Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru (Manga) Volume 6 Review

Plot: Blackmail, pregnancy, unknown parental origins, and Yori having a human moment?!

Breakdown: The first chapter leads us to believe Yori will have emotionless sex with Tomoka as long as she keeps his relationship with Iku a secret. He’s being pretty damn aggressive about it, even throwing her onto the bed. But not but four pages later, before they even get undressed, it’s revealed that he was formatting her computer the whole time, meaning the pictures are gone and she has no pull now.

That’s either the fastest computer format ever or they were having the slowest non-sexual foreplay ever. Either way, Tomoka’s a dumbass for leaving her computer alone with Yori (at least password protect it, for god’s sake) If you’re using anything for blackmail, you can never have too many copies and backups. Worst antagonist ever.

Yano teases Iku some more at her house, Yori comes home and, despite the fact that their parents are still home and Yano is there, Yori suggests doing naughty things and the chapter ends.

Riveting.

The next chapter has Yori getting slightly rapey again as he and Iku start doing the naughty things mentioned before because he states to himself that she needs to tell him what she wants, otherwise he won’t be able to stop himself. Neat.

Yano sits and watches them, but who cares? He already knew about the two of them and we already know he’s a creep. Either way, Yori gets possessive and tells Yano to forget what he saw. He thinks to himself that he’s the only one allowed to see Iku’s cute face like that. If he doesn’t forget it, he’ll never forgive him. At least Yori is seeming a little less aggressive lately, even if he was being damn near assault-y with Tomoka earlier.

Yano leaves, they eat dinner and Yori passes out because he was caught in the rain earlier. I hate that trope. Getting a little cold and wet for a bit does not give you insta-flu.

We learn that their mom is actually legitimately concerned that Iku and Yori have a thing for each other. I thought she was joking before, but nope. They even clearly state that she’s noticed that Yori is in love with Iku. It’s interesting that it doesn’t say that they’ve fallen for each other. It’s clearly just saying that Yori loves Iku.

She even hears what sounds like Yori about to force himself on Iku, which turns out to not be true, but I really wouldn’t be surprised because these two dumbasses are about as stealthy as a moose made of pans.

The next chapter is mostly pointless. It’s a day in the school life of Yano and Iku. Yano gets turned on by Iku in her pajamas, Yano states that he likes Iku even though she sleeps late, makes other people do her homework for her because she’s too dumb, has no common sense and sleeps in class. Okay, he doesn’t directly say that, but basically. We learn that she and Yori never did anything while he was home because his fever was so bad the whole time that he couldn’t get hard. Lovely.

The only important information in this chapter is given at the end, where…I’ve kinda cheated. Way back when I watched and reviewed the OVA, I read some information on the manga and learned that Yori and Iku are only half-siblings through heteropaternal superfecundation. When a woman has sex with two different men in the time frame of, at most, one week, she can get simultaneously pregnant from both men.

Don’t think that I’m spoiling you early because this chapter is not that subtle about it. In this chapter, we learn of a man named Mori Yuugo, an old friend of theirs that they haven’t seen in 17 years. Iku and Yori’s mother flips out when she hears their father has met back up with him and is especially outraged to hear that Mori has a daughter about Yori’s age, and that they promised to have them get married when they were old enough.

It was probably said in jest, even if he explains how much sense it makes, but Iku and Yori’s mother has an extreme outburst, demanding to know why he believes Yori and the daughter are similar and how similar they are in what ways. She then says it’s ridiculous to even suggest that they should live up to this stupid promise they made years ago and tells him to never see him again.

Yano puts two and two together and calls Yori, telling him that he and Iku might not be twins. Though, at this point, shouldn’t the suspicion be that Yori and Iku aren’t their father’s children? That’s a lot easier to believe than the incredibly rare heteropaternal superfecundation.

Next chapter, Yori doesn’t know what to make of what Yano has told him, but believes it to be too good to be true. He sleeps in class and slacks off, basically in a deep legit depression that Iku’s not around. He states that he only tried so hard in school because Iku once told him that she liked brainy guys. Now that he’s not with Iku anymore, he feels he doesn’t need to put in such effort. Not that that matters anyway because super shoujo manga love interest main character powers activate! He still gets first in the class in exams.

Iku later tells him that Yano’s being nice and helping her with her homework, which Yori couldn’t do the last time he was home because he was sick. He feels bad about it, and Iku feels the need to ‘punish’ him since he wasn’t able to help her. His punishment? You’ll never guess.

It’s sex.

Damn, girl. You harsh.

I will say this is a bit of….nice….development? Because she’s actually the one suggesting it this time. I’m feeling less squicky. Who knew that Yori being away from Iku for a bulk of the manga would make it more tolerable?

Meanwhile, Tomoka, not done with Yori yet, calls up Iku and drops the bomb. She’s pregnant!

Dun dun d—no. No. That’s impossible. Yori hasn’t slept with Tomoka since they were ‘dating’. Why should I care about this? Fake pregnancy tricks always seem so stupid because the person never seems to realize that, come nine months from now, they’ll notice there’s no kid. You could fake a miscarriage, but then you’re back where you started. The only reason I can ever see anyone doing this is they are evil enough to want to screw up someone’s life that badly, even temporarily, just to soak up their suffering.

The only other way this could work is if Tomoka purposely got herself pregnant by someone else and is accusing Yori of being the father, which is insane, but Tomoka’s gone far down Insane Lane by now. However, DNA test…..that’s all I have to say in that regard.

Even if I sit here going ‘Oh mon Dieu. How will Iku react?!’ I know that everything would revert back to normal once the truth was given, especially since dumbass Iku takes everything Yori says as gospel.

I wouldn’t care anyway because this manga still gives me no reason to root for them as a couple….or people…..or living creatures.

Next chapter is…..good?

Dun dun du—well, actually, every part not including Iku is good…surprise!

Yori is sent on a punishment game, which is tradition for anyone who gets first place marks on exams. His task is to go into the girls’ dorm and retrieve a specified item. The item is a tie from the girls’ dorm residential adviser, Mayu. Remember her? She’s still here.

The boys also make him dress up like a doctor and tell him to play doctor with the girls, which he doesn’t do, thank god. You’d think this would involve being secretive, but for Yori, it’s not. The girls actually line the halls, taking pictures of him with their cameraphones, telling him that they’ll let him go if he tells them what girls he likes. He says he likes girls who are kinda dumb, and they all collapse in despair because they’re smart. They actually collapsed because they realized they dodged a huge bullet.

When Yori arrives at Mayu, she agrees to just give him the tie and shares a story about Takuma’s experience doing the punishment game. Remember Takuma? The boys’ dorm residential adviser? He’s still here.

When he did it, the girls did try to hunt him down, and his task was to retrieve a garment from the girl he likes while wearing a girl’s sailor uniform. He was planning on taking Mayu’s underwear, and ran into her room. He had a mild attack and dropped an exposition bomb that he has until he’s 20 to live, so he can’t pursue romantic relationships.

She uses a stethoscope to listen to his heart, which is beating wildly. He explains that it’s not the running or the illness doing that – it’s her being so close to him.

The flashback ends and it’s shown that Yori has the stethoscope that she used that day, and he’s returned it to her. Mayu suggests that this might mean that he doesn’t feel the same way about her anymore, but in a shocking turn of humanity, Yori smiles and tells her that it’s just the opposite. He wants her to hear what she heard that day again.

He returns to the boys’ dorm, gives up the tie and teases Takuma by giving him a pair of panties, claiming he played doctor with Mayu.

Alright, let me stop right there. This right here. This. This one little splash of a moment for Yori…..is positive character development. He’s socializing – positively. He’s smiling. He’s playfully teasing someone. He’s laughing….in a non-creepy way. He’s cheering someone else up. He’s listening intently to someone else’s stories. It may have been just a flash in the pan, but this little moment is proof that Yori can be a better person.

This is also proof that his relationship with Iku is toxic.

I mentioned earlier that Yori seems like he’s more tolerable when Iku’s not around. He mopes, yeah, but he’s slowly breaking out of his shell and becoming a better person. In the ten some odd years of being in love with Iku, he became a horrible, malicious person who never showed any sort of emotion towards anyone but Iku, and the emotions were always extremely aggressive and creepy.

Being away from Iku just for a few months, even taking into consideration phone calls and visits, has made him significantly more tolerable. He still has his creeper asshole moments, but, shocker, these are almost now entirely relegated to anything involving Iku. And, honestly, even those moments aren’t on the same level anymore as the moments they had when he was still living with her.

 

I can say the same thing about Iku. Using Yori as a crutch, Iku has become an incredibly needy, dependent idiot who is not good at anything…at all and doesn’t even seem like she tries much at all at anything she does. She flops around on the ground like a fish, gasping for air, until Yori or Yano put her in her tank and shake fish flakes over the surface of the water. Then she hides in her ceramic castle until Yori comes to boink her.

Despite getting a little closer with Yano now, Iku is not experiencing the same character development that Yori is having because she’s too preoccupied with him. Rarely a page goes by with focus on her that she’s not thinking or talking about Yori.

Yano is not helping. He’s basically a stand-in for Yori as a crutch. He finds her stupidity and neediness to be adorable and is more than willing to lug around her tank and a backpack full of fish flakes, chasing her flopping stupid body all around town just hoping that he can flop around with her.

This is not a matter of taboo. It never has been. It’s been a matter of two people being in a very unhealthy relationship and not realizing it.

Besides that, this story with Mayu and Takuma is very nice, and every time these two are brought up I wish I was reading a manga about them and not these creepy morons.

But that’s not all this chapter. Iku actually manages to have a brain and states that Yori hasn’t slept with Tomoka since they dated a long time ago so she has to be lying. Good girl, Iku. Way to think! I’ll tell Yano to put extra fish flakes in your tank.

Tomoka admits that she was lying. Oh, good. I’ll just take these couple of paragraphs from the previous page and just flush them down the toilet. However, she states that her outburst is proof of jealously, which means they must be in an incestuous relationship and she threatens to tell everyone about it…..Uh…what? Iku didn’t indicate jealousy. She freaked out at pregnancy news involving her brother and stated the obvious fact that it was impossible.

Even if this did indicate jealousy, how is that proof that they’re currently in a romantic relationship? At most, it just proves she has romantic feelings for him, and even that could be a stretch.

