Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai

xd7wihr

Plot: Set one year after the events of The Mummy Returns, Rick O’Connell, his wife Evie and their son Alex continue to explore ancient locations looking for rare artifacts. Evie is promoted to head archeologist at the British Museum over her bitter colleague, Colin, and she heads to Egypt on an expedition already in progress. Her brother, Jonathan, stumbles upon the manacle of Osiris and Alex accidentally gets it stuck on his wrist.

Meanwhile, Imhotep is arisen from the grave yet again by Colin, who has stolen the book of the dead from the museum. Imhotep is set on stealing the manacle and ancient scrolls that explain how they work, so he takes Colin in as his servant.

Imhotep faces off against Rick and Evie yet again and he kidnaps Alex to obtain the manacle. While Rick, Evie and Ardeth Bay, AKA fantastic timing incarnate, manage to save Alex, Imhotep is transformed into a half-corpse half-alive state and leaves to travel the world in search of the scrolls, which have gone missing in the several thousand years since they were last seen. Knowing he plans to come after Alex yet again and determined to stop Imhotep from ruling the world, Rick, Evie, Alex, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay travel the world in search of the scrolls as well while Alex learns to control the mysterious powers of the manacle.

Breakdown: Now here’s a series I definitely remember seeing ads for when I was a kid, mostly after watching Yugioh or Pokemon, but I simply had no interest in watching it. I wouldn’t watch The Mummy or its sequels until I was quite a bit older, and while I am a bit of the fan of the movies, I can’t say this is a good animated continuation. And that really is what this is; not an adaptation, an animated continuation.

I was seriously confused on which this was as I was watching the first episode because, dammit, this really does seem like a watered down version of the plot of The Mummy Returns, but nope. It’s set one year after TMR. Which means Alex is stupid enough to stick his hand in a strange ancient Egyptian bracelet twice after nearly dying the last time he did it merely a year prior. That’s like sticking your hands on a hot stove and once you finally get skin grafts and get the bandages off you decide to play patty-cake with a lit barbecue.

And, yeah, this whole thing really just is a watered-down version of the Mummy series made into a typical adventure show. The characters more or less lose their original charms, and hell, I never liked Alex much in the live action movies to begin with, and here he gets basically the role of main character. The writing is milk-toast boring with some of the most cliché and overused lines and plot points. No one really seems like themselves here, and if they didn’t have the characters names I really wouldn’t make the connection to The Mummy series much if at all.

Imhotep has hair now for some reason, even though Egyptian priests and his original live-action character don’t have hair. Also, due to the subject matter involved in their romance, Imhotep’s motivations have now skewed entirely from his love affair with Anck-su-namun to simply the most cliché motivation anyone could ever write; taking over the world.

Evie’s a redhead, Alex is a redhead and Rick is blond for some reason. Ardeth Bay seems whited out and I’m pretty sure they removed many of his tattoos. Jonathan is also now a redhead but he seems to basically be the same character he was; comic relief pratfaller who always wants to run away yet is very greedy and constantly gets into trouble.

I looked a few minutes ahead into the next episode, and hoo boy I’d be pissed if I was watching this in real time. Basically, they skipped….about a half a season’s worth of material and shoved a bunch of clips of various adventures into a clipshow where the narrator explains what’s been going on since the last episode.

Alex and his family have been traveling all over the world having all sorts of really cool adventures, battling and interacting with a bunch of cool supernatural beings and Alex has been slowly learning how to use the manacle of Osiris to help him out. He finds a piece of one of the scrolls, which enables him to use more of the manacle’s powers, but he still has a long way to go. Meanwhile, Imhotep has also been traveling the world looking for the scrolls.

Boy, sure would’ve been nice to have SEEN any of that, but no no, you skip ahead through like 10 episodes of adventures and give us the CliffNotes version. We’ll be fine. It’s not like we’re watching for the story or anything. We’re obviously watching for the completely original characters and mind-blowing animation.

Did I say “Segue”? Yes, the art and animation for this series reek of ‘budget issues’ or ‘laziness’. The art itself is very simple and boring, which is a damn shame for a franchise that is supposed to include a bunch of beautiful artifacts and locales.

The animation has a bunch of errors and is awkward at best. There are several moments where characters look like cardboard cutouts sliding against a scene and talking scenes where the mouth movements don’t just not match the words well, but they also have a nasty habit of jumping or even freezing at the end to make it seem very disjointed and odd. I have a feeling that this isn’t even the worst of their problems in this department if I continue on.

Audio-wise, they didn’t get a damn person who sounds in the least bit like the original characters. Jim Cummings voices Imhotep, and while I love Jim Cummings, his voice sounds nothing like Arnold Vosloo’s and he’s definitely using a slightly deeper version of his Cat from Catdog voice. It’s fine for this version of the character but it’s really distracting to me.

Jonathan’s voiced by, of all people, Tom Kenny, and Rick is voiced by John Schneider whom I actually think is actively trying not to sound like Brendan Fraser.

The music’s style is fitting, but it’s horribly forgettable.

Final Verdict?

750spsl

It’s a lazy rewrite of the second movie’s plot at the very best. Anything charming or fun about the movies doesn’t seem like it’s included here, and anything interesting left over from the movies that could be replicated seems more or less replaced by more kid-friendly or cliché plot points.

Maybe I’m being biased because I really do like the movies…..well, not The Scorpion King…..or the third one……not really a big fan of the second one—The point is, I might very well be biased…..but even trying my best to stay objective, this is, at most, a mediocre adventure series so far. The writing, both plot-wise and dialogue, is just so….blah. It’s boring.

They have a universe and character development set in stone already with two movies to base everything from, and they basically waste all of it. Then again, the movies really aren’t very geared towards the audience that this seems to be going for so I have to wonder why they even bothered.

I guess they’re both banking on the audience to have seen enough of the movies to understand a bunch of stuff off the bat while also banking on them not seeing enough to know how much of a disappointment and rip off this first episode is. And need I remind everyone of the gigantic, almost insulting, time skip they apparently have in the next episode?

By the way, they lose the book of the dead so they can’t use it anymore. Now Imhotep is….half-immortal? I dunno. He’s like a purple zombie-ish thing. *sigh*

Recommended Audience: Outside of mentions of death, nothing. The violence is very minor, coming off of a movie series where we see a man get eaten alive by scarabs, and there’s obviously no swearing, sex, nudity etc. I don’t even think they have guns in this series. 6+

Dissecting the Disquels: Aladdin and the King of Thieves

z0omp8r

Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: Aladdin and Jasmine are getting married (Finally! It only took 86 episodes and 3 movies….) when the party is crashed by a man named Cassim, leader/King of the infamous band of forty thieves. Aladdin becomes curious about the thief, and soon learns that he’s much more to him than he first thought.

Breakdown: Here’s a cool little factoid; Aladdin’s mom is not only alive, she was meant to be a fairly significant part of the first movie. You can see her deleted scenes on the Aladdin DVD where we see that Aladdin was stealing not just for himself but also to support his mother. They even had an additional and subsequently cut song called ‘Proud of Your Boy’ to showcase this that was rerecorded by Clay Aiken for the special edition DVD release.

When he finds the genie and makes his wishes to be a prince in order to marry Jasmine, his mother advises him to drop the charade and tell Jasmine the truth, same as the genie. However, her character was scrapped somewhere along the line in the project and we’re left to assume that she got killed by the Disney mother-hating gods along with Jasmine’s mom.

Here’s another factoid; in this movie, they mention his mom. She supposedly died when Aladdin was very young and he was left to fend for himself while his father was presumed dead. Though I’m not quite certain how. If Aladdin remembers his mom, surely she must’ve told him that his dad just left instead of died, but they never go into details. Maybe she purposely lied to him.

One more note: look at that poster. That poster is apparently a rarity. Why? Well, I specifically wanted to find a poster that didn’t say a particular line on it.

Now recall why Robin Williams didn’t want to reprise his role as Genie in the second movie. He agreed to do Genie’s voice in the first movie if they promised not to use his likeness (Genie himself) or his name to push the movie.

What did they do?

They made Genie’s picture take up a huge part of the box art, made his credits as the peddler and Genie come first before the main characters and shrunk down the main characters on the box art so Genie would get all the focus. When the second movie and series came around, Robin basically told them to kiss his ass and Dan Castellanata came in to take over the role.

Robin Williams reconciled with Disney and agreed to do the third one….after Dan Castellanata already recorded all of the audio for the role. But they really wanted Robin back so they just gave Dan his paycheck and showed him the door.

I’m pretty sure there was no previously agreed upon marketing strategy for this movie, but while I was looking for posters to use for this review, I noticed something odd.

Many of the covers stated “Starring Robin Williams” on the front.

Specifically, all of these and probably more.

3xvbfqo

j3xafea

lypspg1

You may notice that the first poster doesn’t only say ‘Starring Robin Williams’, it also takes the time out to boast ‘Robin Williams is back as the Genie!’

I have no clue what went on there. Was this agreed upon with Robin Williams or did Disney basically want to give Robin a big ‘Screw you’ for not doing the second movie and the series?

What makes this even stupider is the fact that Genie does quite literally nothing in this movie. He stays on the sidelines being comic relief. He does fight off some of the thieves here and there, but it’s nothing that couldn’t have been done with the others. The only times he ever shows off his Genie powers is just to make jokes. This movie hardly ‘stars’ Robin Williams as Genie. He honestly doesn’t even get much screentime.

Going through these posters in hindsight actually hurts a little now that Robin Williams has passed away. You really just cannot ever replace that man in more ways than one. Dan Castellenata did fine as Genie, but Robin Williams was, quite literally, the Genie. And you just can’t replicate true magic like that.

I only recently watched this movie after catching it in passing on Disney XD. I rewatched it for this review, but I remember feeling rather good about how the movie went. I really felt it was a good ending to probably the best animated series spun off from a classic Disney movie.

However, I do have my problems with it….Let’s begin.

——————————————-

We start with seeing the thieves entering the palace while sneaking in through baskets on camels. We learn that Aladdin and Jasmine are finally getting married as a merchant asks the familiar royal guard about the hullabaloo. The merchant reveals himself to be the genie and he gives us our title, which turns into a burnt out neon sign. Genie then tells us that we didn’t ‘believe’ enough to make the title what it was supposed to be.

Peter Pan reference, let’s start the tally!

Disney Jokes: 1

Oh, you may be wondering what this is about. Well, you know how Genie is such a fan of making references and doing impersonations and stuff? Well, it seems like, for some reason, Genie has suddenly gotten on a huge Disney bender as he makes a lot of Disney references and impersonations in this movie. I have no clue why or if this is mirrored in the animated series, but he does.

And Genie turns into Tinkerbell to transition us to the next scene.

Disney Jokes: 2

aatftscreen1

We get our first song, “There’s a Party Here in Agrabah” and it’s actually a pretty good and catchy song. Doesn’t have much of a point, but it’s pretty good.

Eh….I won’t count the Jafar mask towards the tally since it’s the same universe.

At the end of the song, everyone wonders where Aladdin is and we cut to Aladdin back in his old abode. He still keeps wearing his old thief garb despite being as close to a prince as he can possibly get (except now his vest has a gold trim for some reason).

Genie catches up to him and asks what he’s doing there when he should be at the wedding. Aladdin’s getting an old heirloom of his deceased father; a valuable dagger that he honestly should’ve taken with him when he moved into the palace instead of keeping it in his unsecured rat hole of a home.

aatftscreen2

He claims he’s uneasy about getting married because it’s such a huge step in his life. He had no male role model while growing up (or…well, I guess any role model considering they killed off his mom) and doesn’t know how to raise a family. WHOA. You’re just getting married, Aladdin. Talk about kids at Disney’s next attempt to milk this franchise.

He then reprises ‘There’s a Party in Agrabah’ in a gentler tone, giving somewhat of an homage to the first movie’s ‘One Jump Ahead’ and reprise. This is also a rather nice song. Aladdin does sound odd here, though. He hasn’t changed his singing VA, but he just sounds too high pitched. Iago butts in and we go back to the more upbeat version after only seven seconds or so of gentle reprise. Hmph.

I find it funny that they keep saying ‘they’re finally getting married’ yet they’re not giving any reason whatsoever as to why they waited so long. This is probably the longest any Disney princess (who has gotten married) has ever waited to get married after meeting their love interest. And I don’t count either of the Lion King movies because they were too young when they first met to actually get married and they basically immediately got married when they reunited.

The whole jumping into marriage with a person you barely know isn’t exactly a healthy message to keep shoving into these movies, but an actual reason as to why these people, who have been engaged for years, haven’t been married yet would be nice. This is especially weird considering that one of the main plot points of the first movie was the urgent need to find Jasmine a husband.

Anyway, the thieves get into the palace and we cut back to the wedding festivities.

By the way, Genie is actually being pretty funny here as opposed to the second movie where he pretty much got annoying. I’m not sure how much adlibbing Robin is doing here. He did quite a bit in the original movie – so much so that the movie was disqualified from getting an award for best screenplay.

Hey, the Genie turned into the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland when he got behind schedule.

Disney Jokes: 3

Okay, he’s funny when he’s not Disney-fied.

The wedding starts and the sultan comes out…wearing an orange version of his regular garb for some reason. You’d think the white version would be fine for a wedding, but I guess he wanted to dress up like the Nickelodeon logo.

aatftscreen3

Jasmine walks out and oh pretty wedding dress. They’re about to start the ceremony, but we cut back to Cassim going through with his plan. His right-hand man, Sa’luk, who doesn’t like him by the way, sends one of their elephants in to charge the place.

