’t state how she won this trip. In the dub, Bridget says she won through a contest in her book of the month club. I’d actually complain more about the original. How the hell did they win that? Also, she says ‘we’ won in the original, which indicates they’re all being addressed, barring, I guess, Shirogane and Akasaka for whatever reason.

After they arrive, we hear the girls clamoring over all of the features of the Hakogawara resort. In the dub, they skip over all of this and cut straight to Kiki.

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The sign behind the girls which never gets focus and I somehow missed seeing the first time I watched this scene, is changed to say ‘Otter Run Station.’

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By the way, who is taking care of Pudding/Kiki’s siblings right now?

Ichigo asks if Lettuce is sure that they’re going in the right direction and Lettuce says ‘yes.’ In the dub, Zoey asks when they’re going to start feeling like ‘pampered princesses’ and Bridget says ‘Uhh, anyone up for lunch?’

A further shot of the shrine is removed.

Uh oh, Japanese food. I sense paint edits.

Yup! They changed the riceballs to sandwiches and changed the little hot dog things and I think those are pickled eggs into salad.

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Mint says she was hungry from all the walking. Corina says she never knew a tuna sandwich could be so tasty. I will never understand 4Kids’ need to not only visually change Japanese food but to also reinforce that it’s a common American food in dialogue when it’s not mentioned in the original.

Lettuce says that they’re only halfway to the resort, which causes Mint and Ichigo to freak out since that means they have way more walking to do. In the dub, Bridget says by her calculations with the map that the spa should be right where they’re having lunch, which causes Zoey and Corina to freak out because that means they’re super lost.

Ichigo tries to sate the now upset Lettuce by saying it’s okay since all the walking will only make the food taste better. In the dub, she just tries to say that she didn’t mean to react that way.

Name Change: The guy who looks exactly like Aoyama (but sounds different, more obviously in the dub) is named Masazou Aoyamada. Since Mark doesn’t get a last name in the dub, the guy is just named Marco. Points for being consistent anyway. Also, I thought that this guy’s name might also be alluding to something like all the other names, but outside of this show I can’t seem to find much information on either the first or last name.

I don’t get this at all. The shrine that they were at is originally the shrine for Bachigappa. In the dub, it’s the shrine of Isa Oshi (I assume that’s how it’s spelled anyway). Right, change a Japanese word….into….what seems like a Japanese word yet I can’t find any information on.

It finally hit me who voices Marco. It’s, coincidentally enough, Marc Thompson – the guy who voices Duke Devlin on Yu-Gi-Oh. It’s not listed on his Wiki, but according to what I’ve found on the character, it’s him. How they didn’t suspect anything about him in the dub is beyond me. At least the original voice sounds somewhat close to Aoyama even if it is hard to tell because he’s angry. But there’s no way Marc Thompson ever sounds anywhere near Scottie Ray’s Mark rendition.

He also talks about how Bachigappa is a god while in the dub he’s just a guardian spirit.

Corina: “What if that Sushi Wuwu thing is waiting for us?” Hahaha! That’s racially insensitive! Japan is weird because they’re a different culture! Hahahahahah!

All Mint says is ‘this place is too wild for me’.

They cut out a shot of Mint, Ichigo and Lettuce cheering.

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They also cut out a couple of shots of the hot spring.

Lettuce beats herself up over the mistake while Bridget just acts angry at the people who ran the contest.

Lettuce just begs for Bachigappa to eat their lunch while Bridget uses this opportunity to reinforce that what they were eating were common American foods by saying to eat their ham and cheese on rye sandwiches.

A really short shot of someone hitting a stake with a mallet is removed.

After realizing that the date for the resort vacation was actually for next year when the resort was going to be completed construction, Lettuce apologizes and bows several times. This is removed.

It’s weird. I’m actually feeling like Marc Thompson does better as Mark than Scottie Ray does. At least he sounds like he’s a teenager instead of an insurance salesman.

In the original, the otter that was Aoyamada’s friend was called Kawataro. In the dub, it’s called ‘Otto’. I would call 4Kids lame for making his name so cheesy, but I believe the original name is also a pun/play on words since the Japanese word for otter is kawauso.

Aoyamada doesn’t say that he stopped coming to the river to see the otters because he ‘grew out of it’ like Marco does. (He grew out of loving animals?) He just says eventually he noticed that the otters slowly stopped coming.

In addition, the reason Aoyamada doesn’t want the construction to go on is because he believes the otters will return to the river some day, but if the resort gets built they’ll lose their homes forever and never return.