Hey writer! Why not just have Tomoka say ‘I know you and Yori are screwing’? That’s basically what she’s driving at anyway. This pregnancy scare had no purpose but to make an end-of-chapter cliffhanger, which is dumb, because her telling Iku that she knows about the relationship is a very suitable cliffhanger. Or did you just want to drum up fake drama?

Last chapter!

Yano now has a puppy he names Inu-Iku…..*sigh* Iku is freaking out about what Tomoka said, but Yano easily quells her fears by stating she’s stupid to believe her since she has no evidence and most parents would find such a claim to be ridiculous. Even with her mother’s suspicions, he knows he can keep convincing her that he’s dating Iku and not Yori. She cheers up, falls asleep on a bench, Yano says she looks like an idiot, he hears her say Yori’s name in her sleep and kisses her, wishing to be the one to replace Yori since all he will do to her is make her cry.

Soooooooooo, nothing happens then suddenly a wild sexual assault appears. Ah, I’m getting early volume flashbacks.

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And that’s volume six. Outside of one good moment for Yori and quickly wrapping up several hanging plot threads ridiculously quickly (“I’m blackmailing you with photos! Make love to me!” “Formatted computer. Bye, bitch!” – “You might not be twins!” “Eh, forget about that by mid next-chapter” – “I’m pregnant!” “No you’re not!” “You’re right! Lol” – “I still know you’re porking your womb roommate.” “Oh god!” “She has no proof.” “Thank god!”) this was a pretty uneventful chapter. Maybe I just feel that way because I know of the outcome of the sibling relationship thing, but still eh.

This volume really just made me want to keep rooting for Iku and Yori…to find other people. If Iku really needs a crutch, fine, go with Yano. He’s a creepy sexually assaulting weirdo, but at least he’s not as bad as Yori can get with her. Yori definitely shouldn’t be with Tomoka, but anyone else but Iku. I keep finding more and more proof that their relationship is terrible and that they’re better people when the other isn’t in the picture (well, Yori is anyway).

Next time on ‘Wow, You’re Still Reading This? Why?’ Dogs can talk, Tomoka’s a bitch and suddenly gang rape?!?! WHAT?!

…Previous Volume

Hell Girl: Two Mirrors – Episode 11: The Distant Room Next Door Review

Hell Girl Two Mirrors Episode 11 p1

Plot: As a young woman named Amagi settles in to her new apartment building, she notices a stray cat that frequents the property. It has a little bowl nearby, but it’s filled with rotten food and doesn’t seem to be eating. She takes it to the vet, who tells her the cat has mouth sores and kidney issues, which is the reason behind its disinterest in eating. Despite her building not accepting pets, she decides to adopt it because the vet tells her it will die if left out on the streets in its condition.

After she adopts the cat, she starts getting harassed by somebody. It starts with a barrage of phone calls, followed by a string of deliveries she didn’t order coming to her house and it just gets increasingly worse from there.

She discovers that the perpetrator is her mysterious neighbor, Kyouko Tachibana. When the harassment reaches a head, she contacts Hell Girl.

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You know how I despise animal abuse and go out of my way to avoid depictions of it in media? Well, the last next episode preview showed that this episode’s plot would center on a cat. All I remembered about this episode was a bag of meat being involved.

Considering the insane levels of animal abuse from the last animal-centric episode, I decided to cheat and read the full plot synopsis on the show’s Wiki before even starting the episode. My response?

Holy crap, this episode is dumb.

First and foremost, a cat does suffer in this episode, but it’s not really abused and it doesn’t die.

Secondly, this whole situation could’ve been avoided so easily it’s hilariously sad.

Amagi moves in to a new apartment building. She finds a stray cat outside that isn’t eating. It has a bowl with food in it, but the food is rotten. When she takes it to the vet, she discovers that it has mouth sores and very high kidney readings. Without a home, it will surely die.

Pets aren’t allowed in her apartment building, but she decides to adopt it anyway.

After she adopts the cat, naming it Murr, she starts getting harassed by mysterious blocked phone calls. When she picks up, no one is there, but they won’t let up even in the middle of the night.

She soon starts getting worse harassment such as getting various big deliveries sent to her apartment when she didn’t order them, leaving her to foot the bill unless she’s able to convince the delivery person (one of the Hell team) that she didn’t order it, and the first big clue as to who is doing this to her – a note that tells her to ‘dump the cat’ indicating that it’s likely someone who lives in her building.

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The harassment keeps building and building, even negatively affecting her work, but she’s unable to move because she doesn’t have the money at the moment.

Amagi decides to just wait it out until she can save enough for a down payment on a place. Until then, she hires a PI to at least find out who the perpetrator is. She discovers that it’s her mysterious neighbor, Kyouko Tachibana. She doesn’t understand why she’d be doing this as she’s never met her before. The only thing she can think of is that Kyouko hates cats and is doing her damnedest to get Murr out of the apartment building.

Nonetheless, she writes a letter to Kyouko telling her that she doesn’t intend on going to the police or making a fuss about this, only that she intends on moving with Murr as soon as she can and hopes to get the harassment to stop until she can do so.

She thinks the letter will do some good, but all it serves to do is make Kyouko angrier.

Amagi can’t take much more, so she decides to contact Hell Girl.

The next day, she comes home to see her door wide open and Murr missing. She looks everywhere for him until sundown when she goes back home to find a strange plastic bag on the porch. It’s filled with raw meat that she believes to be the chopped up remains of Murr.

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She immediately runs in the house and pulls the string. I’ll save the Hell Torture part for another section, but it’s revealed that Kyouko didn’t hate cats. She was actually caring for the cat, that she named Mii, and was upset when Amagi adopted the cat. Mii is perfectly fine, and the bag of meat was just a bag of regular store-bought meat meant to trick Amagi.

So, obviously, she did the most logical thing and spent all her days and nights working tirelessly to harass Amagi into getting rid of the cat.

…….Wait.

For those of you wondering why Kyouko didn’t take the actual, incredibly obvious route of just talking to Amagi about the situation, they bring that up in the episode. Kyouko responds ‘That never occurred to me.’

That…..never…..occurred…..to me…….

what head explosion

They explained to us earlier that Kyoko has no friends and no personal contacts, so she doesn’t seem like the most personable human being in the world, but she said she finally found a friend in Mii, which leads me to believe she does want friends, she just doesn’t seem to get them easily or doesn’t make the effort.

I’d cite extreme communication issues. I don’t see what else could deter people from her shining personality.

What’s even stupider is that she calls Amagi incessantly, Amagi has tried to speak with her face to face, Kyouko’s left notes in her door and Amagi wrote a letter to her, all of which are lines of communication, so don’t tell me she never thought about talking to her.

Speaking of the letter, that would be a perfect time to clear the air about the situation. Amagi clearly writes ‘I can tell you hate cats.’ which is the opposite of what she’s feeling. But what does Kyouko do? She starts banging on the walls of her apartment the instant she reads the letter, like a toddler having a tantrum.

This is so risky too. What if Amagi just decided to give the cat to a friend, or adopted it out to someone else, or, god forbid, if she was feeling harassed enough, she’d just have the cat put down? They said it’d never survive on its own anyway. Then what?

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I’m not even done, because there’s the aspect of the bag of meat prank. Kyoko clearly broke into Amagi’s apartment and took Mii then left the bag to trick Amagi into thinking she killed the cat and chopped him up.

If you noticed that, at this point, Kyouko had taken possession of the cat and thus had no reason to further harass Amagi, you’re one smart cookie! She easily could’ve just made off like the cat ran away, but no, she had to make it seem like she was a sociopathic cat killer for no reason.

They do their damnedest to make you feel bad for this sadistic witch at the end for some reason. The last shot of her in the boat is her crying that she lost her one and only friend, and….creepily enough, they show that Kyouko was obsessively taking pictures of Mii and posting them all over her walls….in stalker fashion. Not lying, the music and ambiance clearly indicate that this is supposed to be a sweet thing.

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It’s nice that she didn’t actually kill and chop up the cat, but if that’s your bare minimum for making it seem like someone’s a decent human being, you’re kinda insane.

It was just so easy to fix this situation. Maybe they could’ve taken ‘joint custody’ of the cat, especially since Kyouko works at night and Amagi works during the day. They could’ve split vet bills. They could’ve ensured that the cat always got the care it needed. They could’ve worked together to make sure the building manager never caught them. But nope.

I don’t even know why Kyouko didn’t adopt the cat in the first place. No, cats aren’t allowed in the building, but if she was this obsessed with the cat, she wouldn’t have given a crap. Like Ren said, the building manager is hardly ever around so they’re unlikely to catch her, and she lives a very private life so I doubt anyone would notice.

She also wasn’t taking good care of it to begin with if she left it with rotten food and didn’t realize it needed medical attention.

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Finally, let’s go over a few of the more minor things that made this episode even more confusing.

1) Why does the episode start with showing us that Amagi does pull the string? The narrative does not lend itself to showing this scene first. It’s not like it’s a mystery as to who she’s pulling the string on. In fact, she and Kyouko are the only characters with names in this episode.

The only thing this does is ruin the suspense as to IF she pulls the string. Most people do, but now we know she does, so why bother?

2) Why are the Hell Team so deeply ingrained into this episode? I don’t know if you can call it character development or what, but early in the first series they were almost entirely hands off when it came to clients. It became a little understandable when they started letting one or two of them appear in the client’s life after they officially became a client, but now it’s like they’re clairvoyant.

Much of the episode goes by without Amagi even considering contacting Hell Link. She’s writing a paper about the service, that’s about it. Yet they seem to know for sure that she will contact Hell Link soon.

At the very start, Ren is shown to be masquerading as her very close friend – so close that he apparently can show up in her apartment while she’s sleeping and she doesn’t find that alarming.

Kikuri shows up every day as a creepy little girl who constantly plays ball on their property. Way to contribute, Kikuri.

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The others basically take every single other role in this episode except Amagi’s boss, and his face is never shown so I can’t be entirely sure! They’re the delivery people, the vet, the PI, her coworker – it’s was downright laughable that it seemed like she practically lived in a world made of Hell Team members.

It’s especially strange considering the nature of the case is incredibly tame in comparison to their other clients. Are they just getting bored hanging out in the Realm of Eternal Twilight?