Genie: “Whoa, I thought the earth wasn’t supposed to move until the wedding.” Hey Disney, calm down! You already had a stripper joke earlier. You’re going to be at porn before we even get to the second act.

More elephants start wrecking the place and the thieves start robbing people blind while Cassim goes off to find something particular. Iago tries to fight him off, but gets stuffed in a bottle. Cassim finds the item, a staff of some sort, and has a tussle with Aladdin.

Hell, even Jasmine gets in a good right hook in this big thief fight. Of course, that’s downplayed by the fact that a carpet and a monkey also take some out….in fact they take out more than she does…

The genie shows off a bit to intimidate the thieves and Sa’luk says to retreat because he wasn’t aware that a genie was there…..really? It seems like his existence is no secret. In fact he shows off quite frequently in town and around the palace. I find it really hard to believe that this information never made it back to you.

Sa’luk and the others ditch Cassim while Cassim still has it out over the staff with Aladdin. However, one of the elephants charges at them. Aladdin gets out of the way with the staff while Cassim hitches a ride on the elephant and gets away, promising to return for the staff later.

As the group tries to pick up the pieces, Aladdin, Jasmine and the others try to figure out why Cassim wanted the staff so much. A voice from within the staff claims it’s because Cassim wanted to use it to find the ultimate treasure. A mysterious woman bathed in white projects from the staff and Genie claims it’s an oracle – a being who grants its users the answer to absolutely any question, but only one per person.

aatftscreen4

Jasmine says they can use the question to figure out their futures, which is the dumbest thing you could possibly use an oracle for. Your future will come eventually, which means you’ll get the answers eventually. Why waste such an awesome ability to get something you will get in time sooner?

The only reason I could see for using the question for that is if she’s having cold feet about the wedding and wants to know if it will really work out to ensure she doesn’t make a big mistake.

However, Aladdin says he knows his future is with Jasmine (*cue ‘awwws’*) and says he wants to know about his past since his mother died when he was just a boy and he never knew his also dead dad. Aladdin says the oracle can’t help him with that because he has too many questions about his past and can’t limit it to one, but the oracle says the questions can be answered if he reunited with his father and she shows us a picture of Aladdin’s dad, Cassim. Well, hell, spoiler tags would be nice, Oracle. Dammit! He went to the trouble of wearing a mask and everything!

We get an obvious enter-commercial-break-if-this-is-airing-on-TV fade to black here after Aladdin finds out that his dad has been alive all this time.

Cut to Aladdin sulking at his old ‘house’ where Jasmine finds him to talk with him. Aladdin’s conflicted because his dad’s an asshole who left him and his mother, and now he’s thinking he shouldn’t find out anything further.

Jasmine tries to cheer him up with our movie’s romantic number ‘Out of Thin Air’, which is also pretty good and memorable but dammit all they’re not even trying to make a love song as awesome as ‘A Whole New World.’ I don’t even know why they bother if they’re not going to try. We do get to see a little boy Aladdin, so that’s something.

aatftscreen5

At the end of the song, they decide that he should find his father so that he can get to know him and have him be at the wedding and whatnot. The oracle tells them that Aladdin’s father is ‘trapped’ by the forty thieves.

Oh come now. Really? You’re trying to pull that old Star Wars ‘well, my wording was TECHNICALLY correct’ thing? Aladdin, of course, freaks out and believes his father’s been a prisoner with the thieves for many years, but the oracle won’t answer anymore questions. Thought we made that rule pretty clear, Al.

It’s up to Aladdin to follow the trail to the forty thieves’ lair and save his father from them.

Luckily, the thieves haven’t made it back to their lair yet as Aladdin catches up to them. He thinks he has them trapped as they reach the ocean (?), but Cassim parts it. He says ‘Open Sesame’ (Which, in my opinion, sounds really silly nowadays considering how many times it’s been turned into a joke, but I understand why it’s in this movie seeing as how it’s based on Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves), a bunch of explosions happen at a bit of land across the water, a straight blast of lava goes to the shore and parts the water, making a pathway.

aatftscreen6

The thieves follow it to their lair while Aladdin barely manages to follow.

They listen in on their meeting and, despite grabbing everything from everyone in sight and only facing minor troubles, apparently the thieves got away with absolutely nothing…Weird. Sa’luk is outraged and the other thieves are developing man-crushes on him as he opposes Cassim. Hearing his name and seeing him without his mask alerts Aladdin to the fact we already figured out ten minutes ago; Cassim, the King of Thieves, is Aladdin’s father.

Sa’luk is about to attack Cassim, but Aladdin comes out of the shadows to attack him and claims he’s Cassim’s son. Cassim picks up the dagger and stops the fighting by saying he is indeed Aladdin’s father as the dagger is proof.

However, this doesn’t settle matters for long as Sa’luk says it doesn’t matter who he is, he’s a trespasser who has seen too much of their lair and must be killed along with Iago, Abu and the carpet. Cassim, being the leader, gets the final call, but he’s being pressured by the others since they view him as merciful and weak.

In a bit of a twist, Cassim says to kill him but as Sa’luk is about to do so, he brings up another option – the challenge. It’s basically an initiation into the forty thieves. Since the number stays at forty, the only way they recruit new members is by having a potential new member fight to the death with a current member.

Sa’luk has volunteered to fight Aladdin and the battle begins. Aladdin struggles with Sa’luk for a bit and even gets injured by his brass/gold claw things. However, he unsheathes his father’s dagger and fights back. It’s actually a pretty well done fight. The visuals, coupled with the relative lack of sound beyond music is pretty impacting.

aatftscreen7

Sa’luk throws Aladdin off a cliff, but he manages to save himself by sticking his dagger into the side of the cliff and sliding down onto another smaller ledge. Sa’Luk follows him to finish the job, but before he can, Aladdin kicks him which causes him to stumble and fall off the ledge into the water like a good Disney villain.

After defeating Sa’luk, Aladdin is welcomed into the band of forty thieves with a song, ‘Welcome to the Forty Thieves’ – a song that is also pretty good. I love Aladdin’s face through the whole thing. I imagine that’s how any normal person would look if a bunch of people, especially criminals, randomly broke out into song.

Cut to the waters below where we see that Sa’Luk has not only somehow survived, but he is also fistfighting two sharks. That seems impressive, but I just got back from watching the first episode of Power Rangers Dino Thunder where Tommy kicks a T-Rex in the face….so yeah I kinda need more to be impressed at the moment.

Back at the palace, Jasmine’s getting worried. Genie tries to cheer her up by doing an impression of Mrs. Doubtfire. Get it?! Get it!? That’s a role played by Robin Williams! Robin Williams was Mrs. Doubtfire! Get it?!

He keeps trying with more impressions and more magic. He then makes the pumpkin carriage and turns Jasmine into Cinderella.

Disney Jokes: 4

He then turns Jasmine into Snow White and makes a Snow White reference.

Disney Jokes: 5

While making mock ideas for Jasmine as more girls of Disney, he shows her as Ariel,

Disney Jokes: 6

Minnie,

Disney Jokes: 7

and Jessica Rabbit.

Disney Jokes: 8

Jasmine thanks him for cheering her up and we cut back to Aladdin and Cassim as he’s showing him a secret room.

He says that he’s been searching for so long and is close to finding the legendary treasure, the Hand of Midas, which turns anything that it touches into gold. While Aladdin says it’s nothing but a myth (Dude, you’re best friends with a genie, you know a talking parrot, you ride a magic carpet as your primary mode of transportation and you’ve battled a sorcerer turned genie on two occasions. Not to mention all of the magic stuff you’ve seen in the TV series. You’re seriously going to start throwing around ‘myth’ as a derogatory term now?) Cassim shows him a sunken ship made entirely of gold that proves that the Hand is real…..he never thought to retrieve some of that gold and sell it?

aatftscreen8

He explains how he was sick of living the life of a ‘street rat’ and longed for a better life, thus he left home to pursue the great treasure to give his wife and unborn son a better future. However, he became so consumed by his pursuit that he ended up going years without returning to Agrabah and his family. When he returned, he couldn’t find his wife, whom I guess was already dead, and figured his family was either dead or simply gone.

Aladdin says he and his mother didn’t need riches, they only needed him. (*cue more ‘awwwws’*) He invites him to the wedding, but Cassim has doubts about it since they live in two different worlds now. Iago, however, being ever so helpful, convinces him to go since he mentioned that Aladdin used the oracle to find Cassim, thus he has the oracle back at the palace and can steal it at the wedding.

We cut back to that guard guy who is being offered a chance to catch the King of Thieves by Sa’Luk by giving him the password and location of their lair.

The guard and his guard friends get to the spot where you have to open the entrance to the hideout of the forty thieves. I guess they didn’t want to animate the opening sequence again, because all we get is rumbling and we don’t get to see the path opening.

Aladdin and his dad arrive at the palace and Genie pops up again showing us his wedding stuff like a robot that’s meant to keep out people who weren’t invited. We get a REALLY forced Pocahontas reference while Genie is freaking out about the King of Thieves being in the palace.

You know how you say ‘Geronimo’ when you jump off of something or out of a plane? When the Genie clones are making their jokes about police and military being dispatched in response to Cassim being there, one says Geronimo, another says Navaho and the final one says Pocahontas while dressed as Pocahontas.

Disney Jokes: 9

aatftscreen9
And no, there wasn’t a single frame of this shot that wasn’t frightening.

Aladdin straightens everything out between the Genie and Cassim, and Aladdin wants to introduce Cassim to Jasmine and the sultan. However, Genie doesn’t think that’s a good idea since, ya know, the King of Thieves garb and whatnot. So we make him over……*sigh* to song.

I swear no one can have a damn makeover without musical accompaniment in any movie. In addition, this is also the weakest song in the movie in my opinion. It’s not memorable and the lyrics are kinda cheesy. It’s not nearly as bad ‘There’s Nothing in the World Quite Like a Friend’ from Return of Jafar, but it’s still the weakest. It’s also odd that Genie sang both of those songs. Hm.

Of course I should mention that there’s little makeovering going on during this song. It’s like they said ‘well, we have a pretty good segue to a song, but I hate makeover songs so let’s make it something that has nothing to do with the last line being said before the song starts! Remember to practically jump cut Cassim into new clothes at the end, though!’ The song is called ‘Father and Son’ and the entire focus is just talking about how they’re going to get to do cool father-son stuff together like play sports.

Cassim meets the sultan and Jasmine and they love him because he’s so charming. They’re also under the false presumption that he was ‘trapped’ by the forty thieves. Now that the truth’s been established….that’s some real stretching the oracle was doing.

I mean the whole thing in Star Wars saying Luke’s father was dead just because Obi Wan sees it as Anakin ‘died’ when he became Darth Vader was a stretch, but it was at least passable. Cassim being ‘trapped’ by the forty thieves when he seems to adore his life as thief is a huge stretch.

Yes, he’s consumed by finding the Hand of Midas, but what was his drive to find it after losing his son and wife in the process? Just his desire to not be a poor street rat. Greed consumes him. He’s not trapped by the forty thieves; he uses them for his own purposes to get the Hand because he wants to be rich. It’s not even about the Hand entirely because he still obviously loves stealing and pulling off heists. If he’s trapped by anything, it’s his own personality flaws.

Aladdin’s happy that he has a father now and everything’s all well and good. That means this one of those telling scenes that basically says ‘yeah, but the audience knows he intends on betraying him, so we know this shot is just meant to highlight that Aladdin will be crushed when he does.’

aatftscreen10
They even end the song on a noogie. The sheet music for this song must literally be made of cheese.

Cut back to the guards where the forty thieves have been caught, but not Cassim because he wasn’t at the hideout. One of the other guards says the sentencing of the forty thieves has to wait until tomorrow because they’re having Aladdin and Jasmine’s wedding Take 2. Sa’luk tells the guards that Cassim is actually Aladdin’s father and we get eeeeeeevil smirks.

Back at the palace where the wedding is about to begin and Cassim is nowhere to be found. In order to cheer up Aladdin, Genie turns into Pumbaa and says ‘Hakuna Matata’.

Disney Jokes: 10

In the….random treasure room, Cassim and Iago are breaking into the incredibly poorly guarded and poorly locked room where the oracle is being kept. And it’s this point where I realize that his desire to get the hand is even stupider than I thought.

His son is Aladdin….who is marrying Jasmine….a princess of a whole country….which means he will eventually become sultan and have all the treasures and leisure that he could want. He’d easily be able to allow Cassim to live in the palace and get treated like royalty as long as no one found out who he really was. Iago gets treated like that, I don’t see why he couldn’t. Hell, as sultan, Aladdin could admit who Cassim is and still keep him around. He’s the goddamn sultan, bitch, who you gonna tattle to?

Why would he give that chance up for The Hand? Simple. The Hand gives the opportunity for much more money. See? It’s all about greed.

Back with Aladdin and the others, Genie wants to go out and find Cassim and he starts off by turning into Pluto (the dog).

Disney Jokes: 11

aatftscreen11

Anyway, the guards capture him and Iago and reveal his true identity to the sultan and Jasmine while Aladdin is angry that he merely used him to get inside the palace to steal the oracle.

The lead guard who does have a name but I don’t care to learn it, says the law is crystal clear on his fate. Jasmine asks if there’s anything they can do and the sultan says no, which never ceases to piss me off.

You’re the SULTAN. YOU make the laws! You changed the law about marriage in the first movie without a thought (well, eventually, after it stopped being a plot point to have it there) yet freeing a thief from life in prison is beyond your scope of sultan powers!?

It also seems a little offset seeing as how Aladdin was going to be killed for petty thievery in the first movie while this is the king of thieves. I know Jafar made that order, but the sultan never said that wasn’t a normal punishment for thieves, just that he should’ve talked to him beforehand.