Marco says he doesn’t want the construction to go on because they’ll be ruining his special river spot thereby ruining his childhood. Weird how the dub sometimes goes out of its way to shove the environmentalist message in our faces yet they changed Aoyamada being worried about the otters not returning due to land clearing and construction to ‘oh no not my childhood spot I admitted to ‘growing out of”

Aoyamada says a prayer to the shrine of Bachigappa for Kawataro and his friends’ safety. The girls look on and Aoyamada gets up and says that must be a pretty boring story to city dwellers. All of this is removed because religion.

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Ichigo says his story’s not silly because she knows someone back home who loves animals. He’s surprised that a city dweller could love animals, but she goes on to describe what an awesome person Aoyama is. She’s about to say he’s her boyfriend, but Aoyamada’s face stops her and she says he’s her ‘important person’.

In the dub, Zoey says Marco can get a petition together, get all of the people on the mountain to sign it and stop construction. The scenes with her clamoring over Aoyama have to be removed due to this line change. Instead, she suddenly sees Marco’s face and gets flustered over how much he looks like Mark.

I put off mentioning this twice already, but since this line change directly contradicts this point, I guess I’ll bring this up. In the original, Aoyamada’s dad and many other people on the mountain agreed to have this resort be put up. This is never mentioned in the dub, and why would it considering it would immediately clash with that completely unneeded line change?

In the original, Aoyamada says Ichigo should ask Bachigappa about her relationship with Aoyama since he’s also a kind god of marriage and he even offers to pray with her. He also invites the other girls to pray at the altar too if there’s someone they love. The girls all agree to pray, and they do which means this scene’s a no no.

In the dub, Marco just talks about the significance of Isa Oshi and what his spirit means to the mountain. After he finishes the story, Zoey and the others say they should leave, wish him luck with his petition, thank him for everything, not pray and then we cut straight to Kisshu entering the scene.

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The villagers in both versions believe that the god/spirit of the mountain is bringing terror to their mountain due to the construction but the dub adds this.

Villager: “The prophecy!” What prophecy!? No prophecy is mentioned before or after this line. It just randomly appeared. What did that prophecy say? ‘And lo if this mountain is invaded by construction workers building a comfortable natural hot springs resort and spa, I shall reign terror upon the villagers who seemingly had no hand in this decision!’

Lettuce says they may have made a mistake eating their lunch on the shrine as it must’ve upset Bachigappa. In the dub, Bridget says the villagers are overreacting because the Isa Oshi statue didn’t look angry….Yeah, that’s not a stupid thing to say or anything.

I love Mint’s line here. “Such an unscientific thing could never happen. Could it be? (a chimera animal)” Yes, mountain spirits are so unscientific and just silly. Could it possibly be a chimera animal, which is a spirit of a person or animal mixed with an alien creature and brainwashed into attacking us girls with magical animal powers?

Oh but 4Kids had to be even worse.

Corina: “You seriously don’t think that Kuku Mushu thing is real do you?” Haha! It’s funny because it’s a different culture’s religious figure and is by default stupid because of it! Allow me to further drive home the point that it’s stupid by again getting the name completely wrong! Hahah!

Okay guys, transformation time. Will I finally be able to compare Lettuce’s transformation!?

Mmmmm…..NOPE. They meld the transformations together. Thanks a lot. Also, they use different clips for their meshed transformations than the original does (which is also meshed).

We see a clip of Mint mostly transformed and then some more clips of the others later we see a clip of her earlier on in her transformation sequence making it look like she de-transformed a bit. Editing? What’s that?

4Kids also adds still frames of closeups of all of the mews transitioned with flipscreens.

And to top if off, more mew mew power in my face. Wow, it’s like the last minute and half were designed solely to piss me off. That’s impressive.

Wait, the chimera animal dodged Lettuce’s attack by diving underwater? That seems pretty stupid considering she’s the water based one in the group.

I know there was no way around it, but they really left in the farting attack by the chimera animal? That would actually be a change I’d welcome.

Kiki: *as she’s kicking the chimera animal* “I know you’ll get a kick out of this!”

Ugh.

Kiki: *before she attacks* “Now time for some monkey business!”

UGH! Plus, you already made a monkey pun today!

What the hell? They actually show the monster getting stuck in the jello/pudding stuff this time? Why was it removed last time then?! Stop not making sense!

Aoyamada says as long as the otters live there, he’ll never stop fighting to stop the construction. The villagers, having been frightened by ‘Bachigappa’, agreed to work against the project as well.