3) I don’t know much about the delivery practices of Japan, but why do all of them expect payment upon delivery here? I can understand the pizzas and the sushi as those are food items and they typically do require payment on delivery, but not stuff like a mattress, a giant vermicelli…thing, and a massive baseball….board game?

4) The Hell Torture this time around is weird, and not in a creepy way, just a confusing way. After Amagi finds the bag of meat, she runs into her apartment and angrily pulls the string. Without the scene shifting, Ren arrives and starts talking to her about the situation, asking how she feels. Hone Onna and Wanyuudou arrive with similar questions and it really seems like Amagi would be the one sent to hell with Kyouko having contacted Hell Girl behind the scenes.

I was confused, but I admit it would’ve been a good plot twist, albeit very tragic because I didn’t want to see Amagi be sent to hell and let Kyouko the sadistic psycho win.

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However, they put a mirror up to her face and show her that she’s really Kyouko….This isn’t some clever plot twist at all – like all this time we thought we were following Amagi when the bad guy was really Amagi and the good guy was Kyouko – they just tricked Kyouko into thinking she was Amagi for twenty seconds….I guess…to….make her feel like Amagi felt? But she didn’t feel bad for what she did afterwards, so it seems rather hollow.

Also, part of the actual Hell torture was drowning her in the meat blood, which loses emotional impact considering the meat wasn’t cat meat.

Overall, this is a dumb episode through and through. It’s poorly written and structured. It had a workable concept, but tried too hard to be clever with it, causing it to fall flat. I did feel for Amagi, for their attempt at making me feel for Kyouko was pathetic. The fact that all of it could’ve been resolved with a mere conversation and the only excuse as to why she didn’t attempt to do so is ‘That never occurred to me.’ is insultingly stupid. The additional fact that she didn’t stop when she took the cat is icing on the dumbass cake.

What’s slightly frustrating is that, even though the premise seems sound, I can’t give a good suggestion as to how to actually make it work. Even if Kyouko was just an angry neighbor who didn’t like cats, it still could’ve been resolved by talking about it. She’d have to be an incredibly unreasonable person who would refuse her to allow her to keep the cat, even just for a few months until she gathers funds for a new place, to have this work.

Even then it’s still kinda silly because the cat was constantly hanging around their apartment building. What’s worse – having a disgusting, filthy and sick cat hanging around your building so you have to see it every day or having someone in your building care for it, keep it clean and keep it confined in an area of the building that you never traverse?

Kyouko goes to hell because she’s an idiot, Amagi goes to hell because Kyouko’s an idiot and I’m left with a feeling of dissatisfaction and frustration.

Rating: 2/10 – And really the only reason this gets two is because the cat didn’t actually get hurt and I did feel for Amagi.

Pokemon Extravaganza: Movie 07 (Dub) Destiny Deoxys Review

Rating: 3/10

Plot: A mysterious meteor lands on earth near the north pole containing the alien Pokemon, Deoxys. It tries to take a strange stone from deep within the snow, but Rayquaza, angry at the intrusion on its territory, violently attacks Deoxys. The legendary dragon seemingly kills Deoxys before returning to the skies.

Four years later, Deoxys regenerates its body and continues to search for the stone, but Rayquaza wants to take him down once more.

Meanwhile, Ash and the others meet a boy named Tory who suffers from a paralyzing fear of Pokemon after a traumatic experience with them as a small child. They try to help him get over this fear by getting him accustomed to Pokemon, but they find that helping Tory is a lot more difficult than they first thought.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the last Pokemon movie I watched full out in the past before doing these reviews.

I caught Destiny Deoxys on Kids WB around the time of its release in the US, and I remember being completely unimpressed by it. I don’t like Deoxys at all. It has a weird design, especially in defense form, I don’t care for its color scheme and I find its backstory to be rather silly, even if this is the first time in a long time where we’ve revisited the concept of Pokemon aliens.

There is one aspect of this movie that I watched all the time and that was really for the song, which I’ll address later.

Before I go onto the review, that movie poster has two different versions. The one you see above which is basically a mirror image of the Japanese poster barring the text (I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened) and this version.

I honestly don’t know why this was altered like this. It’s still the same poster but the alternate forms have been removed, Rayquaza has been moved up, Max, May and Brock have all been removed, Plusle and Minun have been moved and Munchlax was added. I much prefer the original version, and I honestly don’t understand the changes to the second.

I can, however, excuse it a bit because the speed form never appears in this movie – only the normal and defense forms do.

With that out of the way, let’s start the show!

Be warned, this movie is quite a bit longer than the other Pokemon movies because it didn’t need to take 20-30 minutes off to include the short, meaning the review will also be a little lengthier.

You can find the Bulbagarden comparison here.

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We start with not-the-World-of-Pokemon opener. This time, we’re exploring the World of Pokeball. We as an audience even get sucked up into a Pokeball to finally see what it’s truly like in there. Apparently it’s a green world filled with green blocks of jello and hallucinations of various Pokemon. Hah, take that countless Pokemon message board posts!

We segue into the World of Pokemon as we cut to tons of Pokemon running across the screen. The last time I saw so many Pokemon running in one direction, the world was ending, so, uh, you’re making me kinda nervous already, movie.

What’s up with the weird CGI Rhyhorn during this sequence? So awkward.

After that we keep going back and forth between CGI and traditionally animated Pokemon. At least most of the CGI ones go by so quickly that I can’t tell how bad they likely are, but the Arbok at the end is a little off-putting.

As the opener continues with explaining the dynamic between humans and Pokemon, we cut to Ash and the others. Then they straight up steal the shot of the equally icky CGI Suicune from Movie 04. Nothing like lazy shortcuts, huh animators?

But they “justify” it by having a full Movie 04, Ash and Misty in their race from Movie 05 and Ash flying on Flygon in Movie 06.

Ya know, I praised the last movie and even the last short with their homages to the previous movies. Showing the legendaries from all of the movies in fantastic and NEW shots was great. Even seeing brief shots of the locations from the previous shorts was a nice addition to the final legit short.

This is just laziness. They didn’t even pick particularly good scenes from those movies, nor did most of these clips show the legendaries of the movies.

Continuing on with the opening, there are a lot of Pokemon on earth but there might be more on other worlds. Cut to a weird meteor in space.

We get our title sequence, and despite it being really nicely done in regards to color choice and animation, the actual graphics look flat and uninspired. The final shot itself is just a silhouette of Deoxys. Also, why are the gong sounds from my grandma’s doorbell playing at the end while lights flash in sync to it?

Onto our credits sequence, which sadly still has no Pokemon opening song again, where we cut to the north pole. A bunch of researchers are there doing researchy things when our movie main character, Tory’s, father and his assistant, Yuko, spot Tory with binoculars as he plays in the snow and befriends a Spheal.

The same meteor starts heading for earth, right where these researchers and Tory are, to be precise. A Rayquaza is watching the meteor fall from high up in the sky. I always loved Rayquaza but apparently I’m a rarity? I’ve been in at least two forum threads asking for favorite Dragon Pokemon and Rayquaza was treated like a leper in both threads for no given reason.

The meteor lands closeby, causing Tory to fall and the nearby Walrein to stampede around him. He’s so frightened that he ends up passing out. Tory’s father saves him, and out from the meteor emerges Deoxys. It uncovers a big colorful rock in the snow, infuses it with power and causes a light to shoot up into the sky.

Rayquaza arrives and starts attacking Deoxys for some reason. The battle rages on and Rayquaza actually manages to blow Deoxys’ arm clean off. Uhh….by the way, parents, Pokemon the First Movie: We’re Totally Against Violence We Promise, is on sale for everyone who skips this shot. Hehe…he….Broooother, my broooooother!

But don’t worry, Deoxys is obviously from Namek and can regenerate his arm just fine. Deoxys starts fighting back, and Tory’s father and Yuko take Tory and run off.

After getting a really good throat strike on Rayquaza, Rayquaza and Deoxys start to destroy the researchers’ equipment while trying to attack each other. Deoxys manages to get the upperhand, and just as its about to finish Rayquaza off, we get a shot of Rayquaza through Deoxys’ eyes which seem to constantly have a ripple Photoshop effect on them. Deoxys stops his attack, giving Rayquaza the opportunity to strike back again, but Deoxys defends itself with its defense form.

The battle rages on….and on….and on….I don’t much mind long battle sequences, I can sit through any arc of DBZ just fine, but this battle is going on for a bit too long with me not knowing what’s going on nor who to side with or care about. Am I against Rayquaza for attacking a seemingly innocent Deoxys? Is it actually trying to protect something? It’s obviously not protecting the researchers considering it’s helping destroy the place. Does Deoxys mean harm? What was the rock? What did it do when it glowed? Does Rayquaza want the rock? Just keep pummeling each other and explain later. I have time.

Long battle short, Deoxys earns a hearty Hyper Beam right to the face and ends up being disintegrated, leaving only an oval-shaped stone much like the one Deoxys found at the start behind, sinking into the depths of the ocean as Rayquaza returns to the ozone layer.

Oh wait, is it dead? Did Rayquaza just murder Deoxys? Geez, this movie is much shorter than I remember it.

The researchers take their only non-destroyed mode of transportation, a helicopter, out of the site while carrying the rock that Deoxys picked up earlier. Tory’s dad says that the reason Rayquaza was so mad was because Deoxys entered into his territory. Thanks, I could’ve used that information sometime at the start of the battle, but better late than never.

Cut to four years late – oh now you’re not afraid to use time cards, huh, 4Kids? Couldn’t use them in the movie about time travel, but you’ll use them here? Anyway, the researchers are now experimenting on the rock. They zap it with a laser in hopes of regenerating what I presume will be a different Deoxys, but they overload the system before the regeneration can be performed.

Older Tory talks to someone offscreen, and as the researchers leave for the day, Yuko sees the stone glowing. Meanwhile, back in the old research site location, the ice begins to crack and break apart as a water spout shoots into the sky to reveal a newly revived Deoxys who spouts a bunch of pink light from his chest. Deoxys, you fool! Don’t you know that too much pink energy is dangerous!?

We cut to Ash, May, Max and Brock riding a magnet train and enjoying the sites of Larousse City, known for its high-tech gadgetry. However, Ash is more interested in its famous Battle Tower.

Team Rocket also shows up to the city in—holy crap, that’s the Magikarp sub! Wow, they haven’t used that in ages. Anyway, they arrive by water since the city is so close to the water and I guess they’re too cheap to take the train. Aw the sub sunk! Does that mean it’s the legit end of that now?