Genie: (In response to Cassim getting arrested) “There are some wishes even I can’t grant.” Really?! I thought your only restrictions were no bringing people back to life, no wishing for someone to love you, no killing and no wishing for more wishes. Freeing a thief from prison is also outside of a GENIE’S realm of power. Wow, I hate the latest Aladdin patch; everyone got nerfed.

Back at Aladdin’s favorite hiding spot, his old house, he actually says straight out that the oracle was right in saying he was trapped by the forty thieves because has trapped by his own greed…..but that’s STILL the same amount of stretching. She should’ve said “Your father’s in the lair of the forty thieves. He is trapped there.” That would’ve made it less of a leap to say he was trapped by his own greed, but she specifically said he was trapped BY the forty thieves, which makes this whole ‘trapped by greed’ thing far harder to digest. But I digress.

Aladdin sulks and says his life was perfect before his dad screwed everything up so he asks Genie to poof up the King of Thieves garb to break his dad out of prison…….I….did I skip a scene?….No…No, he just instantly goes from ‘my dad ruined my life’ to ‘I’m risking the rest of what’s left of my life and future with Jasmine to pretend to be the King of Thieves and break my deadbeat thief of a dad out of prison’.

aatftscreen12

…Well, okay. He claims it’s to ensure that he stays out of his life, but how will breaking him out of prison ensure that? If anything, you’d think it’d be better to leave him down there because at least he wouldn’t be able to cause anymore problems.

Cut to Cassim in the dungeon and—wow, he doesn’t even get chained up as much as Aladdin did. In the first movie, Aladdin got his hands shackled above his head directly to the wall. Cassim gets handcuffs and like a whole leash of chains.

He is the king of thieves. This country practices really crappy security protocol. Sentence the petty thief to death and shackle him to the wall. Leave the priceless valuables behind an unguarded see-though gate in the palace with one lock that can be picked in less than two seconds. Sentence the King of Thieves to life imprisonment, but just give him handcuffs that have about two feet of space between the shackles and 12 feet of chains to the wall. It’ll be fine.

Aladdin breaks Cassim out of jail and makes the guards chase him so Cassim can get away. He gets away for a while by doing cool street rat parkour everyone loves to watch him do, but the lead guard guy catches him and finds out he’s really Aladdin. Cassim comes to rescue him, and they soon make it to the outskirts of town on horseback.

Cassim wants to run, but Aladdin can’t because he doesn’t want to abandon Jasmine, even if that means facing prison for freeing Cassim. They argue a bit, but part ways with Iago deciding to go with Cassim because they have the oracle and….wait, what?

They have the oracle? How? They were caught right before they stole it. Even if they did managed to steal it, the guards surely would’ve taken the staff from them the instant they caught them and before they ever managed to use it. Oh yeah, I forgot. Agrabah’s security force is about as useless as my old PHP textbook.

aatftscreen13

Back at the forty thieves’ lair….wait, WHAT? How did they get back to the lair? They were just awaiting sentencing in prison a few minutes ago. When did they escape? How did they escape? Why would they be dumb enough to return to their lair after escaping if the royal guards know where it is and know the magic words to access it?

Ah, whatever. They wonder who told the guards about their lair and Sa’luk reappears to frame Cassim for it. The thieves don’t want to believe it because they’re loyal to their king, and the only ‘evidence’ that it was him was the fact that he knew the password to get into the lair and the guards found out. But all of the thieves know the password including the guy who hates Cassim and has been conspicuously gone for the past two days only to show up immediately after a supposed betrayal. Not going to expect the brains of a scholar in any of these thieves, but come on.

In order to convince them, we get our ‘villain’ song I guess. It’s called ‘Are You In or Out?’ which is basically the same realm of villain song as ‘You’re Only Second Rate’ from the second movie. It’s catchy and okay, but there’s no real oomph to it.

Also, he’s convincing them that he’s right and Cassim’s the one who put them in jail by breaking everything in the lair, beating the thieves up and saying Cassim was a bleeding heart? If Cassim is such a softie, why would he do something as coldhearted as betrayal?

I should also mention that it looks like, from this scene anyway, that the forty thieves got reduced to like five or seven. Where’d everyone else go?

Back with Cassim and Iago, Iago states that he doesn’t want to split even limitless treasure over forty ways, but Cassim says he’d never leave his men out because they’re family to him and he knows he could always at least count on them.

Wait, is he mad at Aladdin?….For what? He just risked his life and future to release him from prison; a prison he was only in because he’s a greedy prick, mind you. Just because he didn’t want to follow him and be on the lam for the rest of his life and give up his fiance for the sake of treasure makes him a bad son or something? Wow, you’re an ass.

They go into the back entrance of the lair or whatever that is and find themselves face to face with what’s left of the thieves, their swords and bats and Sa’luk.

Cut to the thieves on a boat in the middle of the ocean (seriously, where are the other thieves?) with Cassim and Iago tied up. They force him to ask the oracle the location of the Hand of Midas. She shows them the way and Iago manages to get away and fly off to the palace to alert Aladdin and the others.

aatftscreen14

Back at the palace, the sultan and the head guard guy are discussing Aladdin’s crimes. And the final verdict is ‘You did it out of love, so let’s just forget about it.’…….Yeah, yeah. He has no power to keep the King of Thieves out of life in prison, but he can instantly forgive someone freeing said King of Thieves from prison because he did it out of love. I don’t understand this legal system.

Iago finds Aladdin and the others and says Sa’luk has captured Cassim. Aladdin initially doesn’t want to save him since he chose a life of crime, but we all know he’d never abandon his dad. It’d be a funnier movie if he did, though. “Your dad’s in danger!” “So what? He chose that life. Let’s get married now!” “k” The end.

They all arrive at the Vanishing Isle (location of the Hand), which is actually an underwater city built on the back of a giant turtle. The city is actually pretty impressive, but it’s fairly odd that the turtle is clearly painted and when it moves it looks really weird like a cardboard cutout. Jasmine actually kicks more thief ass (Ya know, I never realized how much I like Jasmine….When she’s actually doing stuff anyway.) and Aladdin beats up Sa’luk.

After that’s all said and done, they go off to find the Hand of Midas. You guys might want to tie up Sa’luk….Simply knocking out the villain and walking away is just asking for a rematch. Just sayin’.

They find the Hand of Midas which is actually a small golden hand being held by a statue that is floating on a giant golden hand…..*shrug* while the giant turtle dives underwater, causing the Vanishing Isle to start flooding. The first shot of the Hand is actually a really cool rotating shot and conveys the weight of the reveal quite well.

….Though, while the reveal is awesome, the Hand itself is quite….silly looking. I keep thinking of Spongebob’s Glove World flashlight when I see it.

glvdgzk

ckyx040

Aladdin jumps to the hand, retrieves it then throws it to his father, which is kinda stupid considering he knows that thing turns everything it touches into gold. This is shown when Cassim catches it in his cape, which turns into gold, but it still flows and everything so I guess gold thread for some reason. He shows off the power even more by using the Hand on the statue he’s standing on and it turns everything in the room solid gold barring the water which just looks like Sunkist.

However, that begs the question, if the power extends to everything that the object being affected is touching, wouldn’t Cassim have been turned to gold? He’s standing on the statue. He’s wearing the cape. He should be a statue himself right now.

Anyway, Sa’luk arrives and somehow also jumps on the giant golden hand and gives Cassim an ultimatum; give him the Hand of Midas or Aladdin dies. And kudos to everyone who saw this outcome coming 20 minutes ago, but Cassim agrees and throws the hand to Sa’luk. Sa’luk catches it by the hand part and not the staff part (why doesn’t the handle part turn to gold?) and he gets turned into gold and falls into waters below. I love how that entire plan relied on Sa’luk catching the Hand in the least likely fashion. What would he have done if he actually caught it by the handle?

aatftscreen15

Also, congratulations Aladdin 3, you are one of few Disney sequels with the balls to pretty much kill off the villain. (One could argue that, like in Pokemon the First Movie, turning someone into something like rock or gold isn’t technically dying, but there’s no reversal switch for this unless a genie is able to, so I’m calling it a death.)

Aladdin wraps up the Hand in his sleeve, which turns to gold, and sticks it in his belt, also doesn’t gold-statue-ify him, so he and Cassim can escape.

Cassim’s having a hard time climbing with his gold cape so he throws it off and Aladdin and Cassim escape…..well, kinda. They just stand on top of the building they were in. Considering the reason the place was flooding was because the turtle was diving, shouldn’t they still be escaping? It’s like the turtle paused in diving for a while to let them talk.

Anyway, we get a blech-y line about how the Hand’s not the real treasure, Aladdin is, and he throws the Hand away. However, the Hand falls into the boat of the thieves and their boat turns to gold and sinks. They live, but also get left behind later so *shrug*.

Why doesn’t the ocean turn to gold?

Aladdin and the others escape on the magic carpet, but where’s the been-useless-this-entire-movie Genie? He was eaten by the turtle earlier while he was trying to ’cause a distraction’ but it didn’t seem to do anything so I dunno. And he escapes from the turtle how? I’m gonna say…Little Mermaid reference?…I doubt he’d do an Atlantis: The Lost Empire reference, so yeah Little Mermaid.

Survey Says!….

Steamboat Willie reference? Who the hell in your target audience would understand that? I mean, yeah that same cartoon was given a slot in Kingdom Hearts, but who watching this movie would really get that?

Oh and….

Disney Jokes: 12

They return to the palace, have their wedding (for the third time) and Cassim’s in the shadows watching the festivities before he goes back on the run again with Iago joining him. They head off and so do Aladdin and Jasmine on the carpet as we get a reprise of Arabian Nights which also sounds closer to the original than the second movie’s rendition did in terms of melody and tone, and the story of Aladdin ends.

aatftscreen16

Art: The art and animation, sadly, is the same as the TV show, which equals blech. Some aspects such as the reveal of the Hand and the opening of the forty thieves’ hideout are really well done, but it’s nowhere near as fantastic as the first movie.

Music: The music fares a lot better than most other Disney sequels and is much better than the second movie’s in terms of actual quality of the songs and not earworm-ness. Apparently they made an entirely unique score to this movie as well instead of remixing the first movie’s like the second one’s did. Good on them.

Bottomline: This movie, despite its story problems, is actually a much stronger sequel than Return of Jafar in my opinion.

Most of the second movie was just dealing with Iago, which was annoying. Only the last third or so had any real interesting stuff with Jafar and even that wasn’t amazing.

This movie, while still not being fantastic, is one of the stronger Disney sequels as a whole. It has an interesting story that actually explores something that fans of the first movie may have actually wondered about instead of answering dumb questions like Disney sequels and pretty much sequels in general tend to do. I wish we would’ve explored more of Aladdin’s backstory and his relationship with his mother, though. Hell, we don’t even know how she died.

So, yeah, this is one of those Disney sequels I’d actually recommend. It’s not a masterpiece, there are several glaring continuity/storytelling problems, and I really wish they would’ve kicked up the budget for the final installment of the series since it was so good, but it still stands pretty well on its own.

….I’d still like to know why they got on a sudden Disney reference kick for this, though. There are plenty of other jokes, but they really work Disney references to the bone.

Recommended Audience: There are some sexual innuendos, but they’re pretty subtle. Some minor violence, no sex or nudity etc. 6+

Digimon Adventure 01 Episode 6 Sub/Dub Comparison

digimon01ep6screen

Plot: As the group walks through a sewer to continue their journey, they run into the disgusting Numemon who are known as the most hated Digimon in the Digital World because they’re slimy, gross, live in the sewer and fight using their own poop. The group manages to escape from them, but find themselves surrounded again when Numemon spring from randomly placed vending machines in the desert.

As they split up to get away, Mimi and Palmon run into the mayor of Toy Town, a giant Teddy Bear Digimon called Monzaemon. He’s kidnapped the others, threw the Digimon into a toy chest and erased the emotions of the kids, making them into toys for the abandoned toys in Toy Town. With Palmon and Mimi the only two left, Palmon must find it within herself to Digivolve and save the day.

————————————–

Title card: digimon01ep6title

That title card looks fantastic, by the way.

Title Change: Palmon’s Angry Evolution is changed to Togemon in Toy Town.

While the kids are singing songs in both versions, the scene is different. Obviously the songs got changed. Both the kids and the Digimon seem to be singing songs that already exist in either world and they’re tossing the singing back and forth between the kids and the Digimon by giving a letter that the line of the song has to start with.

When Agumon passes the song to the kids, he gives them E which throws them all off since none of them can think of any lyrics that begin with E. They each stop in succession saying “E?” over and over.

Mimi thinks of one and starts singing, but the other kids don’t know the song. Surprising the others, she’s actually a pretty decent singer in the original. She says the song’s Enka and her dad used to sing it in Karaoke all the time. Koushiro decides to switch the song to something more well-known and they all start singing that song.

In the dub, Mimi’s narrating over the first part where the kids are initially singing. Because if there’s one thing I want dub Mimi to do, it’s narrate. Tai then says they should sing the song Agumon wrote which is basically a chant about Digimon and Digivolving. Agumon says they should start solos with Mimi going first.

In horror, all of the kids stop in succession saying “Mimi?” “Mimi singing?” “Mercy!” Then Mimi starts singing “Home on the Range” and she sounds about as appalling as you’d think she would. Also, this is yet another instance where the dub seems to be purposely mean to Mimi for no reason. Joe pokes fun at Mimi and she says she’s had singing lessons for three years. Izzy says she should get a refund.