In the dub, get this, Marco has already gotten a petition together, got many people on the mountain to sign it including the the construction workers who agree to completely shut down their construction and leave the place alone, which they should honestly have no say in since they’re working for a third party who is paying for all this, all within the time span of, at most, a couple of hours. Wow. That is a lot to swallow, 4Kids. A hell of a lot.

Pudding cheers happily because this also means her chimp friends will be safe too. In the dub, Kiki’s responding to Marco saying that he feels like the girls have helped him more than he’ll ever understand by saying that he can ask the monkeys. (The original says they’re monkeys, but the dub says chimps. While I know the difference for the most part, I can’t really say for certain who’s right given the artwork. I’d guess they are monkeys.)

The final scene where Ichigo’s staring at Aoyamada is removed instead ending with the shot of the monkeys.

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This episode was just okay. It really seemed like one of those times where they were really trying to push their environmentalist message on us. Also, I have to wonder if the choice to make Aoyamada look exactly like Aoyama had more of a point or if they were just being lazy and didn’t want to make another character design for the character of the day.

Coming up next, a Mint-centric episode….Joy of joys. She’s trying to fix relations with her brother before he goes overseas for school.

….Previous Episode

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) Loonatics Unleashed

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Plot: In the year 2772, a meteor struck the planet/city/it’s never made clear of Acmetropolis, giving the five descendants of the Looney Tunes super powers. Together, they use their powers to fight off various threats to Acmetropolis.

In this particular episode, a bunch of ice-wielding robot vikings attack and they defeat them…..Yup. Take this all in. Soak it up.

Breakdown: It seems this series is very polarizing. Some people, especially cartoon reviewers, seem to be firmly in the ‘this series is a stain upon the Looney Tunes name’ camp, while others think it’s a perfectly fine adaptation and action comedy show.

I remember seeing this show being promoted on Kids WB, but I never much cared to watch it and it didn’t last very long. Where do I stand on it after this viewing? Well, that’s for later.

First, let’s go over the plot because wow, that is…that some plot. Why are the Looney Tune descendants the only ones who got powers from that meteor crash? Why did they take it upon themselves to fight crime when there was no singular or overall threat at the time? I won’t really harp on how insane this concept is because….well, it’s still technically the Looney Tunes, and complaining about crazy plots with the Looney Tunes is utterly pointless. What does matter is the execution. Have they taken this crazy plot and actually made something decent out of it?

Let’s go over the characters.

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Our leader is, obviously, the descendant of Bugs Bunny, Ace Bunny. He’s pretty much a typical action show team leader with a bit more of a slant on wit and jokes…..But I never really felt any of his jokes worked, especially when they tried to shoehorn in Bugs’ catchphrase three times. This character’s personality highlights a problem with the entire series that I’ll discuss later.

Ace’s abilities are laser eye beams and optical enhancement.

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Lexi Bunny is the second-in-command and token 90’s tude-ish girl in the group. She’s also the descendant of Lola Bunny, which explains why she’s not funny. Lexi mostly talks about clothes and looking fat, though she does seem to be an entirely different person when she’s in combat mode, showing effective strategies and focus that earn her the title of second-in-command. I honestly shouldn’t be calling her the token girl both for the fact that she hasn’t really shown too many of those tropes yet (outside of the fashion stuff, weight worries and the fact that her color is, you guessed it, pink) and because, well, Looney Tunes itself is a sausage fest.

In fact, Lola, her ancestor, was created purely to help even up the demographics a bit. Even though Looney Tunes never seemed to have a big problem in that area, I know I was and still am a big fan, I guess Space Jam thought it did.

Her powers include supersonic hearing and brain blasts, which are essentially the same as Ace’s laser beams just being emitted from her ears and being made of psionic energy.

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Probably the most similar to their Looney Tunes descendant is Danger Duck, descendant of Daffy Duck. I say that loosely because while he does retain quite of bit of Daffy’s personality and nearly the exact same character design, his jokes just don’t work very well. They’re probably the best out of the cast, but that’s not saying much.

Danger has the ability to quantum quack, which is basically just teleportation, and create power orbs which are kinda like Easter eggs. They’re orbs that are filled with something like explosives and whatnot that get released upon breaking.

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Slam Tasmanian, descendant of the Tasmanian Devil, is also very loyal to his ancestor…..not that it’s hard to do so considering Taz’s only character traits were being crazy and incoherent.