We see our first example of the super high-tech city when a nearby child and his Poochyena throw a bottle into a high-tech trash can where apparently it needs to scan the item and open its lid for you before you can throw the trash away. Yes, let’s promote recycling and cleaning up your garbage by over-complicating a trash can and making a half-second task take five seconds.

Now, you’d think the scanner would at least make the process more efficient. It probably only allows certain types of items or scans them to understand where to send them in regards to recycling, and it probably keeps animals and stuff out of it.

Nope, it’s just there to detect when something, anything, is there to throw away.

This is shown when a nearby pair of Plusle and Minun decide to play with it. The instant it scans Minun it opens to let it in, which, when you think about it, is even worse than an animal getting into a regular garbage can. At least in that situation the animal has a good chance of getting out on its own. This trash can closes up tight once the item is inside, meaning the animal would probably die in there. Thanks, technology!

Plusle and Minun screw around with the garbage can some more by having Plusle activate the lid while Minun is on top, launching him up in the air. They knock it over, garbage goes everywhere, they laugh and walk away. Littering is not funny, you little delinquents!

A nearby Munchlax sees this and kindly puts the trash can back up. He tries to kick one of the bottles into the trash can in a pretty funny scene, but fails and sadly walks away. Aw, I wanted him to get it in.

Back with Ash and the others, we see another aspect of the movie that stood out to me and it’s these weird floating block robots. Now, stopping myself for a minute, I like the idea of this city, but it does weird me out that it’s such a different environment for this show. Despite several displays of incredibly advanced technology, we’ve never really had them in such a high-tech environment before. Closest they get are the really big cities and even that’s not terribly more high-tech than your average city in the real world.

Even having this take place in a city is a new thing for the movies since most of them have either taken place in a forest, a small town, or some desolate location.

I can’t really bring myself to say it’s all that great because, despite liking them in an environment that isn’t a forest, forest, forest or, on the rare occasion, a forest, it doesn’t really wow me at all. The only major note of this city, really, outside of the magnet train are these little colorful block robots that, for some reason, remind me of Cubix: Robots for Everyone and I didn’t even watch that show.

But just because these robots are pretty unique in the show, that really doesn’t mean they’re terribly interesting or fun. In fact, they’re downright annoying with their super-high-pitched voices.

The group stumbles upon one of these robots and it suddenly takes everyone’s individual pictures, strangely enough with a camera that looks like it was taken from the 1930’s, and logs their origin data somehow. It spits out passports for everyone that are needed to give people access to pretty much everything in the city. So, yeah, not only does it randomly take your picture, but it transmits the picture back to some headquarters place, your personal data is somehow recorded by these people and they give you a passport which monitors where you go and what you do. Where’s the fuhrer of this city?

Ash makes an idiot out of himself by accidentally getting on a moving sidewalk and trying to run against it. Some locals laugh at him for this, and one of them sends out his Blaziken to help Ash get on the proper sidewalk. He pisses Ash off by saying he was making a fool of himself and directs him to the battle tower.

Despite laughing at him and calling him a fool, Ash decides to be friendly to the guy, named Rafe, and asks to battle. He accepts and says he’ll see him at the battle tower. With Rafe are his two little annoying twin sisters who basically do all the typical annoying twin things like speaking in unison, constantly agreeing with each other and repeating things others say, again, in unison. Doesn’t help that their voices are terribly high-pitched that it hurts.

God, who does their voices anyway?…..Rebecca Honig? Hm, I don’t recognize her other Pokemon roles. Let’s see what else she’s got….Cream the Rabbit from Sonic X?! I knew that level of annoyance was familiar. Careful, or you’ll be battling Lisa Ortiz for top spot.

There’s also some guy named Sid, another trainer on his way to the battle tower who quickly falls for May, and Rebecca, yet another battle tower trainer who uses her laptop all the time and also uses it to help in her battles.

They arrive at the battle tower and Ash goes off to register while May, Max and Brock go off to the stands to spectate. We get some more shots of all the gadgets in the city which, again, are not really that impressive. One of those cube robots makes a screen to create a map of the tower for guests while another doles out ice cream, which is apparently free just as long as you show your passport. Free healthcare AND free ice cream!? The Pokemon world is awesome.

Ash gets lost because that’s what Ash does. Why didn’t he follow Rafe, Sid and Rebecca? They were all going to the same place yet they seem to disappear when they get to the tower.

There’s also a library at the battle tower for…some reason, and Ash sees Tory walking out of it. He tries to stop Tory to ask for help, but Tory freaks out at the sight of Pikachu and runs away. Tory tries to escape in an elevator, but Ash manages to jump in just in time. He explains his situation to Tory and asks for help, but Tory is too scared to answer and runs off again when the elevator stops. The boys are both stopped by an employee at the tower who sends them on a conveyor belt track to the battle arena. A machine scans Ash and Tory and detects their passports, instantly registering them for the tower.

Rebecca tries to get in, but doesn’t arrive on time. She was ahead of Ash and the others, and Ash was lost, how the hell was she late?….Wait, her voice sounded very familiar in that line….Lisa Ortiz? I was just kidding about competing with Rebecca Honig in annoying voices. Please don’t try to defend your title here.

Also, this place is so high-tech that practically everything is a gadget yet it can’t detect that Tory has no Pokemon of his own and thus wouldn’t be able to battle? And aren’t Pokemon trainers registered in some mass system?

They arrive in the battle tower stadium to have a tag team battle, and Rebecca joins May, Max and Brock in the audience.

May: “I wonder how Ash got registered so quickly.”

Rebecca: “By cutting in front of me.”

How did Ash cut in line? There was no line. There is no registration line. You go down to the basement and some big guy throws you in there without even asking you any questions. The system automatically registers you once you’re already heading to the stadium and your match is set up. You didn’t get in because you arrived behind Ash and Tory for no given reason despite having a huge head start.

Ash and Tory’s opponents come into the stadium and its, predictably enough, Rafe and Sid. The announcers gives the conditions of battle – a tag team match with only one Pokemon used per trainer, and Rafe and Sid release their Pokemon first. Rafe sends out his Blaziken while Sid sends out a Blastoise. Ash sends out Pikachu and asks what Pokemon Tory will use, but as we all have figured out two minutes ago, Tory has no Pokemon to battle with.

With no second Pokemon on their side, Ash and Tory are set to forfeit by default. Ash decides to lend one of his Pokemon to Tory with which to battle. I don’t understand why that wouldn’t be against the rules, but whatever. Tory figures he has no choice so he sends out Ash’s Torkoal to battle.

The battle begins and Rafe starts by sending Blaziken out to hit Pikachu with a Blaze Kick. Pikachu jumps up to dodge, but Blastoise knocks it away with Hydro Pump. Sid commands Blastoise to use Bubble on Torkoal. The Bubble attack hits, and Ash tells Tory to give commands to Torkoal, but since he’s not a trainer he doesn’t know what to do.

Blastoise does a Rapid Spin into Torkoal, sending him flying and causing everything to slow down in Tory’s perspective as Blastoise gets close to him while spinning. We flash back to Tory in the middle of the Walrein stampede, causing Tory to freeze up.

This solidifies his fear in Pokemon, allowing me to bring up a big problem with this whole scenario. Tory is scared to death of Pokemon to the point where even cute little Pikachu sends him running off like a horror movie target…..Okay…before I get to the big picture, why the hell was Tory in, of all things, the Battle Tower? That place is crawling with Pokemon and the tower itself is meant to be a place where trainers can come together to battle each other. Why would he go there?

Yes, there’s a library there and Tory, being a researcher’s son, probably has a thirst for learning, but I assume with all the technology in this city and his dad having access to untold amounts of information surely there’s really no reason for him to brave a Pokemon-ridden tower to read some books. Use a Kindle….use the Internet, have books delivered to your house. You have lots of options, kid.

Next, how the hell does he get through life like this? He lives in the Pokemon world where practically everything is dedicated to Pokemon in some way. Where, if you are somehow a rarity who dislikes Pokemon, you’ll be treated like a leper and eventually have to conform and like Pokemon after being ceaselessly prodded by others. Pokemon are everywhere in this series. Friggin’ everywhere. How does he stay sane even merely leaving his house when the average person probably sees or interacts with at least one to five Pokemon per day?

Finally, really? The reason he fears Pokemon this much is because of the Walrein stampede? Granted, yes, that would probably be scary for young Tory, but he didn’t get hurt in that stampede….at all. They ran around him. Would that slightly frightening experience be so bad that he would end up being this emotionally scarred for so long? And why does it encompass all Pokemon, even small cutesy ones? Shouldn’t he just be afraid of Walrein? That’s like developing a fear of dogs after having one run past you and then being afraid of bunnies as a consequence.

Back to the action, Pikachu tries to defend Torkoal with a Thunderbolt to Blastoise, but Blaziken counters with a Flamethrower. Blastoise regains his composure and Skull Bashes Pikachu, knocking him into Torkoal and pinning him under his shell.

Ash decides to take the reigns for Torkoal too—Okay now he’s controlling his ‘partner’s’ Pokemon. Surely that is against the rules!

Apparently it isn’t, and Ash commands Torkoal to use Flamethrower. It does, but accidentally burns Pikachu’s tail in the process. Torkoal, upset at accidentally hurting Pikachu, starts crying and sending smoke everywhere. Geez, I’m embarrassed for them. Rafe finishes off Pikachu and Torkoal with Overheat and Ash and Tory are defeated.

Tory’s dad and Yuko show up to the battle tower. They had watched his battle on television and went to the tower to tell him how proud they were. Tory tells them not to be proud because the whole thing was an accident and runs off.

Brock gushes over Yuko and – Since when does Brock discuss Professor Ivy without becoming a depressed lump in the corner? Anyway, Yuko explains Tory’s situation with his childhood trauma and being afraid of all Pokemon because of it. Yuko believes he really loves Pokemon deep down, like he used to as a small child, but he needs to get to know them again to get over his fear. Ash, feeling guilty over pushing Tory so hard in the battle tower when he has a fear of Pokemon, decides to take it upon himself to show Tory how great Pokemon really are. See? I told you. You must all like Pokemon!