God, they are really mean to Mimi. I won’t deny that dub Mimi is one of the most annoying (yet harmless) anime characters I’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t warrant being an ass to her. I guess they didn’t look ahead in the episode schedule seeing as how there’s a later episode where Mimi is supposed to be really praised for her singing and even performs a concert. Whoops! Then they all start singing the Digimon song that Tai and Agumon made together.

Sora says she wants to do laundry I guess because her clothes keep getting filthy as water was dripping on her in the sewer. In the dub she says she was freaking out because she used to sing when she did laundry at home. The original’s a little weird because, I get that she’s homesick but what kid wishes to do laundry? The dub’s weird too because it make Sora look like a spaz for having a fit at singing because it reminds her of a leisurely activity she used to do at home.

Yamato just says he misses having barbecue in the original. In the dub, he says he’s thinking about Sunday because his mom would make barbecue every Sunday….Uhh, the dub does remember that Matt and TK’s parents are separated, right? TK lives with their mom and Matt lives with their dad. I would say that they get visiting time but considering their reunion later on, if they do get visiting time it doesn’t happen often.

Koushiro says he misses sending emails back and forth to his friends. Izzy says he misses accessing satellites to look at the stars and planets. Also, for some strange reason he tells Mimi and TK who are merely enjoying the ‘what I miss game’ to “get a grip” immediately before he also partakes in it. So, the one person you don’t tell to ‘get a grip’ here is the one who’s crying over not being able to do laundry?

I guess I can forgive the dub for avoiding this. In the original, Numemon attack with their own poop…..yeah…. In the dub, they call it “Nume-Sludge” but even as a kid and despite the fact that it’s pink, you can easily tell that what they’re throwing is more than sludge.

Toy Town has its own little song in the original. In the dub it’s the same whimsical music they always use.

Palmon says they should look for Agumon and the others, and Mimi doesn’t respond. In the dub, Mimi brushes off the fact that her friends are acting incredibly peculiar by saying “Oh well, they always were a little odd.”

Dub Palmon: “It’s coming from that locked chest!” Gee you think the noise is coming from the chest that’s bouncing around like crazy? Naaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Attack Name Change: Monzaemon’s Lovely Attack is changed to Hearts Attack.

Monzaemon originally says that the Digimon will go into the toy chest while the children will have their emotions erased and serve as toys for the toys. In the dub, he says all of them will go into the toy chest, which doesn’t make sense because only the Digimon are in the chest.

Palmon asks where Monzaemon is. Dub Palmon asks what changed Monzaemon. Also, Palmon doesn’t originally call Agumon ‘Agu.’

Mimi doesn’t call Monzaemon a “Yeti Teddy” in the original, though props for not being the worst joke they could’ve made with a 30 foot tall teddy bear.

I don’t entirely get it. I know Monzaemon’s a Perfect/Ultimate level Digimon, but his shtick is to be full of love and joy and he’s meant to spread happiness to everyone. If that’s so, why does he have EXPLODING HEAT VISION?!

0zxddwp

Mimi says it’s crazy that the Numemon are still trying to fight Monzaemon for her when all they can do is throw poop. In the dub, Mimi basically brags about how she’s so attractive that she can get Digimon to fight for her, and then says she doesn’t think the Nume Sludge is working. Well, there’s no effect to this ‘sludge’ beyond being gross so what’s it supposed to do?

Wow, the animation between Mimi standing and going to Palmon’s side was awful. It’s like they forgot to include inbetween frames between the two stances because she basically teleports between stances.

Palmon commends the Numemon for being so brave. They can’t do much of anything and are slimy and gross, yet they gladly put themselves on the line to help Mimi. In the dub, Palmon basically says she’s had enough and that she ‘may be a lady but (she’s) no pushover.’ It’s also weird that Palmon’s Evolution ultimately has little to nothing to do with Mimi. She’s not in immediate danger, she’s not being held captive, she’s not even part of the sudden Evolving scene. She gets upset at the Numemon being attacked and Evolves. The end.

Her Evolution was always cool to me though because the bright green and pink colors always looked awesome. Even though I think it loses them later on.

Another vocal song during the Evolution gone in lieu of the same Digimon soundtrack.

Attack Name Change: Chiku Chiku (Prickly) Bang Bang is changed to Needle Spray. One of those times when the original’s name was vastly better. Also, in this episode Togemon calls it Digimon Needle Spray.

Mimi says she can understand Monzaemon’s love of toys and Palmon agrees. In the dub, Mimi boasts about how she and Palmon saved the day even if she did 100% nothing.

———————————————

I guess that’s my main problem with this episode. Mimi did nothing and had no development whatsoever. Let’s look back at our other Evolution episodes, hmm? Agumon’s was more to show that their Digimon are truly loyal to their partners and that they’ll do anything to protect them. It also showed Taichi that they needed to take the Digital world more seriously.

Gabumon’s Evolution episode was heavily about Yamato and his relationship to Takeru and his parents and how that weighs on him. In the end, he learned to be somewhat less controlling with Takeru and got slightly more laid back. Gabumon didn’t have much in terms of development but he did get closer to Yamato.

Piyomon’s Evolution episode was also heavily centered around Sora with also some insight into Piyomon. While she is clingy and somewhat childish, Piyomon still steps up to risk her life to save those important to her. Sora also learned to be more appreciative of Piyomon and more hopeful.

Tentomon’s Evolution……….was bunk. Koushiro didn’t really change as a character, we didn’t learn much about the Digital World and Tentomon Evolved through a computer program not emotions. However, at least that episode showed us some insight into Koushiro. It hinted that Koushiro’s parents harbored a secret from him and that he might use technology to escape from problems in real life.

Palmon’s Evolution had little to nothing to do with Mimi. She recognized that the Numemon were fighting a hopeless battle to help her, but that realization didn’t affect anything. Palmon’s recognition of this and seeing the Numemon getting attacked is what spurred her Evolution.

Mimi did nothing but have a Numemon fall in love with her and run away. Then again, there’s not really much to Mimi as a character anyway. I’ve seen the dubbed version numerous times as well as season two several times and there’s really nothing that interesting about her. Her main character point is that she’s a self-absorbed ditz who deep down really cares deeply about others. That’s it. I will admit that she can be really nice, but she’s far from interesting.

Next up is Gomamon’s Evolution episode. Jyou’s an okay character even if he’s a bit annoying with his incessant whining and complaining. My big fret is that, out of all of the characters, Jyou seems to have his dialogue changed the most so the next episode may be a long one to get through. We’ll see.

…Previous Episode

Pokemon Episode 19 Analysis – Tentacool and Tentacruel

pokemon-ep19-title

CotD(s): Nastina – Basically Brutella, just with a gaggle of scantily clad bishies around her at all times. And if they’re a legit harem, then I’ll need to run to the store for some brain bleach.

Pokemon: None

Reappears?: No.

Captures: Misty’s Horsea – Cute little Horsea….is cute. Other than that, it does mostly nothing and is later kept at the Cerulean Gym and never really seen again once the writers realized how much nothing it does.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock find themselves stranded for three hours in Porta Vista after missing their ferry. Misty spots an injured Horsea who draws an odd picture of squid-like creatures with its ink in the water. As Misty’s about to capture it to help treat its wounds, a nearby ship is suddenly smashed in half. The group manages to save the sailors, who have all been mysteriously paralyzed, and they wonder what caused such a disaster.

They bring one of the sailors to his boss, a woman named Nastina, who seems to be Brutella’s doub—Oh I mean, who seems like a really brash character who doesn’t seem related to anyone since I’m watching the dub…..*cough* She’s extremely grateful to the group for saving her sailors, and invites them to check out the new resort she’s building.

She reveals that the construction is being plagued by a swarm of Tentacool, which were responsible for the paralyzation of the sailors. She contracts Ash, Misty and Brock to exterminate the Tentacool with promises of food, money and hotel vouchers. They’re about to agree, but Misty vehemently refuses, disgusted with the thought of exterminating Pokemon, especially a Water Pokemon she adores, such as Tentacool.

They return to the pool that they left Pikachu and Horsea in to see that Horsea is recovering well after Brock gave it a Super Potion. However, it’s still worried about something. They believe that the picture it drew earlier was of a Tentacool and that it was trying to warn them about it.

Nastina announces over a town-wide intercom that she is recruiting the townsfolk for the job instead, and everyone, including Team Rocket, agrees to help out.

As Misty looks on in worry, Team Rocket makes their way to the construction site with a barrel of stun sauce, guaranteed to paralyze the Tentacool and make them easy to catch. However, before they can even get to the site, they’re surrounded and halted by thousands of Tentacool.

Faced with far more Tentacool than they anticipated, Team Rocket panics as their boat is rocked, causing the barrel of stun sauce to fly out of the boat and onto a nearby Tentacool’s head.

This causes the Tentacool to not only evolve into the fierce Tentacruel, but also to make it gigantic.

The huge Tentacruel overtakes the construction site, and efforts to shoot it down are completely in vain. The remaining Tentacool take over the town, and the resulting tidal wave from the Tentacruel moving towards the town floods the area. The Tentacool and Tentacruel commence the destruction of the entire town. One takes control of Meowth to communicate through him, and they find out that the reason behind this attack is the destruction of their home due to the resort construction.

Ash, Misty and Brock try to shoo the Tentacool out of the area with their Pokemon, but Tentacruel easily smacks them away. Pikachu manages to talk some sense into Tentacruel with a desperate plea from Misty being the crux of its decision to leave as long as no more destruction comes to their home. As they’re leaving, Nastina commences her attack with everything’s she’s got, but she’s also smacked away by Tentacruel before it goes back home.

With Porta Vista now safe from the gigantic Tentacruel and the swarm of Tentacool, Ash, Misty and Brock finally catch a ferry off of the island and resume their journey.

————————————————-

– Why exactly didn’t Ash and the others hitch a ride with Delia and Oak on their way out? They didn’t really have a reason to stay after that. If anything, it looked like they left before Delia and Oak did at the end of the last episode.

– Horsea really made those huge drawings with one spurt of ink? Also, wouldn’t the ink just dissipate really quickly instead of stay on top of the water like oil?

– Misty: *lets out her Water Pokemon to help the people from the ship*

Ash: “I didn’t know that you could do that!”

Durr I didn’t know that Water Pokemon could swim or help people out in water. I thought they were bicycles made of ice cream. Durrr.

– Misty: “Don’t just stand around! Go get a boat to help those people!” Guys, for crying out loud, you just stole a boat in the last episode. I know it’s for better reasons this time, but you may end up developing boat kleptomania or something.

– Who the hell is driving the boat in this shot?

Pokemon ep19 screen1.png

– A moment of silence for the dignity of these men.

pokemon-ep19-screen2

– Misty: “Doesn’t that Nastina make you sick!?”

Ash: “Well, she’s not really my type but….”

What exactly made you think she was implying anything about her attractiveness, Ash?

– Why aren’t Ash and Brock more offended by Nastina’s offer anyway? I mean, yeah, the reward is really appealing, but they’re being sent out to kill Pokemon. She specifically said ‘exterminate’. Even if they are seen as ugly and a nuisance to the project, they can’t really be okay with mass murdering Pokemon, can they?

– Alright, fine. Pikachu drinking a drink in an inner tube is adorable. But where did they get that kiddie pool and why put it smack dab in the middle of the road?

– Why is Misty surprised that Nastina’s asking the citizens to exterminate the Tentacool? That is exactly what she was just trying to get Ash and co. to do.

– Nastina seems to pronounce Tentacool as ‘tentacle’ a lot.

– Also, I’m starting to connect tentacles and Nastina’s bishie harem. Please help…

– Seems Nastina has lowered her generosity, though, since she took the food and hotel vouchers off the table as a prize.

– I do like seeing Misty when she’s all excited about the sea and Water Pokemon.

– That shot of the Tentacool under the water glowing red like that has always seemed awesome to me.

– Getting hit by a barrel of ‘stun sauce’ causes a Tentacool to evolve?…..and makes it giant? What was in that stuff? Radioactive goo courtesy of comic books?

– That shot of the bishie harem guys getting run over by the Tentacool……Nope, nope. Stop making those connections. Stop.

– I’m sorry, since when are Tentacool Psychic Pokemon? I know the eye beam thing is a real trait, according to the Pokedex, but they can’t control the minds of other beings.

– Misty, you’re kinda beating yourself up too much for not connecting a rough drawing of a Tentacool and Tentacruel to ‘The Tentacool and Tentacruel are mad because their home’s being destroyed by the resort construction, that’s why these attacks are happening.’

Meowthtacruel: “So you say we’re the spineless ones?!” Well….you are jellyfish….

– Wha, Ash actually refrained from using Charmander in his full-team attack against Tentacruel? Ash made a smart move, everyone! Rejoice!

– 4Kids kept in the several guns being used here and even kept in the gun noises. Wow.

– Hey, who’s that woman who looks so similar to Nastina and is building something on the beach? Her cousin? Hm, I wonder why that’s a joke. The world of dubs may never know~~~

—————————————-

Here’s an interesting tidbit about this episode – it was also banned. Yup, fresh off of the heels of the first ever banned episode comes another banned episode.

This one was temporarily banned after the events of 9/11 due to Tentacruel destroying buildings. Though, as the wiki states, there’s a huge bit of irony in the fact that that shot of Tentacruel destroying buildings remains in the opener of the Indigo League episodes and said opener is shown in every single episode, including this one, sooooo….pretty pointless.

Like everyone else who watched the dub, I also never saw the episode until much later down the line in reruns, though I believe my first viewing of it was on a VHS. However, I still watched this episode before the ‘Lost Episode’ so the connection at the end to Brutella would still be lost on me until I watched the edited Beauty and the Beach.