His powers include super strength, tornado maximizer, which is basically Taz’s trademark spinning twister, just at a much higher rate of speed and even including fire, and thunder mode which allows him to shoot off hurricanes made of lightning from his fists.

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Next up is Tech E. Coyote, descendant of Wile E. Coyote, and as his name suggests he is the techie. He is constantly making gadgets and vehicles for the group, and, as the tech guy with super intelligence, he’s obviously the most useful member of the team who gets the most to do yet doesn’t get enough recognition.

Something I should mention; he talks. Unlike his ancestor who spoke in sign language (get it?! Hehehehehehehehehehe) and spoke on rare occasions, Tech talks all the time and even prattles on when he gets into nerd mode. I don’t have anything against him talking, his voice is fantastic actually, and I definitely didn’t want him to be a silent tech support guy anyway (I’m looking at you, Zorro Generation Z) but it’s something worth noting.

His powers include incredible super intelligence, magnekinesis and molecular regeneration. You read that right; molecular regeneration….super healing. Tech E. Coyote is essentially Wolverine. In fact, according to Wiki, it’s a recurring joke for Tech to be blown to bits and just regenerate himself.

I’m sorry; why is he not, hands down, the leader? He’s the smartest, he has great leadership capabilities, he keeps cool under pressure, he makes gadget after gadget for helping them fight bad guys, he’s by far the most useful, and oh yeah, he’s essentially immortal.

Why do the bunnies with the laser beams get to be first and second in command? Equal opportunity my ass.

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And….finally….we have Rev Runner, descendant of the Road Runner. He….is so annoying. You know how they made it so that Tech E. spoke just fine even though Wile E. was basically mute? Well, they did the same thing with Rev…..only he has a quirk….he talks really quickly because, well….I think you can figure it out. It is insanely irritating to listen to him and the ‘joke’ gets old after like a millisecond. I am very aware that he’s voiced by WB voice legend, Rob Paulsen, and all respect to Mr. Paulsen, but this direction choice is dumb.

He, oddly enough, seems to have the most powers out of the group. He obviously has super speed, but he also has super intellect (and is actually, ironically, friends with and invention partners with Tech E.), flight, some degree of clairvoyance, and what is probably the weirdest power in the group, the ability to track down and pinpoint the location of other living organisms like a GPS. While that’s not weird on its own, he also has the ability to transfer what he sees into a hologram. Makes him seem like he’s part robot is all.

So, to clear things up, the smartest and most useful characters, the one with the most powers and the one who is arguably the most powerful are not as important as Ace and Lexi….Bunny bias.

We have one more character in their mysterious leader Zadavia who contacts them via hologram like she’s Zordon. Unlike everything else, we are given no friggin idea as to who she is, where she came from or why she’s leading these guys. We just kinda have to accept that she does.

She’s serious and mostly kind but seems to dislike Danger. Him sending in numerous name change requests does not warrant not thanking him for helping save the world. Seriously, it’d be one thing if it was a lump sum thank you, but she thanked everyone individually and straight up didn’t include Danger.

Now for something I hinted at earlier in Ace’s description which is the tone of this series. It’s really a mixture of action, drama and, of course, comedy. The problem is that the Looney Tunes are not really geared for drama/seriousness. They can pull off action a la Duck Dodgers, but the post-apocalyptic setting, the seemingly very serious threats to the global population…all of that makes it so that the characters can’t really be the all that goofy or funny….In essence, they can’t be the Looney Tunes, which might be why they’re technically not.

However, an additional problem is that the threats in question are silly, at least so far, but they’re painted as serious. Sorta like your average run of the mill action team cartoon from the 90s.

Altogether, you have a subpar action superhero show mixed with “diet” Looney Tunes with a serious twist and a hint of Splenda.

Throughout the whole episode, I was just left wondering why these characters even needed to be the Looney Tunes’ descendants. Really, you could just market this as a bunch of anthropomorphized animals with superpowers fighting evil and it would be the same thing. You might get in trouble with character design copyright infringements with Danger and maybe Slam, but everyone else would be okay and I doubt anyone would say it’s the Looney Tunes in any way, barring those catchphrase moments.

The thing is, that really was this series’ only hook; it was an action superhero team, as was the popular thing back then…..and today….with the Looney Tunes…..Kinda.

Outside of being a little too crazy without the humor being strong enough to back it up, the first episode is also just bland.

The episode does a good job of explaining the backstory for the most part. They explain the meteor, and the opening theme’s shots of the team explain both the names and powers of each team member. Still no explanation as to why only these five beings got powers from the meteor, but whatever.