Back with Tory, the Plusle from earlier tries to get Tory’s attention, but he shoos him away. Plusle runs to a knocked over trash can where his brother is trapped and begs Tory to help. Again, told ya so. Despite his fears, he decides to help them out and just as Ash comes out to meet him, Tory frees Minun from the garbage can. Plusle and Minun happily reunite and try to thank Tory by giving him a hug, but he backs away before they can touch him and runs off.

Munchlax shows up again to pick up the trash can and tries again to kick a bottle into the can. This time he succeeds. Yay! I love that little guy.

Ash follows Tory to some garden where he speaks with the unseen being from earlier, only this time we get to see what it is.

A big sparkly glowy piece of intergalactic Flubber made of light….Yeah….yeah that pretty much sums it up.

He excitedly tells the Flubber thing about what happened with the Plusle and Minun when we cut to Deoxys. Oh right, the plot! I completely forgot about that part of the movie…..Sad thing is, I’m not even really joking. We haven’t so much as mused about Deoxys, legendary Pokemon or anything main plot related for over 15 minutes.

Deoxys lands in Larousse City and expels all his pink energy into the sky again, creating an aurora borealis effect. And….that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed it.

As Tory continues to talk with Flubber, Ash shows up and asks who he’s speaking with. Flubber disappears in response and so does the pink light.

He badgers Tory about who he was talking to and tries to talk with him, but Tory keeps telling him to go away. He accidentally spooks a flock of Wingull, which causes him to fall down in fright. Ash runs to his side to see if he’s okay, but Tory knocks Ash down when he gets scared by Pikachu.

Angered, Ash grabs Tory by the shirt but May arrives to calm him down. Trying to create an opportunity for everyone to become friends, Brock cooks up a fondue. Wasn’t aware Brock was a housewife from the 1950’s but okay.

Seeing the food, a bunch of other Pokemon arrive. Brock gives them some bowls of Pokemon food and May and Ash try to get Tory adapted to the Pokemon. Ash even offers to have Tory pet Pikachu. He starts to try, but ends up pulling his hand away in fear.

Tory thanks the group for trying to help him and runs off. Munchlax returns again to eat the group’s lunch. Once he’s done, he jumps up 300 feet in the air, lands quietly and walks off……What the hell was that even? Why is this Munchlax so adorably funny?

The Plusle and Minun from before arrive to have some food too and I’m just now realizing that these two are basically the Pichu Bros. They already look almost exactly like Pichu to begin with, they’re brothers and they cause a bunch of trouble. Huh.

The plot returns again, and this time Deoxys is just destroying stuff in the city. He creates the pink light again and….we’re back to Ash and the others again. Bye, again, plot!

They marvel at the lights and Rebecca explains that they shouldn’t be able to see aurora lights since they’re usually only viewable at the north and south poles. A bunch of awkward flirting goes on with Sid and May and Brock and Rebecca. Brock also gets really demanding with Rebecca for some reason, basically yelling at her to spend time with him.

Rafe arrives to give a few jabs to Ash for losing so badly earlier, and Ash asks for a rematch at the battle tower tomorrow. Rafe agrees and starts to leave. I guess he was only there to pick on Ash.

He stops when he sees Tory, who came back to share a big basket of cookies with everyone. Oh did I say cookies? Let me clarify – they’re Pokemon cookies because what else would they be?

Everyone lets out their Pokemon to have some cookies and enjoy the night, and this was the one part of this movie that kept me coming back. This is really just a scene with the Pokemon having fun and playing while Tory gets slowly closer to them, but the real reason I liked the scene was because the song, while being kinda cheesy, was also really catchy. Yup, just a moderately decent and catchy song with nothing important happening on screen was the one reason I usually stayed to watch this movie.

Apparently Rafe’s sisters also have Pokemon; a Surskit and a Masquerain. Not that it ever matters at all but there ya go. In addition, I guess the only Pokemon that Rafe and Sid have are Blaziken and Blastoise respectively.

….This scene is cheesier than I remember. The song’s lyrics are cheesier than I remember, the scenes themselves get downright dorky sometimes like the sudden quick cuts of all the Pokemon playing in the pipes, and its saturated with sugar. I don’t dislike the scene, but it’s definitely a bit of diabetes.

Team Rocket arrives to take the food from their picnic. Oh yeah, they’ve been here the whole movie again, I just didn’t mention it because, like always, they don’t do anything but complain about food and get hurt. Only reason I’m mentioning them here is because Munchlax ruins their thieving plans by bogarting the food himself and running off, making Team Rocket give chase.

The light disappears and Deoxys knocks some more stuff and Pokemon over. And then he……Oh okay, back with Ash and Tory again. Don’t worry, it’s not like the movie is about Deoxys or anything.

Tory tells Ash that he’s never really had fun with a bunch of friends before and believes it to be because of his fear of Pokemon. See?! Your life is ruined if you don’t like Pokemon! I am on a roll.

Pikachu offers to have Tory pet him again to prove that he’s finally getting over his fear of Pokemon. He tries again, yet Corphish butts in and freaks him out, making him run off. Way to go, Corphish. Ash calms him, but the attempt to get closer to Pokemon is again ruined.

The next day, Tory brings the whole group to his father’s lab where Tory introduces everyone to Flubber out in the garden.

The Pokemon B-Squad let out their Pokemon to meet Flubber while Rebecca tries to analyze it with her computer.

Back with the “main plot” Rayquaza is making its way to the city to confront Deoxys. Oh and apparently Officer Jenny is the leader of the security guys for this city. You’re all screwed.

Professor Lund (Tory’s Dad) tells Officer Jenny that if Rayquaza and Deoxys meet and battle there, the city will mostly likely be destroyed. He calls for an evacuation, and Jenny agrees with his request.

This is really random and minor, but when the people start evacuating a guy gets on a train wearing a dress, sways back and forth and says ‘it’s party time!’ He’s never seen or brought up again.

Ash and the others are trapped in the garden since Deoxys has been messing with all of the electrical devices in town, making the passport system not work. Professor Lund tries to get to Tory but ends up getting caught on the moving sidewalk when it reboots.

Millions of cube robots then come together to make a bridge away from the city and into a different one, which uh yeah, screw that. Everything is being disabled by Deoxys, meaning that once these robots get hit everyone on the bridge will be right in the water. Not to mention this bridge doesn’t have side rails which Professor Lund could’ve really used to keep him from falling in the water like he does.

Officer Jenny drives by in a boat the instant Professor Lund falls into the water and saves him. Really convenient considering she didn’t know where he was or what he was doing.

Deoxys makes a bunch of clones of itself and starts kidnapping people. Rayquaza shows up and starts attacking Deoxys. It puts up a force field around most the city, somehow draining power from everything, which results in the cube bridge breaking apart and falling into the water. How many times am I going to say ‘I told you so’ in this movie? Luckily no one was on it because apparently a whole-city evacuation can occur in a minute and a half.

Rayquaza is trapped behind the force field, and we return to the group where Sid and Blastoise are trying to pull open the doors to the garden. Hey guys, you could probably save yourself a lot of trouble if you just broke the GLASS doors. Rebecca’s Metagross simply walking into them would probably break them.

Deoxys arrives at the garden and makes more clones which kidnap Sid and Blastoise as they try to protect May. Tory leads everyone to the exit while Rafe and Ash try to buy some time by defeating the clone Deoxyses….Deoxyi….clones with Pikachu and Blaziken.

Ash: “Way to go, Rafe!”

Rafe: “All in a day’s work!” Yeah, way to go, Rafe. You stood there and watched as your Pokemon did all the work after you merely gave it one command to do one attack. The skillz to pay the billz.

After they manage to unlock the passage for the underground exit, which is weird considering I thought most of the power to the city was drained, including the power in the garden which is why they couldn’t get out the front door to begin with, the group calls Ash and Rafe to follow them.

Even the Pokemon are getting taken away by the clones, but Plusle and Minun as well as Munchlax manage to hide in a pipe.

Yuko explains the full situation to the group, and its revealed that the malfunctions of electronic equipment is so widespread that even the Pokeball management system is down, making it impossible to expand, contract or open Pokeballs. Wait, that means that the main group can’t use any of their Pokemon and they’re reliant on Metagross, Blaziken, Pikachu, Surskit and Masquerain now? Do these movies do everything in their power to keep the other Pokemon out of the fun?

Also, how does Rebecca’s laptop work if everything’s so screwed that even the Pokeballs, which always seem to work no matter what, are broken because of these electrical disturbances?

After an unnecessary retelling of the story with Deoxys and Rayquaza, complete with flashback clip show of everything that happened, the group hears a strange noise in their hideout and Ash and Rafe go to investigate.

They discover that it’s merely Plusle and Minun as well as Munchlax. Plusle and Minun run to greet Tory, but he runs away from them again. Ash, Brock, Rafe, Rebecca and Tory decide to leave and split up. Rafe and Rebecca go off to see where the Deoxys are holding everyone who was kidnapped while Ash, Tory and Brock go to find food. However, the food machines won’t activate in response to the passports. Pikachu decides to shock the machine to power it up, and it starts shooting hot dogs everywhere.

As they try to catch the hot dogs:

Brock: “Gotta catch ’em all!”

Gotta vomit in this bucket for that terribly forced catchphrase!

Deoxys clones come to kidnap them, but Plusle and Minun arrive to fight them off. Sadly, Minun gets captured while trying to save Tory.

They run off and a Deoxys clone kidnaps the hot d—Noooooooooooo!! Not the hot dog cart! Do you have no mercy, Deoxys?! You monster!

Ash and the others hide from the Deoxys clones in a warehouse, and Tory tries to pet Plusle as an apology for what happened to Minun, but still can’t manage to touch it.

Back with Rebecca and Rafe, they see that the clones are putting all of the kidnapped people, Pokemon and machines into some domed building. The hot dog cart actually begs to be released and when it runs out of power, the clone drops it into the river! D:

The next morning, the clones find the group and start breaking into their hideout so they decide to head to an underground laboratory to hide yet again. Yuko shows the group the stone that they were experimenting on and explains that it’s a part of a different Deoxys, same as the stone that fell from Deoxys’ body four years ago when it was destroyed by Rayquaza. More specifically, though the movie doesn’t mention it, it’s supposedly Deoxys’ brain.

Flubber emerges from the stone, revealing that Flubber is actually another Deoxys in an incomplete form. Rebecca analyzes the light and compares the wavelengths to those of the lights in the sky that Deoxys produced. She concludes that the lights are actually communication signals and that the green light means ‘friend’ and the pink light means ‘where are you?’