Also, I was merely under the assumption that Misty had a Horsea all along and that she just never let it out for whatever reason. Not that it matters – like I said, it’s one of the most useless Pokemon in the series. She barely ever lets it out since it needs water to be out and she rarely battles with it because, well, it’s not that that good of a fighter. Plus, Misty rarely battles anyway.

We basically jump straight from St. Anne’s trilogy to The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak, and since that episode also takes place in an island environment, it doesn’t transition too badly.

I like this episode a fair deal despite the just weird writing choices like the inexplicable giant Tentacruel, Tentacool gaining psychic mind control abilities and the oddity herself that is Nastina. Anyone else think they really wanted to get extra mileage out of Brutella without just making her Brutella?

Misty got a pretty good part here, and her deep love of Water Pokemon is always nice to see. I like how she thinks every Water Pokemon is beautiful no matter how weird they may look to others. It’s a nice little character trait.

I also appreciate that the problem of the week is actually a legit town-destroying threat and not just some mild problem that will go away eventually. Porta Vista is essentially entirely destroyed by the end. Tentacruel also had a legitimate reason for attacking like it did, and it did show that it was a reasonable being with mercy.

Next episode, one of my absolute favorites, The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak. Ash and the others encounter a ghost who is seducing Brock and James at a local festival.

Previous Episode….

Shounen Step-By-Step: One Piece Arc 1 (Romance Dawn/Captain Morgan)

btyvah2

Plot: Coby wants nothing more than to be in the Marines (or Navy if you follow the 4Kids dub, but why do you like suffering?) However, he’s been held captive and forced to work for the awful pirate, Alvida.

A strange pirate boy named Monkey D. Luffy decides to help him out. His desire is to find the legendary treasure, One Piece, and become king of the pirates -a dream that many people find to be suicidal and impossible. He has a bittersweet ability in being able to make his body structure like rubber after eating the devil fruit, Gomu Gomu no Mi (The Gum Gum Fruit), but it comes with the price of being unable to swim.

Meanwhile, we get the backstory of Luffy and the first addition to Luffy’s crew in the legendary pirate hunter Zoro.

Breakdown: Let’s set sail on the One Piece review! Yes that line was awful, but I don’t care.

Ah One Piece…Holy crap. What an insanely huge franchise you are. As of this writing, it has 771 episodes and counting as well as 83 volumes for the manga. The only two shows I can think of that have longer runs are Detective Conan and Pokemon, and it stands as the last of the ‘Big Three’ shounen shows since both Bleach and Naruto ended their runs (Though the new Boruto series is keeping Naruto technically afloat).

I’m not sure how close One Piece is to ending, since I have insane amounts of trouble keeping updated with long shows such as these. Part of the reason I wanted to do these long episode by episode and arc by arc reviews was to keep me motivated to actually get updated on these series.

Despite the fact that I haven’t kept up with this show in many years, I still really enjoy it. I love shows about pirates and the added ‘magic’ abilities make for some fantastic battles. The characters are also pretty memorable and fun, even if a few tend to fall of into cliché-land.

This arc serves as a backstory to Luffy, an intro to the series as a whole, shows off some of Luffy’s abilities and style and finally gets him a boat and at least one crew member.

The relationship between Luffy and Zoro starts off pretty strong. Zoro is definitely an interesting, likable and awesome character, and his introduction was certainly badass and even touching. His chemistry with Luffy is also really good, and they tend to have good banter.

Luffy’s backstory was cool but mostly just in regards to Shanks. Luffy eating the Gum Gum fruit is pretty much how you’d expect he’d eat it, and him getting into trouble with those pirates again was also pretty much par for the course.

His rescue as well as the departure of Shanks’ crew was the most memorable part in that regard. I wish we could’ve seen more of how much Shanks and Luffy meant to each other considering they seem to know each other pretty well in this backstory, but I assume we’ll explore that further as we go on.

Even though Nami didn’t join the crew quite yet, this is also her introduction as she is seen following their adventures while trying to score some treasure as well as the map to the Grand Line, the area where One Piece supposedly is. I’m usually somewhat annoyed when we get character introductions with no interactions with the main characters, but her roles were pretty okay.

Coby’s side-plot was fairly memorable, and it did serve as a cool introduction to Luffy. I kinda wish Coby had stuck around for a while, but, considering his goals, it really wouldn’t make sense for him to be a bigger part of the plot unless they made some sort of ‘friends with the enemy’ type of deal.

Alvida’s not that great of a villain and Helmeppo’s a parody of himself, though he’s meant to be more of a jackass over a legit villain. Captain Morgan is more imposing and is the main centerpiece of this arc, enemy-wise, but he’s also not terribly interesting.

Final Verdict: These first few episodes do a great job of introducing the characters, the world they live in and the backstory of our main character and the main story as a whole. It also has some entertaining battles, good attacks, funny jokes and it’s just a lot of fun at times.

The art and animation fit this show perfectly, even if some of the mugging shots can be a little too goofy. The music is great, even if the ED is a little forgettable to me, and the voice actors (Japanese) do a great job here as well. I especially love Zoro and Luffy’s voices.

Welcome aboard! Now let’s find One Piece!

Arc Rating: 9/10

Recommended Audience: One Piece can get pretty bloody at times. The worst that happens in this arc is Shanks getting his arm torn off, but the actual removal isn’t shown, and there’s, oddly, not a lot of blood there.. There’s obviously a lot of violence and some minor swearing. No sex or nudity or anything, even if there is some minor fanservice with Nami. 10+

Coming up next, the Orange Town Arc (Captain Buggy).

Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power Episode 26 (MMP FINALE) Sub/Dub Comparison

tmmep26finaletitle

Plot: Kisshu seems to be gaining the upperhand against the Mews as his Moth finally emerges from the cocoon. It’s a struggle to merely keep the moth from getting into the city, let alone destroy it. When everything has been thrown at him and nothing seems to work, it’s up to Ichigo to find it within her to save the day.

——————————————

Let’s psych ourselves up shall we!?

I don’t normally do post-first-episode intros, but since this is the first SDC I’ve completed so far, I think it warrants one. Allow me to formally welcome you to the final SDC of Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power.

mp1u8sa

Thank you, thank you. It’s been a trying journey, but we’re gonna make it over this final hurdle! I started this comparison on an old forum in 2013 and finished it mid-2015. After getting swept up in a wave of too many comparisons, I decided this, being the shortest and most completed so far, would be the main focus and I would get back to the others later.

This series is 26 episodes and took nearly two years to complete.

I had nearly 60 episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh completed in less than a year.

That pretty much shows how much of a chore this comparison has been. I just reached a point where I didn’t want to do it anymore. At least the other shows, while being poorly dubbed, though ranging in dub quality, are usually entertaining. This is just painful. Everything about this dub is unpleasant, and the only thing getting me through it was the new and fantastic ways 4Kids continued to amaze me with their stupid and nonsensical changes in terms of visuals, audio and script.

Keep in mind, the end of this SDC does not mean the end of Tokyo Mew Mew. 4Kids lost their license after season one and never got to dub season two. You may all cheer again.

hrn2x0s

The reasons aren’t entirely clear, at least from what I’ve been able to find. They either lost the license because the original creators were unhappy with the quality of the first season or 4Kids dropped the project after season one because apparently it wasn’t marketable enough, which I find to be complete bull.

Outside of shounen gaming/fighting anime, magical girl anime is the easiest anime to market. Just look at Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. I really just think 4Kids didn’t know how to handle shows that specifically focused on a female demographic, which really explains their utter lack of shoujo shows outside of this and Doremi, another SDC that will be premiering soon.

I will be continuing this project after the finale by continuing on in a shoujo step-by-step and reviewing the Japanese episodes. I know I’ve made a full review of TMM, but that is pretty old and now I’m getting a new view on the show, so it will hopefully be entertaining and fun.

Let’s start the torture so we can finally end our pain. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Mew Mew Power’s series finale!

————————————————

Wow, 4Kids wants to celebrate the finale too by doing something they really haven’t done in this series so far; fully breaking the fourth wall! Both versions start with a recap of the previous episode’s events, but the original’s is from Ichigo’s point of view recapping the events from their side of the story (searching for Mew Aqua, getting exhausted, date with Aoyama, Tokyo Tower, moth etc.) and the dub is from Dren’s point of view explaining his moth, his armadrillos searching for Blue Aqua and Zoey being luvey duvey with Mark. Dren starts his recap by saying ‘Hey, Sardon, remember what I did in the last episode?’ Hehe, it’s funny because he’s not supposed to know he’s in a TV show. He must be channeling his inner Team Rocket.

They also mess up their damn flashback again because Mark just says he has a surprise for Zoey and she never learns what it is. In the flashback, he outright tells her that he has two tickets to the Bon Bons concert and Dren mocks him saying that. The dub’s flashback includes more clips that weren’t included such as Masha flying up to the cocoon (which, according to Dren, was just what he wanted him to do. *shrug*) Dren’s armadrillos, shots of Dren and the others and the very last shot of the previous episode.

Scene swap! The original then goes onto a scene with Pai and Taruto investigating where the chimera moles stopped. The dub goes on with Mark and some kid named David after kendo practice. Let’s tackle this then.

The start of this scene is cut off because bowing. You can barely see them they’re so far away, so no real point in a screenie.

Name change: Aoyama’s senpai is not named. In the dub, he’s named David.

Aoyama’s senpai doesn’t mention where he got the tickets, he just says he’s surprised Aoyama wanted them. He also mentions that Aoyama’s fangirls will be crushed now that he seems to be formally dating Ichigo. In the dub, David says he gave him the tickets because his girlfriend dumped him ‘so no tickets for her’ Then he acts passively bitter over the fact that Mark has a girlfriend and now he doesn’t and leaves him by saying ‘Have fun with my girlfriend’s tickets.’

The following scene after this was originally the girls arriving at the tower. In the dub, they place the scene I mentioned before with Pai and Taruto after this.

Text on the pole is removed.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen3

Dubbed: mk2tp1k

Kiki: “Superheroes coming through!” Yes, yell that in a crowded area, Kiki. Not like you guys have secret identities or anything.

They cut Ichigo’s running short after she goes through the crowd of people; same for Pudding and Lettuce. Also, Ichigo has inner monologue running of her continuing the conversation that the group was having with Akasaka in a bit of an audio flashback. All he’s saying is stuff about the moth that we already know. This is not included in the dub. They do have a dub-exclusive exchange of Elliot telling the girls to hurry and Zoey pointing out that he’s in the back and asking ‘What’s the matter, Elly? Too many pastry puffs?’

Signs behind Lettuce as she’s running are de-textified.

Subbed: gd6vad2

Dubbed: xxclhn7

They either shortened the scene of Mint running to avoid showing this shot, or they removed a pole with a sign on it that goes by in the background as Mint’s running. It is literally only visible for a frame or two but I watched the dub version three times and I can’t even see the pole. I’m going to bank on it being cut because I also can’t see a different pole that has caution lines on it.

 

I had to go frame by frame for those screencaps they go by so fast. Pfft.

They remove text from the clock.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen9

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen10

After the scene with the girls running but before they arrive at the tower is where we see the scene with Aoyama and his senpai from earlier in the dub.

Pudding just points out that Kisshu’s there. Kiki says ‘Look, it’s a flying dweeb!’ Dweeb; a word people still totally say.

They remove Ichigo telling Kisshu to shut up as well as Akasaka pointing out that it’s a diversion tactic.

 

The original has very shortened versions of the girls ALREADY SHORT AS IT IS transformation sequences back to back; Mint first, then Lettuce, then Pudding, then Zakuro. Then our almighty Ichigo, the only Mew who matters, gets her transformation sequence at the end in full. In fact, they friggin’ change the music cue like she is above the one the other girls were using. Rrrgh.

The dub once again decides to be fair and uses their traditional full-on transformation mashup with Supernatural playing.

Kisshu talks about how refreshing it is to be up at that altitude, Pudding agrees and Lettuce says she doesn’t like it because she’s getting chills. Dren asks if the girls are ready to party, Kiki gets excited, but Bridget says it isn’t that kind of party.

Zoey: “Mew mew style…”

Nnnnn……Nnnn…..Endure….must endure….

“Mew mew grace…..”

Just…..one more…….time…..

“Mew mew power…..”

Rrejwlrkjerlkwelrkjweljrlekrlwejrlkejrlksajdf’pashdvposahrfpohjw

“In”

vu2sbp1

“Your”

jkbft0q

“Face”

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

RRRRRRARRRHGFHHGH…….*gasp* *gasp* *pant pant pant*……*sigh*…………..Hehehe…..hehehehehehe…..it’s done….it’s over….I survived! NO MORE MEW MEW POWER IN MY FACE!!

awhfzpc

Ichigo’s attack is cut a bit in the original and full in the dub.

Edit: Hello everyone. I’m revisiting this sub/dub comparison after completing it, and before posting it because I’m sane, because two days after finishing it and thinking I was done for good, I remembered a video that showcased some of the more prominent paint edits in Mew Mew Power and it showed an edit I completely overlooked.

After Ichigo’s attack fails, we see a back shot of the girls slightly to the side. Since it’s a somewhat revealing shot of Lettuce’s backside, they painted her dress to be quite a bit bigger to cover what you could see of her butt and most of her thighs.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen1

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen2

Not as laughable as the diaper she had on in the mermaid episode, but still.

Now, Twix, you ask yourselves, How could you miss such a dramatic change?

Quite frankly, while I’ve trained myself to look for the tiniest signs of text and signs…..I am not nearly as apt to constantly stare at a 13 year old girl’s ass.

End of pointless pre-post edit.

They shift a shot of Ichigo looking at Kisshu.