One thing first episodes are meant to do is start with a very strong first story to hook us in and make us want more. Since it’s not an origin story, the audience typically needs a big memorable conflict to help us get a good taste of how exciting the show will be.

However, we just end up with ice wielding robot vikings, and yes I wasn’t lying, that’s totally a thing, being defeated by an endless supply of gadgets/vehicles and a decent variety of the group’s powers. This is kinda par for the course, but there’s no memorable or noteworthy moments, hence why my plot synopsis is so bare. Not to mention that the vikings use several ice puns….

I will admit that I liked that Danger is not made out to be a complete buffoon who gets in the way more than he helps, but that’s not really anything great.

There’s so much going on in terms of getting new vehicles and new gadgetry and trying out various powers on the enemy instead of having real plot developments or character development or anything really important happening. The biggest thing in the episode is the vikings shutting down the power core for the city, which effectively leaves the world in the dark (see what I mean by the confusion on whether Acmetropolis is a city or planet?)

However, since the Loonatics are around and they have shown time and again that they can melt the ice with little issue and also have no problem taking out the robots, it’s only a matter of time before they take out the robots and melt the ice on the core….

You could shoo that aside if the action is fun enough for you to just enjoy yourself instead of being preoccupied with that stuff. Eh….Not really. There is a never ending stream of action, but like I said none of it is really noteworthy. The powers showcased here are mostly been-there-done-that and even the gadgets aren’t creative. We have blasters, jet packs, motorcycles and a big ship with torpedoes on it. How can the descendants of the Looney Tunes get away with not being creative?

The art is pretty stylized, though slightly too craggy for my tastes. The animation is also pretty nice and fluid with only a few iffy spots here and there. I’m not a big fan of the multi-screen views of a single shot. Seems a bit cheesy, especially for the time.

The voices are good, though I can’t not hear Jason Marsden’s regular voice when he’s playing Danger on several occasions. Half the time, he’s doing a fairly loyal Daffy impression and the other he’s just completely normal voiced.

The music is alright, though mostly forgettable.

Final verdict?

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In my eyes, this show is definitely not bad. There were no moments where I was groaning at the screen or feeling the need to pause because of something stupid. It’s just a subpar action superhero cartoon with the Looney Tunes brand painted over it. I feel no need to continue this, though. There are only 26 episodes so this might be up for a cartoon step-by-step, but since this episode yielded little substance and material I can’t imagine I’d be very driven to even do that much. It’s definitely not the childhood-ruining nightmare some people make it out to be.

Recommended Audience: Violence but it’s against robots and any wounds inflicted to the team are either forgotten or instantly healed. Tech does get blown to a pile of mush at the end, but he’s fine by the next scene. 7+?

Final note: Did I say this wasn’t childhood-ruining? I meant you must now imagine Daffy Duck, the Tasmanian Devil, Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, Bugs and Lola Bunny having sex…..not with each other…Well, maybe Bugs and Lola Bunny. Don’t blame me; blame the premise.

Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power Episode 8 (7 for the Original) Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: As Ichigo’s on a shopping trip, she meets a younger girl who is a hyperactive street performer named Pudding. After Pudding puts on a show for her, she tries to get a tip of out of Ichigo but accidentally makes her ears and tail pop out. Realizing they’re real, Pudding does everything that she can to get Ichigo to teach her to grow her own cat ears and tail. Ichigo won’t help her and ends up blowing up at her about the subject since she finds her cat ears and tail to be a curse not a blessing.

After a realization, Ichigo decides to go back to the park where Pudding performs to apologize but finds that she’s being attacked by Kisshu in order to obtain her spirit. Ichigo and the others transform to help, but when Kisshu’s newest Chimera Animal seems too much for them, it’s up to Pudding to help.

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The opening scene is replaced with a scene of Dren talking to Deep Blue about how he’s got a big new plan but Deep Blue’s unsure of how he’ll do since he seems to be increasingly distracted by Zoey. Dren reassures Deep Blue that it won’t be a problem. After the theme song they show the actual first scene of the episode, so this scene must’ve been lifted from later on.

Ichigo just says that Shirogane and the others always ask for too much when it’s her turn to go shopping. Zoey says Elliot always chooses her day to grocery shop to run half-price specials on veggie drinks at the cafe. I only want to ask…Why the hell are they selling veggie drinks at a cafe? Especially one that seems to put a lot of focus on cake and candies and stuff. Eat healthy, everyone. Have a veggie drink! It’ll go great with your quadruple fudge chocolate lava cake with cookie dough ice cream drizzled with white chocolate!