….Okay, I can swallow that she deduced that the lights were communicative signals sent between the two Deoxys, but how the hell is she translating Pokemon speak? Alien Pokemon speak! Alien Pokemon speak that is performed through lights! Just with her laptop?! They’ve been researching that stone for four years and haven’t been able to do much with it, but Rebecca and her laptop have the whole situation figured out in two minutes.

Ash and the others conclude that Deoxys does not really mean harm, its just trying to find its friend. Yuko further explains that Deoxys sees through electromagnetic signals, and all of the people, Pokemon and machines, all beings that give off electromagnetic signals, were clouding its vision as it searched for its friend so it was breaking electrical items and kidnapping everyone to clear up its sight.

The group decides to regenerate the other Deoxys so he can reunite with his friend and they can leave the planet, hopefully sparing them from a city-destroying battle between Rayquaza and Deoxys. They don’t have enough emergency backup power, which also shouldn’t be working, so they team up to generate some power. They formulate a plan to free all of the kidnapped people and Pokemon.

As they head to the building where the kidnap victims are being kept, Deoxys cuts them off. Ash tries but fails to reason with it before it clones itself some more and attacks them. They fend of the clones and start to find another way around, but Rafe decides to stay behind with Blaziken to buy them some time.

Rafe: “Just make sure nothing happens to my sisters, Ash.”

Oh yeah, those sisters who have contributed so much to the movie like………Not getting names so far and being annoying.

Rayquaza uses a Hyper Beam to break through the force field and get into the city. Wow, it just now realized to do that about 12 hours after the force field was put up. Super smart, Rayquaza.

The clones surround Blaziken and Rafe and they allow themselves to get kidnapped.

Meanwhile, Rayquaza starts destroying Deoxys clones while Ash and the others continue to run and execute their plan. Munchlax runs in the opposite direction, but Max has no time to get it back.

As Ash and the others meet back up with Rafe and Sid to start their plan, the clones disappear and the real Deoxys and Rayquaza meet in the flesh. Oooh, it’s time for the main event!

Ladiiiiiieeeessssss and gentlleeemeeeennnnnnnnnn!! Let’s get ready to rummmmmmmmmmmbllllllllllllleeeeeeeee!! In this corner, weighing in at 454 pounds, the Sky High Pokemon – Raaaaaaaaaaayquazaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

In this corner, weighing in at 134 pounds, the DNA Pokemon, Deeeeeeeeeeeoxyyyyyyyyyysssssssss!!

The two stare down, ready to battle and! We cut back to Ash and the others.

*cough*

Ash and Tory command Plusle and Pikachu to feed power into the building while Minun does the same on the other side of the door. With power restored, the entrance is opened and everyone is reunited, including Plusle and Minun.

Back to the action, *cough* Rayquaza is chasing after Deoxys, leaving a wake of destruction behind him! Oooh! Deoxys fights back and gets a good shot off on Rayquaza, but he maintains his composure before hitting the ground! The chase and destruction continue, but who will come out the victor?! Find out after a word from our sponsor.

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Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tory and Ash go back to the lab to see how the regeneration is going as power is restored. Everything’s set to start the process, and Ash gives Tory the honor of restoring his friend back to full form. He starts the laser, but they still need 20% more energy to get it to full power. Pikachu, Plusle and Minun get on the case and their power is enough to get the laser to finally work. The other Deoxys is restored to full form. As I guess a means of thanking them, Deoxys releases the Flubber light again and surrounds them in teal light.

Tory asks if it wants to go find the other Deoxys, and it lifts them up with psychic abilities and flies them along with it. It also destroys the roof of the place for no reason. Good job, Deoxys.

Meanwhile, the pink Deoxys is getting its ass beat by Rayquaza again. After being slammed into the ground, the force field dissipates.

*cough*

Things are looking bad for Deoxys, and Rayquaza is ready to celebrate its victory! The referee is about to call the match but what’s this?! Deoxys is getting back up, and it doesn’t look happy! Rayquaza shoots off another Hyper Beam, but Deoxys defends itself with a shield of rocks! INSANE! And out from the smoke comes Deoxys who body slams Rayquaza into a nearby bridge! I hope they had insurance, most preferably from our sponsor, Shay Dee Insurance company. For when legendary Dragon Pokemon and aliens smash into your stuff; don’t trust anyone but our Shay Dee Insurance salesmen!

Rayquaza doles out another Hyper Beam yet again, but misses, and Deoxys counters by smacking Rayquaza right in the face! Rayquaza is down! And Deoxys looks ready to finish the match with one of its Psychic Boosts! A direct hit! Rayquaza is not looking good. Will Rayquaza throw in the towel?!

Ooh, Deoxys is showing no mercy even while Rayquaza is down as it Night Shades him further into submission! Deoxys is set to throw another Psychic Boost, and I think this is the last shot for Rayquaza!

An upset! The other Deoxys has shown up in defense form to protect Rayquaza from the attack! Simply amazing! I haven’t seen a move like that since the last time I saw a move like that!

*cough cough*

Anyway, the two Deoxys meet and the green stone’d one sets off its green lights while the pink stone’d Deoxys lets out its pink light. I don’t know what they’re saying, but if anyone does please enlighten me.

Everyone marvels at the pretty lights which combine as the two Deoxys get closer and start to dance around each other but–

*cough cough*

Rayquaza shoots out of the rubble looking for trouble and shoots off a Hyper Beam towards the two Deoxys! The lights are gone, and we now have a sudden tag team match, ladies and gentlemen!

Rayquaza is shooting off Hyper Beams like they’re going out of style, but the two Deoxys double Night Shade Rayquaza into a nearby building! That move can’t be legal, but the ref appears to be crushed under twenty tons of rubble!

Two small boys and an overpowered rodent nearly get hit by Rayquaza’s body, but the two Deoxys save them in the nick of time! Rayquaza’s down again, but he’s not out as he gets back up and continues his assault, even knocking over a—Nooooooo!! Not a different hot dog cart! This movie is turning into a hot dog cart massacre!

*ahem*

The city is being demolished at every turn, and the two Deoxys are doing everything in their power to restrain Rayquaza.

The Pokemon crash into some building where I think is the main terminal for the cube robots. The Hyper Beam from Rayquaza creates a sudden surge of energy which somehow turns the newly restarted cube robots red, gives them an angry face and causes them to go out of control, creating a wave of blocks over the city.

Rayquaza gets taken down yet again and gets caught up in the wave of blocks. The two Deoxys go into defense form and protect Rayquaza while Plusle and Minun return to save Ash and Tory from the blocks. Professor Lund communicates to them through a screen behind them, though I don’t know how he knew they were there, and tells the boys that they need to get to the chief block robot and present it with a passport. That should open a channel that will give Professor Lund and the others access to the hub to disable them.

And let me just say, wow, there are way too many block robots in this city. There have to hundreds of millions of those things. The blocks are covering the battle tower and they soon smash into the screen that Professor Lund was talking to them through.

Tory, Ash, Pikachu, Plusle and Minun hitch a ride on—the hot dog cart! Can’t you leave that poor thing alone? As they try to grab onto some nearby towers, Munchlax emerges from the hot dog cart while eating some hot dogs. As it falls into the sea of blocks, it evolves into Snorlax. I guess, in order to evolve, Munchlax just needs a hot dog fix.

Ash uses Snorlax as a bridge to hop over to the towers, and Snorlax sinks into the blocks. Ash and Pikachu climb the tower and hop on the floating blocks to the Chief robot and Ash tries to present his passport to it, but drops it.


Tory throws him his passport, but he misses the catch.

Pikachu jumps off, smacks the card with his tail so Ash can finally catch it, but Pikachu ends up getting carried away by the blocks.

Ash presents Tory’s passport to the chief robot and it accepts the scan, allowing Officer Jenny to override the blocks and shut them down.

Everything’s all fine and dandy, Tory, Plusle and Minun observe the stopped block robots, but the brothers fall off of the gigantic tower of blocks. Tory, in his big show of getting over his fear of Pokemon, jumps off and grabs them both. Tory dies from the fall, the end.

Ahh, of course not. Deoxys….Uh one of them, I can’t see which, emerges from the blocks and flies up to save Tory, Plusle and Minun.

Pikachu emerges from the blocks as well….on top of Rayquaza’s head. But he’s plucked off of his head psychically by the other Deoxys and picks up Ash as well.

The two Deoxys and….Ray…quaza…..fly around….happily together…wait, what? Did Rayquaza really get over his insane blood lust of Deoxys just because it shielded it from completely non-lethal plastic and metal blocks?

I guess so, and then Rayquaza just leaves.

*cough cough* And everyone becomes friends, and lives happily ever after! Yes, folks, this is a pretty damn crappy ending to this fight that wasn’t even that great to begin with, but I must remind you that we have a strict ‘no refunds’ policy. If you want to cry about it, use Tear Dri tissues. Tear Dri – for when movies are especially disappointing. Now in new lavender scent.

*ahem*

As I was saying, everything’s all fine and dandy now. Tory reunites with his dad, he shows him his new friends Plusle and Minun who cuddle the crap out of his face. The two Deoxys bid goodbye to everyone with their pretty lights, Team Rocket continues to power the windmills with their stationary bike in the bushes for some reason, there is untold amounts of property damage to the city, millions of block robots lay brick’d on the ground and in several buildings, millions of people were unable to return to their homes for months, and all of this really means that they ultimately failed in protecting the city.

The end.

In terms of credits, we just get a longer version of the insert song ‘This Side of Paradise’ with a shot of Rayquaza flying, a shot of a block robot flying around the city, Ash and the others leaving Larousse City and bidding farewell to Tory, Professor Lund and Yuko, Ash and the main group riding on the magnet train with the side characters, Rafe and his sisters getting off the train, Sid getting off the train and bidding goodbye to May, Rebecca getting off the train and waving goodbye to a forlorn Brock, and then the typical shots of the group camping and walking. Though, for some reason, during the walking shot, they add the faces of the group in squares in front of the shot. Thanks to the way the dubbed movie is cropped, Ash’s face is sliced in half during this.

Pikachu does some cheerleading in front of a five year old’s birthday card design, and the shot of him doing that is repeated in numerous blocks. Then all of the Pokemon in the movie do some cheerleading…I don’t know what’s going on anymore but Blastoise cheerleading is priceless. This song gets really repetitive. Not as bad as Cele-B-R-A-T-E but still really repetitive…. End please.