Scene swap! After Ichigo looks at Kisshu, we cut to Aoyama at the meeting place. In the dub, we continue on in the battle sequence.

After a shot of Ichigo panting, Aoyama calls her on the phone. In the dub, they cut to Mark’s scene at the meeting place.

Text on the overhang is removed.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen13

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen14

Aoyama says he’s come too early. Mark says Zoey’s late as usual, which she’s not because they left in the shot of the clock, both versions told her to meet him there at 5:00 and the clock clearly says 4:27. Well I guess if 4Kids thinks kids can’t read, they probably don’t think they can read an analog clock either.

For some stupid reason, they cut this scene short. The only part that they cut off is Aoyama smiling. Good. No one should be smiling here.

tmmep26finalescreen15

Text is removed from the little gift shop vendor.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen16

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen17

The dub didn’t convert the distance correctly when judging how far the chimera animal is from the tower. In the original, it’s 20 km. In the dub, it’s 20 miles. 20 km converts to 12 miles.

It’s here where the start of the scene with the girls before it cut off to get to Aoyama’s shot is. Eugh, I’m dizzy just saying that.

The screen on Ichigo’s phone is changed to merely say ‘Mark.’

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen18

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen19

Also, look very very very very closely and you can see they also removed some random shapes from a couple of buttons on her phone too. They’re not text, they’re just shapes.

Text behind Aoyama is removed.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen20

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen21

I think they trim the shot of Ichigo starting to cry a bit.

Ya know, I appreciate what the girls are doing, trying to face the enemy alone to let Ichigo go on her date……….but that uh….world…..ending…moth…..About to hatch……Even Ichigo wasn’t able to put a dent in the cocoon with her Strawberry Surprise…..so the moth inside must be pretty nasty…….Hate to tell you guys this, but the writers really made you guys suck in terms of power, except Zakuro. Now’s not the time to be sending ‘I get all the powerful, new and fun things’-Ichigo off to catch a concert.

The earlier shot of Ichigo looking at Kisshu was shifted to after he gets angry at the idea of Ichigo leaving for her date. Because….that was a good use of time wasn’t it?

The blue banners flashing on Akasaka’s screen have text on them. This is removed from the dub. Those oh so useful blank warnings.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen22

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen23

Zakuro originally says to attack the moth before it flies away. In the dub, Renee says the transformation must’ve weakened it, so they should attack now…..the transformation was a process to make it stronger; what makes you think it’s weak because of it?

So I guess, in the end, Zakuro’s attack never gets a dub name. Corina rarely ever says her attack name, and Renee never gets one by default; they never even name her weapon. Weird.

They shorten Pudding’s second attack in the dub.

Attack….Name….Change?? Pudding just keeps using her Pudding Ring Inferno over and over as she chases the chimera moth. The dub has her keep saying ‘Goody gum drops’ when she repeats the attack over and over. Does that mean, like Bridget, they kept the exact same attack animation and effect yet gave it a different name to pretend it’s something else?

Let me get this straight; Renee gets no weapon name, no attack name and only grunts when she attacks.

Corina gets no weapon name, one attack name and hardly ever says it after the first time she does it.

Bridget gets a weapon name, four attack names and hardly ever goes without saying it.

Pudding gets a weapon name, two attack names and is half and half with saying it.

I applaud the effort to at least give the illusion that the other girls are getting more stuff to do, but if you’re just going to take away stuff from a couple of the girls for no reason as well, why bother?

They cut out Ichigo powering up her Strawberry Bell. I dunno.

They have kicked up the budget for this episode, being a season finale and all, but man the animation when Ichigo got knocked off the moth. Ick.

Aoyama seems to hear Ichigo thinking to herself ‘I want to see you, Aoyama-kun’ In the dub, he seems to only hear her screaming as she falls. Not sure how to take this, to be honest. The original obviously shows some sort of connection between the two of them while the dub kinda just has Mark hearing her, but she is an awful long way away.

Ichigo, hearing yet again that the Blue Knight was born to protect her, starts saying that she loves someone else, but is interrupted by him saying that he doesn’t care because loving someone is noble. Love overcomes all difficulties and opens a path to the future. In the dub, Zoey asks who he is, he says it doesn’t matter and gives Zoey a pep talk.

BK: “You have the power to beat this thing, Zoey. Because you love and are loved in return, and that love makes you strong.” It’s roughly the same message as the original, though they omit the insinuation that she loves Aoyama…..but did he seriously say ‘love’ three times in one sentence? Am I watching Moulan Rouge?

Text on a building is gone.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen24

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen25

Another record scratch…..*rubs temples*

4Kids, you made BK say ‘THAT love makes you strong’ not ‘YOUR love makes you strong.’ He literally said this less than a minute ago. You really forgot in that time?

They cut out a reaction shot of Kisshu.

tmmep26finalescreen26

The flashback in the original has a green tint to it. Outside of the normal fuzzy border they always add, the flashback is unaltered in the dub.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen27

Dubbed: tmmep26finalescreen28

Zakuro originally theorizes that the Mew Aqua may only cause a reaction in them, IE glowing, when they’re emotionally charged. Renee says they have been looking for something that’s been in their hearts this whole time. Both versions give off basically the same information, but man the dub is cheesy.

So the others are reduced to being a barrier again…..nice…Also, the barrier doesn’t even seem to do anything. At least show the moth bumping into it or something. It just makes it seem like they’re doing nothing AGAIN.

There’s a lyrical song as Kisshu and Ichigo are racing to the Mew Aqua in both versions. It’s….actually not too bad of a song. It matches the tone and melody of the original’s pretty well, even if it’s a bit poppier, though I can’t really judge the lyrics since the song is so soft you can barely hear them.

Ichigo originally says that magical words are coming to her from her heart, and she recites the words O virga Mew Aquae luce! Zoey just parrots the speech BK gave her earlier and gives no other words as she revitalizes the wand.

Weapon Name: The Mew Aqua Rod is changed to the Strawberry Scepter.

Attack Name Change: Ribbon Aqua Drops has been changed to Blue Aqua Drops.

I have no idea why, but they edit the shots of the girls saying ‘Ichigo’ one at a time, to stop their lips from moving and ultimately stop them from saying their lines……to be completely honest, I kinda like the dub’s version better because that whole shtick is kinda annoying to me, to be honest, even if there is simply no reason to have done that.

Shirogane originally says “Keichiro, I must glorify them!” (In response to the girls saving the day) Keichiro then responds with “Sure. They are wonderful goddesses.”

Elliot just says “Well, I think it’s safe to say our girls just saved the world.” Wesley gets no line.

Again, I kinda prefer the dub because the original lines are just really cheesy.

They cut out a shot of Ichigo’s skirt as she’s running.

tmmep26finalescreen29

The original simply ends on the shot of the area where Aoyama is supposed to be. In the dub, as a bigger cliffhanger, they impose the silhouette of Deep Blue over the shot, perhaps to indicate that Deep Blue may have done something to Mark, and they add ‘To be continued…’ on the shot.

Subbed: tmmep26finalescreen30

Dubbed: ssnp8jg

——————————————————–

And it never will be continued.

I actually feel bad for the people who only know of this show as a dub. Not only is it terrible, but it ends with practically everything unresolved.

You never find out who Deep Blue is or who the Blue Knight is, Zoey and Mark’s relationship is left hanging, though considering he never seems mad at her, it’s not that much of a worry that they’ll break up. You never find out if they beat the aliens or anything. Oh and yeah, you never get a continuation of the very first episode where they manipulate it to make it seem like Mark learned who Zoey was.

You’re left completely in the dark. If I was watching this with no knowledge of the original, I’d be pissed. To be honest, though, with how much they’ve changed, I don’t see how they would’ve continued on, anyway.

I can not be happier over the fact that this comparison is over. It’s been a real challenge and having one comparison under my belt leaves me excited to get others done. Other than One Piece, this has been the most mangled show I’ve seen so far.

Updates for the Tokyo Mew Mew Shoujo Step by Step will be a little slow as I focus on other things, but that shall be completed as well. I really am getting a fresh pair of eyes on this show after doing this project, so I expect it to be interesting.

I have one more thing I want to do before I close this comparison out, and that’s give Mew Mew Power, as a whole, an objective review. You probably already know my feelings on this series if you’ve followed this series from start to finish, but on its own, as a stand alone show, is there any merit to it?

Thanks for following the series, and here’s to more SDC’s in the future!

18prtic

Episode One-Derland: Guilty Crown

ak5m6il

Plot: The year is 2039 and Japan has been crippled by an outbreak of a mysterious virus. A boy named Shu tries to live his life normally, but typically has problems socializing and connecting with people. He stumbles upon a girl named Inori who is injured, barely says a word and is trying desperately to protect a small robot and bring it to a man named Gai. Shu fails to protect her from being captured by the government organization called GHQ who take her in as a terrorist. He takes it upon himself to bring the small robot to Gai to finish what she started. As he brings the robot to Gai, he and his group are attacked by mechs and Shu is reunited with Inori only to find that he possesses the power to pull a powerful sword from her body that helps them take down the enemy.

Breakdown: This series doesn’t have a good reputation it seems. THEM anime reviews says it barely passes for mediocre since it doesn’t do much to stray from the typical post-apocalyptic norm and I’ve seen several other people say it’s, at best, fun garbage.

Ouch.

Well, what did I think of its first endeavor?

Once you get over how pretty it is, and it really is pretty……..It’s fine. Story-wise, yeah I can see how it doesn’t stray too much from the norm. Shu is basically a Gary Stu at this point. He’s a socially awkward yet perfectly normal looking guy who suddenly discovers he’s awesome and gets to use super cool new powers that he rips from a hot chick’s chest, something I will have to address in a minute. There’s nothing really wrong with him, but he really seems like Shu Everyman.

Inori is also okay so far. She starts off pretty brave in the opening, and she seems determined, strong and honorable. When she meets Shu, however, she basically turns infantile and stupidly throws herself at the enemy when there’s no guarantee Shu would’ve given in or the robot would’ve been protected.

Gai is a bishie badass with a stone face and Tsugumi is a loli bitch.

We don’t really explore anyone besides that, and Gai and Tsugumi appear so late that we learn little to nothing about them. We also don’t really learn anything about Inori, which might be on purpose. It’s hinted that Shu knew her as a small child, but it’s not explored yet.

We learn the most about Shu, but even then we really only know his personality traits and nothing about his actual life besides he’s awkward socially and tries to live a normal life in school.

I’d like to actually know what this virus is. It’s blurted out in one sentence of narration and we never learn what it really is besides devastating.

I’m pretty much okay with the GHQ and Guilty Crown itself not really being explained thusfar as it allows for exploration in the future, but I would’ve liked Guilty Crown to at least be explained a bit.

What we can surmise of it from merely seeing it in action is something…..*sigh* I really never wanted to think of this show again, but it’s the exact same power, beat for beat, of the soul bladers from Shining Tears X Wind. Exactly the friggin’ same. Trigger a portal in some girl’s chest, pull out giant sword. I was going along with this show fine until it seemingly ripped off and/or reminded me of that heap of trash. And don’t worry, I’ll rip into that show soon enough.

Art and Animation: Like I said, this show is very pretty. Not horribly stylized, but still very pretty. The animation is very fluid, and got its time to shine during the fist fight with Gai. Production IG did a wonderful job here.

Music: I’m also digging the music here. The OP, at least of this episode, was beautiful, the BG music was fitting albeit a bit forgettable, the insert song was great and the ED was fine.

Voice Acting: Japanese – No stand out performances or voices, but everyone seemed fitting and fine in their roles.

==============================

No one is really giving me hope that this show will get any better from episode one. In fact, Nihon anime reviews claims the show really starts getting bad after the halfway mark. So what’s my status here?

cbxcz0k

This isn’t so much a reluctant ‘yes’ in hopes of finding something redeemable about this show beyond the art and music and moreso an ‘I’m curious as to how bad this show really is’. At best, I’ll get something laughably bad or stupidly fun and if not I can probably have a new ranting chew toy. At worst it will just turn out to be boring.

Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power Episode 25 Sub/Dub Comparison

tmmep25title

Plot: Akasaka and Shirogane have found a clue to the whereabouts of Mew Aqua deposits. They send out the girls every night in search of the Mew Aqua since their bodies can be used as a sensor. The girls quickly get exhausted from being overworked and Ichigo seems to be suffering the most as not only is she extremely tired but she hardly ever has time for Aoyama anymore. Tensions reach the breaking point, and Kisshu has a new trick up his sleeve; one that could wipe out humanity in an instant.

—————————————

Starting with scene swap? Aw, you shouldn’t have…..seriously. The original starts off with a scene of a street where the ground suddenly collapses before we get our title card. The dub starts off with Zoey, Blond and Brunette at school, which was originally the scene that followed the title.

The scene with Ichigo/Zoey’s friends is the complete opposite. In the original, her friends tease her because they know she’s going to the park afterschool because Aoyama goes there everyday at the same time. Word is buzzing around school about them, Aoyama’s fangirls are freaking out, but they say that his fangirls shouldn’t deter her from true love.

In the dub, the girls talk about the fact that Zoey supposedly hasn’t been spending much time at all with Mark and rumor has it that she has a new boyfriend. She denies this and says she’s merely been busy with the cafe and hasn’t had the time to be with Mark as often. Brunette doesn’t believe that the cafe is the only issue because even they haven’t been spending much time with her and she also believes she must have a new boyfriend. Blond pops up and says that Zoey is probably busy preparing a surprise party for Mark for his birthday and Zoey goes along with that story.

*shrug*

Originally, Aoyama invited Ichigo to watch his kendo club activities. In the dub, the meeting is canceled and he asks to walk home with her.

