Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 (Manga) Volume 6 Review

Plot: Taichi and Zero battle furiously against Hideto and Omegamon, but quickly start struggling under his immense power. They manage to eek out a victory in the end with the help of Warg and Melga themselves, tired of Hideto treating them in a fashion that is increasingly similar to Neo’s style of taming. Hideo realizes the error of his ways and vows to take down Neo himself while Zero recovers. With the help of Mari and Sigma, Hideto starts the battle against Neo and Arkadimon, but they may have bitten off more than they can chew.

Breakdown: The action is amping up even more in volume six as we get closer and closer to taking on Neo and Arkadimon, who is now Ultimate level.

It’s hard to believe Zero would have a chance against Omegamon, mostly because it’s a friggin’ Omegamon, but Zero and Taichi show yet again that a tamer’s bond with their Digimon is vital to victory. Their strength in their bond helped them achieve a new level in power, and Hideto’s increasingly weak bond with his Digimon leads them to turn face against him as they wish to truly stand on the side of good.

Hideto is consumed with a burning desire to achieve his and, supposedly, Neo’s idea of a perfect world for Rei to live and walk in, but it takes Taichi and Zero nearly falling at his feet and his Digimon turning on him in shame, almost killing themselves in the process, to come to grips with the true situation. What they’re doing is wrong, and Rei wouldn’t want any bit of her happiness or mobility to come at the price of the suffering of others – human and Digimon alike.

When you hear that Hideto is heading off to face Neo himself, with Sigma and Mari providing backup, you basically know that they’re all walking off to their doom. It was obvious from the start that Neo never gave a crap about these three, and after what he did to Piemon, it’s obvious what he plans to do with Omegamon and Rosemon. Since we know the final confrontation has to be Taichi and Zero vs. Neo and Arkadimon, the reader goes into this battle with a sense of dread.

Still, it’s the effort that counts, and this entire conflict is vital to the character development of all of the former Aliases. It’s also further development, for the better or worse, for Neo. He is quickly devolving even further into a psychopath who is drunk on power and cares nothing of others, even Rei. It’s clear now that his main mission has been long since forgotten and he only wishes to take over the Digital and real worlds with Arkadimon and nothing is going to stop him. It really makes you wonder if there’s any redemption for him, because, as far as we’ve seen, he’s always been a dick, even before Rei’s accident.

In the end, this volume did a great job in both making both battles massive and important to the characters involved. It prepares us for the final confrontation

Rating: 9/10

Recommended Audience: This volume gets pretty brutal, but nothing terribly graphic. 10+

Next episode….

…….Previous Episode

Pokemon Extravaganza SHORTIES – Pikachu’s Winter Vacation Chronicles: Snorlax Snowman

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation Chronicles - Snowman Snorlax 2

Rating: 8.5/10

Plot: Pikachu and some of the other Pokemon make a Snorlax out of snow. As night falls, they discover that the Snorlax Snowman has come to life and brings them on a winter adventure.

Breakdown: This is the epitome of ‘watch Pokemon be cute’ shorts….

And I kinda love it.

I mean, the ending was predictable with the ‘It was all a dream?…..But we all had the same dream?….So was it really a dream!?’ thing but it was just a really pleasant little adventure.

We got some funny scenes with the Pokemon, an absolutely gorgeous scene where we get to see tons of Water Pokemon underwater through ice, and a lot of the absurdities can be explained away if we really just say they were having the same dream. (Otherwise, they either floated to the North Pole and back overnight or there’s a Pokemon center close to the North Pole because we saw Aurora Borealis.)

We also got another song which was nice, but ultimately forgettable and not really Christmassy or wintery, And, shockingly, this is the first ever short I’ve seen that doesn’t include Meowth in any capacity, and the Narrator was barely there either. I’ll technically call those positives because the Meowth cameos almost always feel cheap and the narrator can sometimes be intrusive.

This was a very sweet, funny and, oddly pretty short that I would enjoy watching several times over. It’s certainly a good place to end off these Winter Vacation shorts.

Oh and, it includes the best Bulbasaur face.

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation Chronicles - Snowman Snorlax 1

Recommended Audience: Snowman+

Final Notes: Can I take the time out to say, holy snowballs, the credits for this episode are INSANELY fast? They are some of the fastest running credits I’ve ever seen. It was damn near comical. I know fast-running credits are the norm now, but this is next-level speed. Like, even pausing only grants you with barely legible blurs.