Thank you.

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

So…..I don’t like this movie. I don’t really have anything to hate, but I have even less to enjoy.

This movie was the first Pokemon movie to not be accompanied by a short film, meaning an extra 20 or so minutes was added to the runtime than is usually allotted for Pokemon movies, and I really don’t think they used this time well at all.

Deoxys is a side character in its own movie. Notice how much of the movie is dedicated to two things – the battle tower and Tory’s fear of Pokemon. The stuff with Deoxys and Rayquaza never seems like its the actual focus until the very end, and most of Deoxys’ screentime is shared with Rayquaza who is only there because of a very petty reason.

At first it was reasonable for Rayquaza to be upset that Deoxys entered into its territory of the ozone layer. The first battle, in that regard, was understandable. The fact that it somehow sensed Deoxys’ return four years later, hunted it down halfway across the globe to kill it when it did not repeat the same mistake of entering into its territory is stretching it rice-paper thin to me.

Throughout much of the movie you don’t even understand which of them is the bad guy. Deoxys destroys stuff too for seemingly no reason much of the time.

Deoxys’ story as a whole is incomplete. He came to earth to find his friend. Okay, I get that. Why is his Deoxys friend on earth? Why is it ‘dead’? Why couldn’t it regenerate after spending so long dormant in its stone form if the other Deoxys fully regenerated in four years? Why was the Deoxys’ in stone form? What ‘killed’ it? How long has it been here? Why did it take so long for Deoxys to arrive on earth to rejoin his friend? It was embedded in meteorite, meaning it must have been in there for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. How did they get separated to begin with? Why was the green Deoxys able to turn into a light while dormant in its stone form and move about freely? Shouldn’t the pink Deoxys have had that ability too?

The movie doesn’t even touch upon Deoxys’ origins, which, according to its Dex entry, is that it was formed by the DNA of a space virus after being hit with a laser. It’s a pretty silly origin to me, even if it probably has more basis in science than most other legendaries, but they at least could’ve worked that in there considering it’s one of Deoxys’ only forms of lore. Speaking of which, if that origin is true, how is there more than one Deoxys?

Why did Rayquaza just up and forgive both Deoxys after holding such an intense grudge? The whole battle against Rayquaza ultimately seems pointless and poorly executed. The battle itself wasn’t even anything that epic. It’s just a back and forth of Hyper Beams and Psychic Boost with Night Shade.

Touching upon the battle tower aspect before we get back to Tory’s plot line, this part of the story takes up quite a bit of time and yet ultimately amounts to nothing. It does introduce Tory to Ash, but that could’ve been achieved without the lengthy battle sequence, and it was already established before the battle that Tory was afraid of Pokemon.

Don’t get me wrong, I find the battle tower segment to be one of the more enjoyable parts of the movie. Mostly because, outside of opening theme sequences, we just don’t get to see many legit Pokemon battles in these movies. But not only was it long and had nothing really to do with anything, but the battle itself was painful to watch and awkward. Not to mention we didn’t get to see Rebecca battle at all outside of one attack near the end.

The battle tower did allow us to get some other trainer side characters in a movie for a change – ones that actually get names that are said on screen and do things that matter to the plot. What a novel concept, huh movie 01?

However, the rivalry between Rafe and Ash is never resolved. They set it up several times throughout the movie, even seemingly interrupting things to butt it into the plot. They say they’ll battle again in the battle tower in a legit match, but they never have one. That could’ve been at least included in the ending credits, but nope. It’s like they forgot about it.

Rafe’s little sisters, as I said, amounted to absolutely nothing. Rafe doesn’t make a big show of protecting them, they barely even talk to him, Ash doesn’t focus on protecting them for Rafe, they don’t battle or contribute anything, they’re just set dressing. Annoying….annoying set dressing. Luckily they didn’t get many lines.

Sid was a little entertaining, and I’m glad that they had May be nice and respectful of him instead of being cliché and being repulsed by him merely because he’s overweight and has a crush on her. He was nice and not really creepy with his attention to May.

Rebecca wasn’t really necessary to me. Her role could’ve easily been taken by Yuko with really nothing changed. I didn’t mind Rebecca at all and she did dole out some exposition a la laptop, but still.

Getting back to the main plot issue at hand, the actual main plot of the story being Tory’s fear of Pokemon and him spending time with Ash and the others as he tries to get over this fear. I didn’t clock it, but I’m almost certain that this part of the movie really does take up significantly more runtime than the Deoxys one.

Here’s the deal, this isn’t the first time that something like this has happened. Similar setups have occurred in movies 04 and 06. You can have a plot line that takes focus away from the legendary plot line and have it work to the film’s advantage. While movie 04 had problems with this, movie 06 ironed them out, and both movies did a pretty decent job with it.

This movie does not.

I really don’t have any problems with a plot point involving someone getting over a fear of Pokemon, but here it feels like it’s merely an extended plot from any average episode of Pokemon. In fact, I’m almost certain a similar plot has appeared in the show.

My problem is that I find the reason for his fear to be pretty silly. I know phobias are irrational fears by definition, and even here the fear is somewhat founded because, let’s not kid ourselves, Pokemon can be very dangerous. I also know that even if a situation doesn’t seem traumatic, it can be. But looking at it as a storyline, it’s just silly.

Walrein stampede around him as a child, he doesn’t get touched by them, kinda faints because of it and as a result of this he is scared to death of all Pokemon for years. Like I said, even putting realistic logic in there would mean Tory would just be afraid of Walrein or at most all Pokemon similar to Walrein like Dewgong, but no. It’s every Pokemon in existence, no matter how cute, cuddly or harmless.

Not to mention that it really does get old to watch him try to simply touch a Pokemon and then run off. Over and over and over.

You’re telling me Yuko and Professor Lund never once thought over the four years that he’s been struggling with this fear to help him out with this? This fear has left him with no friends and no life, and yet, like always, a group of random children have to solve the problem for the adults because it seems like they either won’t get off their asses and try or they’re too stupid to know what to do to try.

One of the bigger issues with this plot is that it has absolutely nothing to do with Deoxys. What do the more human plot threads of movie 04 and 06, and in a different light, movie 03, have in common?

While the plot itself may not be completely centered on the legendary Pokemon, they are big parts of it. Movie 03 – the Unown make Molly’s dream reality to help her escape into a world with her ‘papa’, an Entei, to protect her and stay with her since her real parents are gone.

Movie 04 – Sam is ‘stuck’ in the future because of Celebi’s time traveling abilities after protecting it from a poacher. Celebi is the only one who can bring him back home.

Movie 06 – Jirachi needs Max to act like a partner and guardian to him as his lives out his one week of being awake before returning to stone form. Max befriends Jirachi and learns about letting go.

Movie 07 – Tory is scared to death of Pokemon after nearly getting trampled by a bunch of Walrein. Ash and the others try to get him over this fear to help improve his quality of life.

Tory’s story has nothing whatsoever to do with Deoxys. Yes, Deoxys caused the disturbance which made the Walrein stampede, but I don’t even think Tory really got a good look at Deoxys back then considering it was bathed in light during this point, and that’s mostly unrelated.

Also, his friendship with green Deoxys doesn’t change things much either. Nothing would’ve really been different had Tory not befriended Flubber. It didn’t affect Tory or green Deoxys at all. It’s not like the Deoxys hated humans and Tory’s friendship with one of them quelled the destruction. They were just muddling up its vision.

He also has nothing to do with Rayquaza. It would’ve been better to have Tory nearly or actually get caught up in one of Rayquaza’s many Hyper Beams. It probably wouldn’t hurt him too much, being Pokemon, it would connect him to the legendaries and give him a stronger reason to be so afraid of Pokemon in general.

You can’t give a legendary top billing, give most of the movie to a human character and then not have the human strongly connected to the legendary. It just makes the movie seem horribly disjointed.

As for Tory himself, he’s another problem to me. Tory’s dull as dishwater. His only trait is being afraid of Pokemon and being a nice kid. I suppose he also has an interesting character design, but that’s it. He’s not particularly smart, skilled or fun. They didn’t even try a little harder to make him memorable and just make him a little annoying.

In fact, looking at it, it’s almost like they took all the possible character traits for Tory and gave them to the battle tower group. Rafe is skilled with Pokemon and he’s cool, Sid is fun and dorky, Rebecca’s very smart and the twins are annoying. They just forgot to leave a character trait for Tory.

While we’re on the topic of characters, May, Max and Brock barely got to do anything either. They were definitely more included than Brock and Misty were in movie 05, but they still didn’t get to do much of anything. They help in trying to get Tory over his fear and in getting the windmills going, but outside of that they don’t get to do much. They can’t really participate anyway since their Pokemon are stuck in their Pokeballs for a good chunk of the movie, and for some reason they didn’t let any out to meet Flubber like the battle tower group.

Finally, I find the ending to be flat out dumb. There are really that many block robots in this city? Enough to make a city-destroying tsunami of blocks? And they really needed to make that the big disaster of the movie instead of something actually related to the plot? It comes out of nowhere.

At least in movie 05 the big flood was somewhat foreshadowed. This was totally random and, again, has really nothing to do with our main plot. Who is afraid of a bunch of block robots with cartoony emoticon faces and six-year-old voices anyway?

This ending also could’ve been resolved very easily with Deoxys. It’s been causing electromagnetic mayhem everywhere, right? It’s been causing power outages and malfunctions all over the city – even, coincidentally enough, disabling the block robots. So why could it not simply disable them with those same abilities instead of just becoming a shield for Rayquaza? If you really needed to do that, couldn’t you have Deoxys, preferably the pink stone one, protect Rayquaza while the green one disables the robots? Why could Rayquaza not destroy a good chunk of these blocks with its Hyper Beams?

Action! Excitement! Bureaucracy!

What, did you not want to take away from the epic ending of Ash swiping his passport to stop the robots? You know, I always thought the ending of Star Wars would’ve been better if Luke had just destroyed the Death Star by filing a complaint in to the empire.

Considering that the Rayquaza and Deoxys battle didn’t have many epic moments (Blowing Deoxys’ arm off was, admittedly, as metal as this show can get) or actual ending, that means this movie has two lame climaxes. The only technically ‘epic’ part of the movie is when the two Deoxys meet and merge their lights, but considering we’ve been seeing these lights the whole movie and them combining really makes them less impressive in regards to color, to be honest, it’s really not something to write home about.