Ichigo’s ring tone is the ending theme? Silly meta.

Zoey’s ring tone is a generic ring tone song? Silly possible copyright issues.

They remove when Ichigo apologizes to Aoyama for leaving because that would be polite and kind; wouldn’t want her to do that.

Ichigo keeps denying that she’s angry. Zoey doesn’t deny this and in fact says things like ‘this better be good!’ and ‘I’m not in the mood!’

The nuts in the cake are chestnuts not macadamias. Also, Akasaka doesn’t keep talking about the cake in such deep detail like Wesley does mostly because the cake is just being used as a visual aid to discuss important world-save-y things and not being the next feature on the Food Network.

Ichigo asks what he means by Mew Aqua being in underground pockets of clay……eh, that’s pretty self-explanatory, Ichigo. Zoey says all the talk about cake has made her hungry.

Why the hell does Wesley keep talking about the food examples like he’s trying to sell them? You’re trying to explain something important; there’s no need to tell us how light and fluffy the mousse is or that the strawberry is organic.

Shirogane tells the girls that these clay deposits are most prominent under the ground in the Kanto Plains of Tokyo. Elliot says that finding the crystals won’t be as easy as cake or mousse.

I don’t really get it. The girls have been really close to Mew Aqua before and haven’t had reactions yet the way they’re supposed to find these underground Mew Aqua deposits is by using the light they emit when they experience a reaction to it as a sensor?

Wow, 4Kids got lazy with this digital paint. Shirogane holds up a paper with the headline “Mysterious Cave-Ins; Completely Inexplicable!” The dub also says this, but replaces the upper text with the name of the dub paper ‘Daily Chronicle’ and they very clearly blur out all of the other text because they were too lazy to have some intern type up some filler text.

Subbed: tmmep25screen1

Dubbed: tmmep25screen2

They place the scene from the very start of this episode between the two separate shots of the newspaper.

Because of this, a small shot of the girls was removed.

tmmep25screen3

Outer shots of the completely random lightning are removed.

tmmep25screen4

And I mean it, this lightning seems like it came out of nowhere purely for emphasis of the weight of this development. It was perfect weather out before this meeting happened and they’ve been talking for like two minutes.

Ichigo says the situation sounds serious with a very worried look on her face….Zoey….being the ditzy little sack of crap she is, hears the news and thinks with a worried look ‘That means I’ll never be able to see Mark anymore.’ Because boys > saving the world.

They add a flash transition after this scene for some reason.

The chimera animals who can sniff the Mew Aqua and/or Clay deposits are called Chimera Moles in the original. In the dub, they’re called ‘Armadrillos’

Now why is Dren suddenly acting even dumber than usual by adding stupid nicknames and word play every five seconds?

They shorten the final shot with Kisshu and remove the line about him saying he’ll use the power of Mew Aqua to reveal the identity of Deep Blue.

tmmep25screen5

Ichigo points out that she has blisters all over her hands. Zoey says she needs a manicure because girly! ❤

Ichigo complains about how she can’t find any Mew Aqua. Zoey complains about manual labor being ‘so uncool’.

Wait a minute, what the hell!? They showed Ichigo’s pose at the end of her transformation this time! In fact, it was really the only part of the transformation period. You mean they could’ve kept that in this whole time and didn’t for no reason? ….*sigh* That’s 4Kids for you, I guess. This really shortened transformation is the same in the original, but 4Kids also replaces these transformations with their own all the time so I don’t get it.

They cut out Ichigo declaring her attack before we see her doing it.

tmmep25screen6

They keep the shortened transformation and show a part of the transformation that they’ve never shown, yet they replace the shortened attack with the regular version? Urgh, headache.

Shirogane doesn’t say the artifact is ‘beautiful’ which it really isn’t considering it looks like a rusty pipe with a heart on top. So the rainbow stone is ‘tacky’ and ‘ugly’ yet the tetanus stick over there is ‘beautiful’…..welcome to upside-down world!

And oh goodie, that means we’re almost at more Ichigo favoritism time. Hoo-freakin’-rah. Is it really too much to ask for to give the other girls something, anything else to do? Every other magical girl show I can think of allows the other girls to get more powerful, giving the biggest props to the lead still of course, so why the hell does this show just keep letting the other girls stagnate? At best, the only additional powers of the other girls is Mint being able to talk to birds and Zakuro maybe being able to talk to dogs. That is it. They get no new weapons, no new attacks, no new abilities, no nothing. It makes them really boring and dare I say pointless to have them around most of them at a point. I know I keep bringing that up, but seriously….

They shift a short scene of the chimera moles digging and Pai watching their progress on screen.

Shirogane flippantly responds that their search methods right now can’t be helped. In the dub, when he hears the girls complaining he says ‘I don’t want to hear it!’ *huff*

Why did Shirogane need to send out Masha to tell Akasaka about making the search area smaller? Especially considering how slow Masha seems to fly. I’d like to introduce you to these things called ‘cell phones’. It’s that thing in your pocket that lets you talk to people from far away.

Masha initially detects the cocoon as an alien, then believes it to be a bird’s nest, crashes into it then when he pulls away from it he says he’s mistaken most likely because he’s tired. In the dub, Masha detects a predasite, doesn’t know what to make of the cocoon, crashes into then keeps screaming that his eyes are burning, supposedly because of the poisonous properties of the moth….but I think it’s more likely because Masha’s eyes get little question marks in them when he emerges from the cocoon because he’s confused. These question marks are kept in the dub, but make no sense anymore because Mini-Mew’s not confused he’s in agony because his eyes are burning….from the question marks? I don’t know. And chalk this up as another odd instance where 4Kids makes something scary/worse for no reason.

The short scene with Pai that I mentioned is switched to after the scene with Masha. And they, for some reason, cut it so that instead of seeing two shots of the chimera moles back to back and then Pai we see one shot of one ‘armadrillo’ then Sardon then a shot of a different armadrillo. Where can I buy those question marks to put in my eyes?

They add in a night shot of Tokyo Tower that I suppose is from later on between the final shot in the sewer and the next day at school.

I don’t really know why they did that either because we don’t even start the small scene at school since we cut to commercial here in the dub.

Ichigo complains about how late she is and how the girls probably left without her. She briefly complains about the fact that she has to do this day after day, but then says that she should do it because finding the Mew Aqua is very important. Zoey on the other hand does nothing but bitch about the fact that she needs to keep searching for Blue Aqua in her off time. Then she complains about never being able to see Mark anymore and laments over the thought that Mark may already have a new girlfriend by now. In other words, this world saving thing is like totally ruining her life and stuff and is like totally uncool and stuff.

The scene with Aoyama and Ichigo is edited and changed. Ichigo runs up to Aoyama, he asks if she’s going home and she says yes, but she’s also in a hurry. Aoyama then says she’s always busy lately and we get a commercial. This part of the conversation is removed and the clips for the conversation have been shifted, some removed entirely.

Her bending down to set down her shoes, her putting her shoes on and running up to Aoyama are removed.

 

The second half of the conversation doesn’t get away without changes either. Aoyama says she’s been really busy and wonders if it’s because of the cafe. She says it’s sort of because of that. Aoyama then asks if she’s a bit tired because she looks pale. Ichigo seems surprised that she’s pale, then he apologizes for holding her up before they each bid each other farewell.

In the dub, Mark says he’s missed her, Zoey says she’s missed him too. Mark then asks her if she’d like to see a movie sometime, she says yes and they depart. Because why be caring and have a nice moment when you can be all ‘Miss ya Zo (and he does call her ‘Zo’ here)’ ‘Miss ya too Mark’ ‘Movie sometime?’ ‘Kay’

Zoey: (Inner monologue) “I feel awful. How can I treat Mark like this?” Like…..what? Saying you missed each other then saying you can go see a movie sometime? You….bitch?

Shirogane says that he knows they can do this because they have plenty of free time and nothing better to do. The line about ‘nothing better to do’ is echoed in Ichigo’s head as she finally flips. Elliot says she’s had a real attitude problem lately and then mockingly insinuates that she hasn’t been seeing her boyfriend enough, which is the line that echoes in Zoey’s head before she flips.

Half of the chibi-ized rant is gone. It’s cut off right after the girls nod. The rest of the rant includes Ichigo’s tail and ears popping out, the girls implying that Ichigo’s snapped since it’s been so long since she’s had a date with Aoyama and Ichigo’s licking her shoe like a cat. Shirogane pops up and says ‘ah you mean Ao-something?’ which makes Ichigo freak out even more.

Also, right before Shirogane’s line, he makes a weird face. This is also removed.

tmmep25screen9tmmep25screen10tmmep25screen11tmmep25screen12tmmep25screen13tmmep25screen14

After Ichigo leaves, Akasaka says he’s gone too far. Lettuce says it’s not Shirogane’s fault, Ichigo’s just tired. Mint then says that Lettuce is speaking for Ryo again, making her blush. This is a poke at the fact that Lettuce has a crush on Shirogane that is rarely ever talked about, explored or anything. In the dub, Wesley says that didn’t go well and Bridget says that Zoey didn’t mean it when she said Elliot was a slave driver. Corina then said she’s right because slave drivers are sweethearts compared to Elliot and Bridget says Corina didn’t mean that either and blushes while she says this for some reason.

Kisshu has no inner monologue, self-praising or otherwise, while he’s lying there. Also, they take the upside-down shot of Kisshu’s eye and make it right-side up because do you really believe they have a reason? Seriously?

Subbed: tmmep25screen15

Dubbed: tmmep25screen16

Ichigo says it was on a beautiful day such as it is in the shot when she and Aoyama had their first date. She then wonders if Shirogane really is the Blue Knight then how could he treat her like that? Zoey regrets acting the way she did at the cafe and then says she overreacted, but she’s not sorry because Elliot shouldn’t have treated her like that. She then, completely unprompted, says Mark will probably never talk to her again ever.

Ichigo just says that, whoever is behind her to leave her alone. Zoey believes it’s Elliot behind her and tells him to not bother apologizing, which is weird because Mark in no way shape or form sounds like Elliot.

I’m gonna side with both Ichigo and Zoey now because if you’re being run so hard into the ground that you randomly faint, then you’re being way overworked.

The sign for the nurse’s office is translated.

Subbed: tmmep25screen17

Dubbed: tmmep25screen18

Also, the signs behind Ichigo have their text painted off.

Subbed: tmmep25screen19

Dubbed: tmmep25screen20

They add in a record scratch after he reveals that he was just taking her temperature (she thought he was going to kiss her; and scratch that up to two record scratch moments today, the other being her meeting with Mark during sunset.) Also, Ichigo doesn’t have a fever, and Zoey does.

There’s some animation on the screen of Ichigo’s phone as she plays her ringtone. It’s out of focus because the shot’s on Aoyama, but still. In the dub, this is changed to having the screen say ‘The Bon Bons’ which is guess is the name of the band that does the generic ring tone on Zoey’s phone. While the phone itself is out of focus because the shot’s on Mark, the screen is crystal clear. That’s either a magic phone or Zoey need glasses badly.

Subbed: tmmep25screen21

Dubbed: tmmep25screen22

Aoyama mentions that the song is by Candy 5. Mark says the song is by, well, *pokes above* It should be noted that there is no mainstream group that sings the first ED. The singers of the song are actually the Mews’ voice actresses. It’s possible that the name ‘Candy 5’ is indicative of the fact that they work in essentially a sweets shop and of course there’s five of them. Also, I supposed they made the name The Bonbons as a throwback to that.

Ichigo wonders if Aoyama’s just saying that he likes Candy 5 to be nice. Zoey gushes over the fact that she found a guy who likes ‘chick rock’. *grumblegrumblegrumble*

Ichigo thinks to herself that Aoyama was so nice to bring her to the nurse’s office and stay with her, yet she even forgot to merely say ‘Thank you’. In the dub…….Just read it.

Zoey: (Inner Monologue) “Oh you’re such a sweetheart, Mark. Who cares about saving the world, anyway? I only wanna be with you.

Well, that sums it up pretty friggin’ nicely doesn’t it? This is everything that I hate about Zoey. I praise Ichigo because, while she can be lazy and complain sometimes, she knows what her responsibilities as a Mew are. She knows that she and her friends are humanity’s only hope of survival. She knows this requires sacrifices and while she doesn’t always like it, and she by all means doesn’t have to, she still stands up and knows that she has a duty to do so and even if she didn’t have to she’d still feel like she should because lives are at stake. She doesn’t sit there and gush over Aoyama in battle like certain magical girl show main characters who shall remain nameless. She braves through her fears, puts her desires aside and tries her best to fight for what’s right.

ZOEY is a ditzy little boy crazed bitch who is constantly complaining about her responsibilities as a Mew and obsessing over Mark. “Who cares about saving the world?” Soak that in. She does not care about saving the world or the people in it because it requires work. She’d rather just be luvey duvey with Mark. I’m not saying Elliot’s not being an ass here. Hell, everyone in this damn show is a huge ass, bitch or otherwise unpleasant character, but that doesn’t give her any more of an excuse.

This show as a whole is made all the more of a chore to sit through because Zoey is such a terrible character. Every second she’s on screen and every time she belts out that ear-stabbingly awful motto, I just want to slap her. She is Ichigo in character design only. Otherwise, she’s a little typical teenage brat.

The text message is translated and painted.

Subbed: tmmep25screen23

Dubbed: tmmep25screen24tmmep25screen25

Ichigo quietly whispers slowly ‘Thank you so much’ Zoey just says it in her regular voice. Also, I’m nearly certain they sped up that clip so her speech would sound more natural.

Ichigo apologizes, very genuinely, for how she acted earlier. Zoey doesn’t apologize at all, she just awkwardly reports for work.