Pokemon Extravaganza SHORTIES – Pikachu’s Winter Vacation Chronicles: Delibird’s Dilemma

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation Chronicles - Delibird's Dilemma

Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: Delibird is trying to get some presents to Santa before he leaves on his sleigh, but some shenanigans from Pikachu and pals knocks him out of the sky and causes him to lose all of the presents. It’s a scramble to find and retrieve all of the presents before midnight.

Breakdown: Santa really needs to get his shit together.

This is the technically the third time he’s needed Pikachu’s help to save Christmas if we count the non-short Christmas special. Why is Delibird bringing presents TO Santa anyway? Isn’t all that stuff at the North Pole? Don’t they manufacture the presents there? Or are some modern gifts caught in legal hell and can’t be reproduced at the factory so they have to send out a bunch of Delibird to some retail stores?

Anyhoo, this short is pretty cute and funny. Chikorita has reached its non-bitch stage (And teamed up with Bulbasaur so much I could feel my heart flutter whenever they did it) there were several adorable moments, nothing really stood out as being annoying or bad, and we even finally got a Christmas song in the dubbed version. It was short and really only made Christmassy because of the jingle bells, but I appreciate the effort.

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation Chronicles - Delibird's Dilemma1
This is Cyndaquil tickling Delibird. It’s as adorable as it sounds.

The story is not that interesting, though. Santa can travel the entire world and deliver presents in one night – starting at midnight apparently. I’m quite certain he’s speedy enough to find and retrieve a handful of presents before he goes. Also, none of the presents are in a location where they’re particularly hard to get.

The narrator is interesting. He has some funny-ish moments, but he’s also kinda weird. It’s obvious that the narrator’s Santa, but he starts out the short explaining that something always go wrong right before Christmas as he’s narrating over the Pokemon playing bowling…..And he seems like he’s disappointed when things don’t start going wrong. It’s so weird, but kinda funny in a dark way. Santa loves him some schadenfreude, apparently.

Another weird line from the narrator, he says it’s five minutes to midnight when it’s clearly sundown…..This seems pointless to mention but…..I couldn’t not note this, it was CLEARLY sundown. You’re not fooling anyone, old man.

Same old, same old in regards to some notes. Like Meowth’s incredibly pointless cameo, though this time it was very very short. And, for some reason, he’s being harassed by a Skarmory in this episode again? Was that part of the series? Also, of course, not all of the group’s Pokemon are here. In fact, we don’t see Ash and co. at all in this short, which is very strange because it’s Christmas and they’re out past midnight.

In addition, despite having seen Santa before, again, they keep him hidden from view, and when Christmas comes all of the pine trees magically turn into decorated Christmas trees…..Okay.

Recommended Audience: Why do I keep including this section for these shorts?

Pokemon Extravaganza SHORTIES! – Pikachu’s Winter Vacation 2000: Stantler’s Little Helpers

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation 2000 - Stantler's Little Helpers

Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: On the night of Christmas Eve, Pikachu and the other Pokemon find an old man tending to his sick Stantler in the woods. He desperately needs some berries to lower its fever and make it feel better, but he can’t find anymore or leave Stantler’s side. Pikachu and the others offer to find some berries, and, with some teamwork, they manage to get a whole bunch.

After feeding the berries to Stantler, it starts feeling a lot better. The old man thanks the Pokemon sincerely and rides off on his sleigh. It begins to ascend into the sky.

Could it be…?

Breakdown: This was a very solid short, but nothing that great. It had some cute moments (melt my heart for picking up Togepi to see out the window, Bulbasaur) and some anger inducing moments (Screw off, Chikorita. You have no right to forcibly remove Pikachu from the bed while he’s sleeping so you can creepily cuddle with Ash. And, not anger inducing, but, Heracross, please, I beg you, stop sucking on Bulbasaur.) but I didn’t have any major issues with it. Plus, I was endlessly entertained by Pikachu walking around with a lit-up star tree-topper on his head for some reason.

Problem is, the short goes the same way you’d expect from the very instant you hear the ‘old man’ request the berries. They’ll get the berries, Stantler will get better, the old man was Santa. Sorry, spoiler alert, but they’re not good at hiding it.

Why are they hiding it anyway? Are they forgetting that Pokemon has had an episode where Ash and the others help Santa? Certainly not, considering they are consistent with the character design for Santa. Only now he uses a single Stantler instead of a team of Ponyta because Gen II came out.

He also ‘forgets’ that he is frequently assisted by numerous Jynx who would be useful in such emergency situations, but she’s purple and no one wants to see her now.

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation 2000 - Stantler's Little Helpers1
Excuse me, need to die of cuteness for a second.