Kiki oddly says that she’s doing Kabuki ball bouncing……there’s no such thing as Kabuki ball dancing. What she’s doing in the scene is rolling a ball on top of a spinning parasol. This is part of a traditional Japanese show art called Daikagura. Basically it involves doing a lot of tricks with common household objects like balls, knives, umbrellas, bowls and more.

Kabuki is a type of traditional Japanese theater art that typically involves very slow interpretive dancing with the main trademark being elaborate masks and makeup. It’s just so weird that 4Kids would make her say this. It’s like they wanted to point out that what she was doing is Japanese, and I salute that, but they were too stupid and lazy to find out what it was.

Kiki: “How’d you like it?”

Zoey: “Great!”

Kiki: “Then how about a tip?”

Zoey: “Sure! Don’t do drugs and stay in school! See ya later!”

……I…am stunned on several levels….First, that was rude as hell. She just worked really hard to give you a great show and you respond with snarky sarcasm….Bitch. Second, I am just so weirded out to hear the word “drugs” in a 4Kids production. I know she was saying “don’t do drugs” but still that’s pretty high on my list of words I never thought I’d hear in a 4Kids show.

They remove the little bubble that says “Candy” and a big question mark by Pudding’s head.

Subbed: tmmep8screen1

Dubbed: bq4vhmb

They don’t remove all of the graffiti from the alley, just the graffiti with words. English words…Even if I don’t know what Flork means….I wish I did because I want that word in my vocabulary.

Subbed: tmmep8screen2

Dubbed: jfmmaxr

Ichigo says to do ten laps around the park while Zoey says to merely do it once.

Ah here’s where they took the opening scene. It’s kept mostly the same, Deep Blue and Kisshu are talking about finding a compatible match for their new experimental chimera animal. The only real difference is that Deep Blue doesn’t scold Kisshu nor does he bring up his attraction to Ichigo.

Most of the next scene is also kept mostly the same, but Lettuce said Shirogane told her to look for Ichigo because she was probably ditching work. In the dub, Bridget says Elliot sent her to look for Zoey because there was a line around the block for the half-price health drinks—PBBBBBBTTTTTTT AHAHAAHHAHAHAHA!! Look, eat healthy and everything, that’s wonderful, but I can in no way believe that people would be lining up AROUND THE BLOCK for half-price vegetable mush at a cafe.

The words “Bad” and “Ka” are removed from the walls.

Subbed: tmmep8screen3

Dubbed:b71aai1

Oddly enough, though, 4Kids doesn’t remove the letters NWG from the wall when Zoey runs by.

While Ichigo’s being a bitch in both versions, she’s more of a bitch in the dub. The original basically implies that Ichigo doesn’t like the fact that she has cat ears and a tail while Pudding is wishing for them to do silly tricks and make money. She says a normal elementary school kid wouldn’t want that (Well, that’s just wrong. Plenty of kids want to have animal traits. Hell, even adults. That’s why catgirls/boys and the like are so popular. Why do you think Loveless got such a following?) and says Pudding’s not a normal elementary school girl.

In the dub, she calls Kiki the weirdest kid she’s met and basically berates the crap out of her for being annoying with no implication that Zoey’s truly bothered because she dislikes her own ears and doesn’t like the fact that Kiki’s wishing for such a ‘curse’.

Why does the dub keep bringing up those dumb veggie shakes? Was 4Kids on a health food bender back then?

Why are Mint/Corina and Shirogane/Elliot berating Ichigo/Zoey for popping out her eats and tail in public? It’s been fully established that she can’t control when this happens – they pop out in times of great duress or when she’s emotionally charged.

Mint tells Ichigo that there must be a reason why Pudding was so intent on getting cat ears, which causes Ichigo to reflect on what she said to her. Corina seems to know Kiki in the dub and outright tells her that Kiki performs to make money because she lives in a shelter.

….By the way, no she doesn’t. She lives at home with her brothers and sisters and she’s the only one taking care of them since her mom’s dead and her dad’s off somewhere training. She needs the money to support them. I guess saying that she lives at a shelter seems better because an 11 year old being the main head of a house is….bad?

This whole backstory reminds me of Brock from Pokemon. Supposedly dead mother, in the dub anyway (even though she reappears with no explanation later) father being MIA training for his dream and the only person left to take care of a slue of brothers and sisters is the eldest child because child services just don’t exist in anime apparently. I suppose Brock is old enough for him to be main head of the household while Kiki isn’t. Brock IS supposed to be like 15 or 16 so maybe it’s more understandable, but I still don’t entirely get it.