Zoey: “Hi Marky Mark!”

Is that even a joke? Like….really, a Marky Mark reference? Kids will CERTAINLY get that and that will never be dated ever ever ever.

ANOTHER RECORD SCRATCH!? ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ KIDDING M—-*sigh* Nevermind. It’ll be over soon….

They left the graphics on the Candy 5 tickets relatively alone, but obviously all the text had to be painted away and changed.

Subbed: tmmep25screen26

Dubbed: tmmep25screen27

Stop calling him ‘Elly’, I will shank you.

They changed Tokyo Tower to…’City tower’? They can’t even come up with a name for the place they live in or is it literally just ‘City’? Hey guys come to the beautiful city of City. It’s in the great state of State. In the country of AMERICA BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY COUNTRY!

Guys, if you can’t squeeze in the word ‘you’ at the end of Sardon’s sentence due to the lip flaps either change the visuals or the line. He said it so quickly and softly I honestly just thought he said ‘I think I’ll accompany.’

Akasaka knows precisely that there’s a chimera moth in the cocoon and worries that it will hatch that very day. Wesley just knows that there’s something with an alien cocoon that needs to be stopped quickly.

Next episode—Oh who cares? Next episode is the last episode of Mew Mew Power!

9jl0t6icljkg0jstnnten

6yxievg05yw94d

Blow up the balloons, bake a friggin’ cake, hell break out the good booze glasses; WE’RE ENDING THIS!!

…Previous Episode

Flowers of Evil (Manhwa) Review

mkdsayg

Rating: 8/10

Plot: Seh-Joon and Seh-Wah are extremely close twins. So close, in fact, that they’ve developed a bit of a romantic relationship. When their closeness catches the attention of their classmates and people start suspecting that they are more than close siblings, Seh-Joon panics and essentially cuts off all physical and emotional closeness with his sister. Devastated, Seh-wah tries her best to get him back, but Seh-Joon will have none of it and tells her to find other friends or a boyfriend to focus her attention on. While Seh-Wah is not interested in the least to be with anyone besides her brother, she finds herself slowly getting closer to their old childhood friend, Sung-Chan, who has renamed himself to Gi-Hoon. But the fire of this love is far from snuffed out, and everyone’s set to burn in the flames.

Breakdown: I swear I didn’t plan a damn near back-to-back incest feature in here.

This is a highly praised and rated manhwa from Lee Hyeon-Sook, but I gotta admit, as much as I got into following this series, I can’t say I enjoyed it as much as most people seemed to.

I know this series is called ‘Flowers of Evil’, but there is a significant lack of people you end up truly caring about. Everyone in this series is seemingly an asswad at some point in time or just as a whole. Oddly, the most unlikable character through much of the series, Seh-Wah, and her creepy dependence on her brother and simultaneous cold demeanor towards others, ended up growing the most in her learning to let go of Seh-Joon, though not entirely, as time went on. I can’t say I grew to fully like her, especially since she kept flip flopping between moving on and clinging to every bit of affection Seh-Joon threw out, but she was one of the higher ones on the list.

Sung-Chan comes off as creepy several times over the course of the series, though some of his creepier actions are more understandable when his story is explored near the end.

Even Seh-Wah and Seh-Joon’s father has a moment where you think he’s a complete douche. The story doesn’t make it clear, but he may have let a small boy die or purposely killed him for the sake of giving one of his organs to his kid.

Seh-Joon is the one who comes off the worst here, and as time goes on you can pretty much tell that it’s supposed to be that way. However, like Seh-Wah, it becomes incredibly irritating when he flip-flops back and forth between pushing Seh-Wah away, almost cruelly in some instances, and reeling her back in again.

For example, he invites his girlfriend over so they can make out in front of Seh-Wah and seemingly bring her into his room to have sex and when Seh-Wah has a massive mental breakdown at this, he shoos his girlfriend away. Essentially, he used her to mock Seh-Wah and push her away even more even though Seh-Wah, at this point, was already breaking away and moving on with Sung-Chan.

While I get that he’s just jealous, it’s also very annoying when he gets pissed at Seh-Wah for so much as being slight friends with Sung-Chan when he picks up a new girlfriend immediately after cutting Seh-Wah almost entirely out of his life.

Another weak part of this series is that, despite being built around the strong love the two have for each other, we never really learn why Seh-Joon and Seh-Wah love each other so much. Basically, Seh-Wah just says and acts like she’s hung on everything Seh-Joon has said and done throughout their lives while Seh-Joon might be so close to her because he fell in love with her shortly after she fell ill as a child. Their interests are never well-explored except Seh-Wah has a love of horror movies and literature and both are pretty stone-faced and overall expressionless throughout much of the series. It keeps telling you that they’re in love, and they say pretty things to each other while showing physical affection, but we never get a good understanding as to what it is about the other that they love so much.

Sung-Chan brought up a very good point that Seh-Wah is likely confusing sibling possessiveness for romantic love, and Seh-Joon is probably doing the same considering that this seems to have started after Seh-Wah fell ill. His fear of losing her may have culminated in a possessiveness and protectiveness of her that he himself is confusing for romantic love or has mutated that way.

Seh-Wah offers a theory to Seh-Joon and states that some people believe male-female fraternal twins are the spirits of lovers reincarnated. She expresses this as a beautiful and romantic theory, but Seh-Joon points out the very obvious downside of this as lovers being unable to be together in their next life since it’s taboo for siblings to be romantically involved.

Oddly, the two other pairings in this series were more interesting in regards to connection and development than Seh-Wah and Seh-Joon. After he cuts Seh-Wah off, Seh-Joon hooks up with a girl who has been vying for his affections for some time, Su-In. At first, they seem to legitimately care about each other, even seemingly hooking up a little before the whole ‘Incest is icky!?’ revelation Seh-Joon has, and he does try to get her back when he goes too far in his frustration with his relationship to her affecting his relationship to Seh-Wah, but there are several aspects of it that show signs of a relationship that would never work.

Su-In seems to be at Seh-Joon’s beck and call, even allowing her grades to drop significantly due to how much attention she’s putting on her relationship. I don’t know entirely why. She really seems like a sensible girl yet she’s letting herself be yo-yo’d by Seh-Joon and is also trying to monopolize her own attention by being with him as much as possible. Really seems like she was being set up to be one of those cautionary tales of smart girls who have a bright future then throw it away for some guy.

While she does seem to really care for him, his caring for her seems lukewarm at best throughout the series to the point where it becomes obvious that the whole thing is just meant to be a barrier between him and Seh-Wah. He treats her like a tool several times and I was almost disgusted that he tried to get her back after slipping up and venting on her like that. Yeah, I’m sure any girl would love to take back a guy who described sleeping with her as ‘sickening’ and something he’d never want to do again.

The other relationship at focus here is Sung-Chan and Seh-Wah. At first, Seh-Wah really doesn’t give a crap in a can about Sung-Chan, even forgetting that they used to be childhood friends. Slowly but surely, Sung-Chan is able to crack through Seh-Wah’s hard outer shell and catch some glimpses of her human side.

Likewise, this relationship helped Seh-Wah grow as a person and break away from her reliance on her brother. While Seh-Joon’s actions were still bothering her throughout the entirety of the book, she was able to deal with it better as she grew closer to Sung-Chan. I really liked their relationship and wished that the story had gone the way of the twins actually learning to let go of their attraction and attachment to each other while finding love elsewhere.

Now, one could argue that this isn’t really a story of love but of obsession and possessiveness masquerading as love, as we explored before. However, while that is definitely a factor, there is still some stock to Seh-Joon legitimately being in love with Seh-Wah.

He greatly fears them being unable to be together at all if anyone saw them being romantic with each other, which is why he starts this whole separation thing to begin with. He still keeps tabs on Seh-Wah and protects her from a distance, but completely bars them from even being a little close. And yes, it apparently took him until he was 16 to realize that being in a romantic relationship with your sister is not socially acceptable and is a religious taboo. Also, he’s Catholic, so we get the weight of his sins being the forefront here several times.

Another pointing to Seh-Joon’s legit love of Seh-Wah is when Seh-Wah tells him the story of a boy who was loved by all and one day he fell in love with a woman. The woman couldn’t betray her husband, so she left the boy. The question left by the story is whether it’s preferable to be loved by all or by one. Seh-Joon says his answer is simple, he’d be loved by one. However, he states that would be impossible. It’s implied that he believes this to be impossible because the only one he truly loves is Seh-Wah and they could never really be together.

Also, there’s more indication that maybe Seh-Wah wasn’t in love with Seh-Joon anymore by the end or maybe at all when she seeks out help from Sung-Chan in her time of need instead of looking to Seh-Joon like she normally would.

Now for some ending spoilers.

While you could say it was a complete accident that Seh-Wah died at the end, I feel like that’s a bit too easy. Of all people, why would Seh-Joon be the one to forget that Seh-Wah needs to take medication on a daily basis? Medication that keeps her alive? Seh-Wah had a heart condition when she was a child and she needed a heart transplant. However, the transplant gets attacked by her immune system if left unchecked, so she takes medication to combat it. Seh-Joon took her to live in the woods with no medication for several days, maybe weeks, and didn’t think to even try to get some?

Keep in mind, the reason that Seh-Joon was so attached to Seh-Wah was because he was traumatized by her illness as a child. Thinking she might die at any moment and being physically separated for months at a time, he became insanely protective and possessive of her. You’d think that would be the best reminder ever that she needs to be diligent with her medication. And hell, he takes similar medication because he also had that same heart condition, albeit much milder.

I almost want to say that he planned this and wanted Seh-Wah to die so he could kill himself and they’d live together forever in the afterlife, but I also have to take into consideration that Seh-Wah herself never said a damn thing about her meds either. So I guess I just have to chalk this whole thing up to bad writing.

It’s especially weird when Seh-Joon says her passing was God’s way of punishing them for sleeping together and giving into their forbidden love. She never would’ve died had they just taken some medicine from home before leaving. Their parents were probably at work when they decided to run away, so they had plenty of time to get that life saving medication from home. Hell, their dad is a doctor so he probably had a big stash of those handy. This whole thing is dumb.

That being said, I do like how they wrapped up Sung-Chan and Seh-Wah’s story. Like I said, she reached out to him in her time of need, which, ironically enough, was her feeling trapped and scared by Seh-Joon whisking her away to their grandparents old house for who knows how long. She tried to text him but he couldn’t answer because he was in a coma after Seh-Joon tried to beat him to death with a rock. When he saw that Seh-Wah’s last actions were trying to reach out to him one more time, it proved to him that she may have been thinking of him over Seh-Joon, though Sung-Chan could, sadly, do nothing to help her.

Seh-Joon killing himself at the end was probably the only way to go with that, and it is realistic considering how obsessed he was with Seh-Wah and how much pain he was in when they were apart. Though I do find it odd that Seh-Joon was never arrested for nearly murdering Sung-Chan. At the very least, he conceded something to Sung-Chan in the end by giving him Seh-Wah’s phone.

End of ending spoilers.

I suppose the last thing I really have to address is the actual aspect of the incest angle. I’ve seen several manga and anime with incest being one of the main points of the plot, because it’s just a thing apparently, with the most infuriating, to date anyway, being the recently reviewed Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wa Suru. Like this manhwa, that anime had a very possessive and creepy male sibling struggling to restrain his feelings for the sake of maintaining an illusion of normalcy and avoid the harsh stigma of social judgment.

Unlike this series, however, the sister in that situation seemed forced into the romance. Like this series, it could be that she tricked herself into believing she had a romantic love for her brother when it was being confused for sibling possessiveness. However, Seh-Wah seems a lot more willing in this relationship than Iku was.

Unlike this series, BwInKwS shoved religious imagery down our throats and basically screamed in our ears that incest was taboo. There are religious discussions in this manhwa, but the family is catholic and they don’t shove imagery in our faces to make a SUBTLE statement, they just show how this conflict within Seh-Joon is affecting him on a spiritual level.

To make a long story short, The Flowers of Evil is definitely the best rendition of an incest story that I’ve seen so far, and it does a lot of things right that BwInKwS did horribly wrong. But does it deserve the incredibly high praise its received?

Bottomline: In the end, this was one of those series that I left with a bit of unease. I didn’t really know how I felt about it. On one hand, there are a lot of overly dramatic and annoying parts to this series with almost every character being an asshole in some way. On the other hand, the story admittedly drew me in and I never once felt bored while reading. The characters came to life for me, even if the leads tend to seem constantly emotionless while also being overly dramatic at the same time, and the art was very beautiful at many points, even if some frontal shots seemed odd with how the noses basically disappear.

The story did get into a slight rut of ‘I hate everything, I love Seh-Joon, but he’s being an ass to me!’ ‘I’m Seh-Joon and I’m going to keep being an ass to Seh-Wah’ (insert Sung-Chan/Seh-Wah relationship development here) but it stayed steady, told the story it wanted to tell and ended up wrapping nearly every storyline pretty cleanly.

While I don’t think it deserves the perfect scores across the board that it seems to get, it’s a pretty good manhwa with a good length for this type of story and I’d gladly recommend that people give it a go.

Additional Information and Notes:

Flowers of Evil was written and illustrated by Lee Hyeon-Sook and it was published by Daewon C.I.

Volumes: 7

Year: 2006-2008

Recommended Audience: Incest angles a plenty, depending on how much that bothers you. Some nudity, but everything graphic is ‘painted away’. IE Sailor Moon-esque boobs with no nipples. A few sex scenes, but all tastefully done with no graphic shots. Several instances of violence, two of which being particularly brutal and slightly graphic. Adult themes. 14+