Speaking of forgetting things, I do have petty nitpicks like, why did all of the Pokemon, barring some because of course, escape from their Pokeballs in the middle of the night? It’s kinda understandable that Chikorita did, because it’s a creepy asshole, but why everyone else?

Who cares, though? Vulpix got to be useful TWICE in this special! Whoo!

Not to mention that the Japanese version gives us a very nice ending Christmas song with some great visuals of the Pokemon.

Recommended Audience: You should be privy to this by now.

Pokemon Extravaganza SHORTIES! – Pikachu’s Winter Vacation 2000: Winter Games

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation 2000 - Winter Games1

Rating: 3/10

Plot: Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi leave their Pokemon at a rented cabin while they go shopping. The Pokemon then discover an ice skating rink and play on the ice.

Breakdown: In this short, Chikorita is a bitch. It’s mostly about Chikorita being a bitch while everyone else has fun. They try to include Chikorita in their fun, but Chikorita is too much of a bitch. After a lot of slapstick, Chikorita finally joins in on the fun while trying to sabotage Meowth on the ice. And they all bonded over bullying, hooray.

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation 2000 - Winter Games
This is Chikorita laughing after nearly murdering Squirtle by dropping a huge icicle in front of his face….

Yup, that’s the short in nutshell, which is literally all that happens. I can’t even bring myself to do a breakdown of the story because I feel like it’d be repetitive.

It’s a weak story, the slapstick’s not funny half the time because most of it is caused by Chikorita being a bitch, Squirtle was kinda funny, but nothing really laugh-out-loud funny, and the animation is noticeably slightly better here. That’s about it.

Recommended Audience: Not even conceived yet+

Final Notes: I realize that this review is incredibly short, so have a treat! While I was looking for information on this short, I saw that someone uploaded the intro to the VHS on Youtube. Nummy nostalgia!

Pokemon Extravaganza SHORTIES – Pikachu’s Winter Vacation 1: Kanga Games

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation 1 - Kanga Games

Rating: 8/10

Plot: After having some fun in the cabin the night before, the Pokemon look outside to see a blanket of fresh snow covering the countryside. When they decide to play outside, Pikachu and Togepi bump into a Kangaskhan who wants her baby to play with them.

Breakdown: This is a really great short. I mean, obviously it’s not plot heavy or anything, but it’s pretty funny and cute for what it is. This is one of those rare times where we actually get to see a baby Kangaskhan out of its mother’s pouch, and it is just incredibly adorable even if it does have a moment where it’s just another ‘Togepi’ to take care of.

We get a couple of really funny moments, one of which involving Squirtle and Bulbasaur sledding that was just hilarious.

We do have one conflict to deal with in this short, but it’s just a rescue type deal.

Pokemon Shorties Winter Vacation 1 - Kanga Games2

I will say that Meowth’s incredibly small part was pretty pointless, like it almost always is. It was a tiny bit funny, but I could’ve done without it. I also liked the very ending where Ash and co. return and all the Pokemon cuddle up with them and hide in their jackets like the baby Kangaskhan. That was cute.

We have an ending theme specifically for this episode, and it’s….alright. I don’t see what the lyrics have to do with Christmas or winter, but it’s there and it’s fine.

Other than that, I have one final note – Remember how I mentioned in my episode reviews that Kangaskhan’s dub voice is kinda awful? It’s especially noticeable here. Kangaskhan’s adult form sounds really rough and the baby is fairly annoying. Considering the entire short is centered around baby Kangaskhan, this is a bit of an issue. Not a large one, but an issue nonetheless.

Recommended Audience
: E for everyone!

Pokemon Extravaganza SHORTIES – Pikachu’s Winter Vacation 1: Christmas Night

Rating: 8/10

Plot: Pikachu, Togepi, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Vulpix are left in charge of protecting the cabin while Ash, Misty and Brock go off to get a Christmas cake. The Pokemon nearly destroy the cool Christmas decorations, but they band together to fix what they can before Ash and the others return.

Breakdown: It’s well beyond Christmas, but winter is sticking around for a while, so I thought I’d take a break out to review all four of the Pikachu’s Winter Vacation shorties this winter. Gather around the fireplace and let’s hear the story of the first Pokemon Christmas special, Christmas Night.

Ash and the others, never showing their faces as per short ‘rules,’ have rented a cabin for Christmas, because they have that kind of money somehow and God forbid they go home for Christmas. Misty and Brock berate Ash for neglecting to get a cake so they leave Pikachu in charge of the place while they all leave to go get one.

I don’t know why their Pokemon aren’t going with them as they seem to take their Pokemon everywhere, nor do I know why all three of them are needed to go get a cake, but, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again until I’m proven otherwise, the shorts just seem to make the group into the parents from Rugrats in these shorts.