And like Brock’s story eventually got messed up because of 4Kids’ interference, we will eventually see for ourselves that Pudding does not live in a shelter – she lives in a regular house.

The flashback is just static black and white images, the dub has them in full color video.

I love how, in the dub, we get this revelation that Kiki’s homeless and living in a shelter and immediately after it’s followed by the happy-peppy bumper music. “She doesn’t even have a home…” LAAAALALA-LALA!

Text is removed from a sign after the commercial.

Subbed: tmmep8screen4

Dubbed: mg3jubs

We’re not told that the woman that has her soul stolen is a musician in the original, and the woman is just screaming in the original whereas in the dub she’s repeating the word “samba” over and over.

Ichigo’s bummed because she yelled at Pudding the other day, then goes off track as she’s talking to her friends saying she’s not upset about Aoyama. She says they haven’t gotten to spend much time together lately, but she thinks he likes her back. However, if they get together, the other girls in school will hate her so she starts freaking out.

In the dub, she’s not upset about Kiki anymore, she’s thinking about Mark. She says she feels like there’s two sides of her and Mark might like one side but not another. Like a ham and cheese sandwich. You know he’s a fan of ham, but he might not like cheese. Well, then he should do what a normal person would do and just rip you apart, take your cheese off and then eat you. It’s not that big of a deal.

A shot of the school’s clock, Ichigo running out of school and complaining that she had remedial classes when she wanted to meet with Pudding is removed.

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4Kids again forgets the actual line from the scene that they’re flashing back to. Originally Zoey said “Well, I’ve had enough! No more of these games! Got it!?” In the flashback she says “I’ve had enough! Leave me alone!” Is it really that hard to check these things? Also, again the flashback is a static black and white image in the original, full color video in the dub.

Kisshu tells Pudding that he’s an angel, but she doesn’t believe him at all saying angels don’t have evil faces like that. He says he came down from the skies to grant her her wish, but he supposes that makes him a fallen angel.

In the dub, Dren says he’ll grant her wish for cat ears and she says she hopes he doesn’t mean ears like his. Dren says he enjoyed watching her act and wants to take her spirit to make a predasite. Also, he’s making his usually villain-esque speech when he says this “Oh I’ll just cut to the chase, I’m going to steal your spirit for my predasite army.” Pbbt, is 4Kids getting bored of its own cliché dialogue? That’s just amazing.

I can’t get screenshots of this, but the screen flickers as Kisshu’s about to take Pudding’s spirit. This may be a glitch in the footage, I dunno, but it’s not present in the 4Kids version.

Oh great a scene misplacement and more Mew Mew Power in my face. Ichigo says her motto after she makes her appearance known to Kisshu. That’s usually how it works in magical girl anime. There’s no point in saying your motto if the villain doesn’t even notice that you’re there. In the dub she says it right after she transforms.

Pudding’s happy to see Ichigo again. Kiki’s surprised that Zoey’s cat ears are back….Why? It’s not like she lost them permanently.

I don’t even know if this is a joke. Dren: “Nice to see you again my little pretty cat.”….He says ‘pretty cat’ inflected like ‘pussy cat’. Or is he referencing Looney Tunes trying to make a play off of “Puddy tat”? In no way does this work. If they had inflected to just make it seem like he was calling her a pretty cat, it would’ve been fine. Maybe they wanted to call her ‘pussy cat’ but were like ‘lawl wee cant sei dat!1 dats a cuss werd!1’ In the original, Kisshu just calls her ‘honey’ which never ceases to entertain me. He says it in such a cute way.

Dren: “Now now, play nice you Mew you.”…..4Kids what are you trying to do? I think you’re trying to be funny, but really coming off as weird and awkward. Did you give up on this episode half-way through or something?

Oh and what a big shock. Lettuce arrives at the scene with Mint and they’re both already transformed. Because no one and I mean no one wants me to do the comparison for Lettuce’s transformation sequence.

The way Kiki says “Kick some butt” is so weird. She’s been yelling and shouting about everything all episode, but one thing you’d expect her to yell out she says practically monotone. Guess the voice actors were giving up in the middle too. Pudding just yells “Onee-chan!” in the original.

Why is everyone calling Kiki ‘kid’ now in the dub? Seems disrespectful.