I will step back here a bit and say, while this is a very large and kinda nicely designed cabin, they add in little details like cracks and peeling paint to indicate that it’s not the best quality cabin so we won’t be flabbergasted at their sudden influx of money……..at least until Pikachu and Pichu where they seem to get rich for a day with that really beautiful hotel room and party.

They leave, and the smaller Pokemon wander the house and stumble upon the room that Ash and the others have decorated for Christmas. They’re in awe of everything because they have never celebrated Christmas before, and they mess around with some stuff.

Vulpix in a party hat. Best short ever.

Eventually, the Poke-group starts causing a ruckus. Squirtle accidentally eats Bulbasaur’s Pokemon-themed cookie, and in spite of having a full plate of them in front of him, he still chases Squirtle all over the house. Vulpix gets stuck in a stocking. Yes, you may have gifs.

And Psyduck shakes up a bottle of what I think is meant to be champagne, but considering their age I’ll just assume it’s sparkling cider.

All of the Pokemon nearly knock over the tree with Pikachu saving it in the nick of time. Here’s Vulpix wearing a party hat while in a Christmas tree.

So cute! ♥♥♥♥♥

Okay, I’ll try to stop, I promise.

Sadly, thanks to Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Psyduck and not Vulpix because Vulpix is awesome, the tree has its lights ripped off and topples over on Pikachu.

Squirtle and Bulbasaur laugh at him because they’re jerks, Vulpix doesn’t because it’s awesome, and Pikachu gets so pissed that he unleashes his electricity throughout the room. However, he does not hit Squirtle and Bulbasaur and instead knocks the power out. Good job.

In the darkness, Pikachu stumbles upon a Christmas music box, and the group stares in awe at the pretty little light up tree and the cute song that it plays as the sun sets. The song ends, the lights go out, and Pikachu and the others decide to band together to fix what they have messed up.

Later, Ash and the others return to the dark cabin and enter the room with all the Christmas stuff in it to find the tree looking great and even lit up by the power of Pikachu’s cheeks.

The group starts the party and we zoom out of the cabin to look up into the sky at the giant moon and see, of course, Santa with a Rapidash or Ponyta pulling the sleigh. Because Stantler haven’t been introduced yet.

The End.

Art: The art and animation seems a tiny bit better than it normally is early in Kanto, but it’s not that noticeable. It’s definitely not movie quality, which I didn’t expect anyway. I actually like some of the finer details like the cookies and the decorations.

Music: Just okay – average TV show fare. It’s biggest issue for me is that none of the songs are really that Christmas-y except the music box song, and that was over very quickly.

Bottomline: It’s a nice little Christmas short that really goes to show that it’s a bad idea to leave animals with elemental powers alone in a rented cabin with no supervision. I guess I can just be thankful Ash wasn’t stupid enough to let Charizard out for this.

Sadly, many of the Pokemon are missing, which kinda makes it a tiny bit sad as a Christmas special. Christmas is about being with those that you care about yet only Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Togepi, Vulpix and, of course, Pikachu get let out here. They could at least show the other Pokemon outside or something, but I guess they’re confined to their Pokeballs for Christmas.

I still would like a Christmas special that isn’t based fully on the Pokemon and actually has the kids going back to their families for the holidays. I think they could make for a really sweet special.

As it stands, though, it’s not a terribly memorable or creative short, but it’s nice and a sweet little watch for a Pokemon fan on Christmas time.

Recommended Audience: C for Christmas! And cookies! That’s good enough for me.

SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 40: Two Becoming Friends? Pudding in Imminent Danger!

SSBS - TMM EP40

Plot: Taruto and Pai secretly care for Kisshu. While his wound has healed up, he is still very weak and in a lot of pain.

Meanwhile, Aoyama meets with Ichigo and shares the fact that he’s having weird recurring dreams where a voice is continuously telling him to wake up. Ichigo manages to cheer him up by sharing some of her strange, goofy dreams to him.

On her day off, Pudding decides to go see one of the biggest displays of live-performers in Japan, the New Year’s Street Performance Live Show. However, she’s not really there to enjoy the show – she’s hoping to steal the stage, perform her own act and be adored by audiences and adorned with a shower of money. Suddenly, strange tremors and indents in the stadium prompt her to go into the basement and transform to investigate.

She finds a large hole that leads to a massive underground cavern. Taruto arrives, surprised one of the girls has found them out already, and explains that this is a test. They plan on making a giant hole in order to cause the stadium above to collapse into the ground. If it works, they plan on making all of Tokyo sink into a similar hole.

Taruto attacks Pudding with an insectoid Chimera Animal. While she’s able to stop one with her Pudding Ring Inferno, Taruto merely calls another one. Before she’s able to stop that one with a Pudding Ring Inferno, Taruto uses his plant manipulation skills to wrap her up in roots. Just as the Chimera Animal is about to attack, a cave-in occurs. It stops the Chimera Animal, but it also buries Taruto and Pudding.

While Shirogane alerts the other girls to the Chimera Animal attack, Taruto unburies Pudding and reveals to her that she’s trapped. He can technically leave whenever he wants via teleportation, but she’s stuck. Pudding puts on a happy face and thanks him for saving her, even giving him a candy as a gift.

As the girls arrive at the stadium and combat the crazed Chimera Animal above ground, Taruto tries his best to scare Pudding by telling her she’ll either stay in this cave forever or be crushed by rubble when the Chimera Animal causes enough fissures.

Despite his efforts, Pudding is unfazed and continues to smile and laugh.

While the Mews struggle a bit with the Chimera Animal, they come out victorious. But their victory is short-lived when they’re made aware of the giant cavern underneath the dome, threatening to cause a major collapse in the stadium.

Shirogane and Akasaka decide to evacuate the people inside the dome. Since thousands of people moving within the dome at once may cause the stadium to collapse, they instruct the girls to support the building until everyone’s out.

Back with Taruto and Pudding, Taruto tries to egg Pudding on some more only to come to the realization that she’s becoming weak due to lack of oxygen. He manages to snap her out of it and demands her to tell him that she’s scared, but she claims she’s not because she has her friend, Taru-Taru beside her.

Taruto denies the implication that they’re friends, but as the dome starts to cave in around them, he finds himself struggling with the idea of leaving her there to die. He ultimately decides to save Pudding and the stadium by using his plant manipulation to create massive roots that eventually grow into trees around the dome, supporting it and preventing it from collapsing.

Taruto teleports them outside, and Pudding gleefully thanks him for saving her life and the dome. He says it was just because he wants to see her cry before she dies, but flies away smiling at the candy she gave him.

Breakdown:

– Oooh nice badass scar, Kisshu.

SSBS - TMM EP40 2

– Awww, Taruto bringing fruit to Kisshu as a sign of affection, and it was Pai’s idea. Awww.

– I feel like it’s been years since we’ve seen Pudding’s uninterrupted lone transformation sequence.

– Taruto and Pudding have some hilarious banter.

– My heart burst into rainbows when Pudding said it’s be nice if they turned into fossils that were smiling and holding hands together.

– Oh my god! The girls actually saved Ichigo in the nick of time for a change. I thought for sure that’d be a Blue Knight moment.

– How are the people in the dome not evacuated already? Did no one tell them of the giant monster outside? Did they not feel the several severe tremors shaking the entire stadium for the past 20 minutes?

– That cavern’s pretty big and since Taruto isn’t weakening, I guess he doesn’t breathe and thus isn’t taking up any of the oxygen. Pudding is a small girl and not much time has gone by, so I doubt she’d be struggling to breathe already.

– Wow, they are so hella lazy to reuse the same exact ‘barrier’ animation for the girls AGAIN. This is like the fourth time.

– N’awwwwwwwwwwwwww, she calls him Taru-Taru! N’awwwwwwwwww!!

– As great as it is that Taruto saved Pudding (N’awwwwwwwwwww!!) he didn’t really have to save the stadium to do it. When he teleports, it’s sometimes through a portal instead of just teleporting himself. Also, they can and do teleport other beings and objects with them sometimes. Surely, he could’ve just teleported Pudding out of the cavern.

– Oh wait, and then he just teleports her anyway!….I don’t get it. Taruto just barely had a change of heart about Pudding alone, why did he decide to save the dome too besides plot convenience?

————————————

All in all, while this episode may be mostly filler that also doubles as a budget episode, I can’t deny that I love it. It’s fairly quick development, but it greatly humanizes (if that word’s fitting for an alien) Taruto, and Pudding is just an absolute adorable delight. Her scenes and banter with Taruto are always priceless and they’re so cute together.

In addition, the plan this week was both simple and effective. Dig a hole, destroy a city. You can’t get much simpler than that. It almost did work, too. If Taruto didn’t turn heel and save the dome, the stadium would’ve collapsed and they would’ve gone through with the plan to collapse Tokyo, and that may have actually worked as well.

Rating: 9.5/10

Next episode, remember Lettuce has a crush on Shirogane? Yeah, the show barely does either. But it’s an underwater episode and Lettuce turns into a mermaid again, so yay!

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