Pudding asks if she’s in heaven now since she jumped in the way of the attack. Kiki answers Zoey’s question about where the rock came from by saying she thinks she did it despite the fact that her eyes are closed and thus doesn’t even know there’s a rock in front of her.

Corina: “He’s giving the little beggar a power pendant!”…………………What the hell is wrong with everyone today? Why is everyone so rude and mean-spirited in the dub? Hell, even oh-so-perfect Mark was being an ass earlier when he kept bringing up all the mean things Zoey said to Kiki while trying to ‘cheer her up’.

If you’re not going to be funny, dub, the least you could be is kind and light-hearted. Every time I do these comparisons I feel like punching someone in the face, and considering how many other comparisons I do that only make me feel that way on occasion I’d say you have serious problems, Mew Mew Power.

They remove a shot of Pudding looking at the transformer.

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Pudding says “Mew Mew Pudding, Metamorphosis!”. Kiki says “Now I’m a Mew Mew!”

Pudding’s transformation comparison, because screw Lettuce. They remove:

Pudding in front of the DNA strands.

Pudding holding her pendant above her head and putting it to her head.

Pudding’s nail polish appearing on her fingers.

Her little arm bands forming on her arms.

Her pose.

And the background for her pose; they replace it with a bright light….does 4Kids believe the images behind the Mews is copyrighted or something? Because they refuse to show it for any of them.

Subbed: tmmep8screen8

Dubbed: w3vo0ys

Extras:

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Attack Name/Weapon Name change: Pudding’s Pudding Rings plus her Pudding Ring Inferno are changed to Golden Tambourine Attack and Tambourine Trench. Also, Pudding doesn’t make monkey sounds as she does her attack like Kiki does.

Okay, what the hell Zoey? Kiki launches her attack and before it even hits the monster, Zoey launches her Strawberry Bell attack right the hell out of nowhere. Kiki’s attack never registers and the whole scene just seems like Zoey butted in to get the glory.

In the original, well, Pudding’s attack is kinda weird. It shoots through the ground at the opponent then the opponent gets trapped in a big thing of orange Jello. This seems even more out of place to me because none of the other Mews, despite having food themed names and attack names, have the actual foods come into play. Pudding then calls upon Ichigo to finish her off instead of her butting in like a glory hogging jerk.

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Now, before we go any further with anything…..Does this mean Kiki will never land an attack in the future? Does 4Kids think her attack is too weird or something? I mean, yeah it’s one of the weirder powers I’ve seen in anime, but come on. Encasing monsters in jello is not any weirder than playing card games on motorcycles or keeping super powered monsters locked in balls that you can fit on your belt.

Ichigo thinks to herself that since Pudding’s working at the cafe now, her workload should finally lessen. But when Pudding starts making trouble, she retracts that statement. In the dub, Kiki’s boasting over all of this.

As Pudding’s running around breathing fire, we circle transition out to a pink screen which suddenly disappears and shows Pudding on screen asking for a tip. This is removed from the dub.

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In regards to the original, this episode was a pretty good intro to Pudding. It was more interesting than Lettuce’s and Mint’s, and Pudding’s way less annoying than Mint. They were also subtle about her backstory leaving room for her character development episode in the future, unlike SOME VERSIONS.

Dub-wise, this episode makes me angry. It’s mean-spirited on a constant basis, makes Kiki seem way more annoying than she actually is since they make her way more pushy and boastful, they shoehorn in her (altered) backstory without elaborating because they’re stupid, they scene shift more than they have been, they completely remove any effect of Kiki’s attack and make Zoey look like a pushy showboat trying to steal the glory. In addition, Lettuce/Bridget gets to do nothing but carry groceries and babysit Pudding/Kiki on the sidelines AND we don’t get her transformation sequence in either version for me to do the damn comparison.

This episode just seems to encompass everything I hate about the dub.

That reminds me, this whole series is still one giant flashback dub-wise since they start with episode 12 in the dub. So wondering if Mark will accept her as a Mew is pointless because we already know he instantly will with his edited and flipped smile.

If you liked Kiki or Renee you have to wait for 9 episodes to until half the series is over (since 4Kids lost the rights before getting to dub season 2) to see them and filler episodes make no sense because who flashes back to filler? In addition, I completely forgot these were flashback episodes since 4Kids is incredibly inconsistent with their narration. I just randomly remembered while looking at the episode numbers.

..Next episode is filler. The obligatory hot springs episode. Oddly enough, there’s no fanservice. Kinda makes the obligatory hot springs episode moot.

…Previous Episode