Even the credits were slightly disappointing because the movies usually use that time to let the art department have some fun by putting the main group in a bunch of detailed and quite visually appealing environments that we typically don’t get to see them in, but here they spend most of the credits on the train. We get one detailed shot of them camping and then the rest is weird cheerleading by the Pokemon in front of a cheesy 90’s-esque background.

Art and Animation: Better than the series, but I still noticed quite a few bad shots such as this.

What is up with James’ face?

The animation is on par with basically all of the movies and despite my poke at the CGI in the opener, the rest of the CGI with the robots is pretty decent, and I can thank God that they didn’t make Rayquaza CGI. They did make Deoxys CGI a few times, but that was it and it wasn’t bad. Also, I should mention that the cinematography in this movie is really great. Nothing breathtaking, but some shots were wonderfully lit, had great angles and really good atmosphere.

I will mention one part during the evacuation where the people are walking up a ramp to get on a plane and they’re very obviously simple CGI walk cycles being slid across the ramp.

Music: Outside of the insert song, which is also the ED, nothing really stood out to me here as particularly good or bad. Though This Side of Paradise does get very repetitive at the end and is a huge ear worm. I catch myself singing it all the time. They kept the Japanese soundtrack to my knowledge, but it’s just okay. Also, I really do miss the Pokemon theme songs as the openers.

Voice Acting: Everyone’s on par with the TV series, and despite Rebecca Honig’s dog whistle of a voice, she didn’t get many lines with which to annoy me. Lisa Ortiz was using her much more reserved voice which is definitely a step up from her more frequently heard raspy screech, thank God.

By the way, Tory is voiced by Tara Jayne, who does a lot of ‘young boy’ voices for 4Kids, most frequently in Pokemon but most recognizably as Mokuba in Yugioh. She is doing absolutely nothing here to change her voice from her typical one, leaving Tory with even less identity. However, the main problem I have is that Tara Jayne also voices another prominent movie character…Sam. And they sound exactly alike. Distractedly so.

Bottomline: Unlike the other Pokemon movies, I really cannot see myself ever going back and watching this movie again. The main plot leaves a lot of unanswered questions, what plot is there is pretty weak, the thing with Rayquaza really seemed forced during the second half and is poorly resolved. The side plot is not worthy of reaching ‘side plot turned main plot’ status for the movies, and it has nothing to do with the Deoxys plot. It’s an average Pokemon episode plot stretched out to fit a movie.

There’s even more filler with the battle tower, even if that is a nice change of pace from our normal non-battling movie plots. The tower itself is nicely designed and looks like a lot of fun, but this is also a plot line that just kinda stops without resolution.

Tory is not an interesting movie character or even an interesting character period, but the side characters were another welcome change to the typical movie formula, and they did a lot to pick up the slack. They got personalities, names, Pokemon, and things to do and I really respect this movie for finally getting that right. At least with everyone but the twins.

Team Rocket was useless and barely there the whole movie. Brock, May and Max didn’t get much to do, but they didn’t seem like they were absent the whole time, so that’s something.

All in all, it’s not incredibly stupid or bad like some of the Pokemon movies. It’s just very much broken and average at best. I feel like this movie didn’t really know what it wanted to be so it tried to be a few different things (human focused, legendary focused, and battle/Pokemon/leisure focused) and couldn’t get any of them to be much good. I don’t dislike Deoxys as much as I did going in, but I still don’t care for it much. I can be thankful they didn’t make either Deoxys or Rayquaza talk, though.

The most entertaining parts of this movie are the amusing Munchlax and whatever this movie has against hot dog carts. I really did laugh out loud just at the fact that the hot dog cart was being trashed this whole movie.

I know my score seems harsh, and I completely understand if people enjoy this movie for their own reasons. Admittedly, I struggle with giving this such a low score since it really is, at its core, bland mixed with some silly aspects bordering on stupid. I didn’t feel like I lost anything going in, but I also feel like I didn’t gain anything either. In a lot of respects, that’s worse than it being ridiculously bad. At least ridiculously bad movies with nonsense plots are usually fun to watch.

This is just bland. It borders on boring. The fact that the big climax of the movie is something that shows up as a threat in the last ten minutes of the film and has little to nothing to do with the legendaries or anything plot related, and the fact that it’s brought down by a passport of all things, with an amputated battle with Rayquaza and Deoxys, is underwhelming to say the least. I didn’t find much enjoyment in it at all. I had to make my own fun in this review. I fully understand anyone liking this movie, but, personally, I can’t find much to recommend here.

Seeing as how this is supposedly a very loyal dub according to Dogasu, I can’t imagine the Japanese version is any better or worse.

Recommended Audience: Deoxys does get its arm blown off and hit by a Hyper Beam so powerful that he essentially dies, but neither involves blood (just particles of light) and Deoxys is eventually regenerated and brought back to life. Outside of that, really nothing. 6+

Final note: No idea what destiny involves Deoxys. *shrug* They should’ve called it ‘Deoxys: Friendship is Magic’

CSBS – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) S01 Ep03 – Attack of the Mousers

CSBS - TMNT EP3

Plot: With their new ally, April, the turtles aim to take down Baxter Stockman and his mouser robots for good.

Breakdown: I don’t really have much to say about this episode. It’s a fitting end to this three-parter, and we get the backstory of Splinter and the turtles, which was pretty cute and cool, but it’s ultimately just a wrap-up with no real surprises.

We do get some sweet moments with Donatello and April, but that’s about it.

The only negative points worth noting are incredibly minor and borderline nitpicky. For example, I get that the ooze gave the turtles the capability to speak human language, and being around Splinter must’ve given them a concept of language to the point where they could eventually speak, but if they had never gone above ground until the series started, where did they pick up all the slang?

Also, why are all the cameras that Stockman has thermal imaging cameras? I get that we need to have their turtle nature be a surprise to their enemies, but why? This would make sense if the area was dark, but it’s perfectly lit. Even the mouser robots only take thermal imaging pictures.

All in all, a good ending to this arc, but it wasn’t anything special.

Rating: 7/10

Next episode….

…Previous Episode

Smile Precure!/Glitter Force Episode 5 Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: The Precures have one more member to recruit, and Miyuki believes their classmate and Student Body Vice President, Reika, is the one to fill the role. However, she’s too busy with Student Council to take them up on their offer – especially now considering that they’re supposed to put on an annual storytelling show for the kids at the local elementary school, but their Student Council president is too sick to take care of things. When a new enemy, a witch named Majorina, attacks the Precures, will Reika take her place as Cure Beauty and save the day?

—————————-

Title Change: A Beautiful Heart: Cure Beauty!! is changed to Glitter Breeze vs. The Witch….Guys….please…creativity is all I ask for. You couldn’t even write her name, you just wrote ‘the witch.’

They change Miyuki gawking before Aoki notices her to Emily greeting her, Chloe ignoring her and the close up shot of her gawking to her going ‘Helllooooooooooo!!’

Miyuki praises Reika for being so pretty and compares her to a water sprite. In the dub, Emily praises her on her concentration and even says ‘just what we need on the Glitter Force’ Subtlety like a brick to the teeth.

Miyuki says that Reika waters the flowers to make everyone ultra happy. After Chloe says she waters the flowers on her own and even comes to school early to do it, Emily says ‘You are SO in Glitter Force!’

Emily…..

Shut…..

Up.

Reika says ‘The early bird catches the worm.’ Chloe says she has no idea what Emily’s talking about in regards to the Glitter Force.

The original text is some sort of fantasy story. In the dub, she’s reciting stuff about photosynthesis.

Also, books, which means goodbye text! And hello blurred gibberish!

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They didn’t even curve the text so it looks like it belongs in that book. It’s clearly just stamped on there.

By the by, Chloe is merely reading out of the textbook yet Emily calls her super smart because of it.

So….the butterfly thing Cure Decor Nao got….gives Candy….hair loop….things…with butterflies on them…..*cough* Do these ‘powers’ have a point or is this about merchandise or something? Because I don’t get it.

Emily: “Okay, big news – Chloe’s ready to become the final member of the Glitter Force!” Miyuki just says she may have found the fifth Precure. Likewise, the girls respond asking if Emily asked her about it and become disappointed when it becomes clear that she hasn’t. In the original, they’re confused because Miyuki says the new member should be like a water sprite.

Glitter Force has a lot of ‘Dialogue where the originally was none’ moments I tend to let slide, but I thought I’d mention that I thought it was funny that Emily is watching Chloe so intently when she’s shooting her bow and arrow and goes ‘Is she gonna let it go?….*shot* OOP! She let it go!’ She’s practically fangirling, and it’s both funny and cute.

Reika thinks Candy is a robotic doll. Chloe thinks Candy’s a puppet.

Ya know, if you guys really want to instantly convince her of the Precure/Glitter Force thing, just transform in front of her. It’s not that hard.

Emily: “You’ll help us give the world a happy ending?”

snicker

They edit out Reika bowing in apology, which is strange because they left in the other girls doing it a minute ago. I guess they thought it’s okay because they passed that off as begging when they really can’t do that with Chloe.

They insert an external shot of the school before the shot of the poster.

Oh and they edit out the posters. Boooo!

The sign for the Student Council Room is painted.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nice font choice, by the way. Not often you see a student council office in prison.

Name Change: Terada is changed to Teresa, and Kurata is changed to Kevin.

They edited out them bowing in greeting.

They completely edit out the text ‘Snow White’ on the book, because, again, the irony of editing out text on a book where there are lines praising, of all things, READING, goes right over their heads.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Reika says they’ll be taking turns reading Snow White, which gets Miyuki excited because she loves fairy tales. In the dub, Chloe says they’re doing a puppet show and Emily says kids go crazy for puppet shows….do they? They seem to enjoy them, but ‘go crazy’? Really?

Miyuki decides to help out and asks the other girls if they want to help too. They agree, and Nao is the one who comes up with the puppet show idea. In the dub, the reason Emily wants to help is because, supposedly, the already-planned puppet show can’t go on without Jared, the president.

I’d like to know what’s happening in this shot.

Is Akane worried Miyuki will ruin the cutout or worried she’ll slice her fingers off?

Miyuki and the others are helping out of the goodness of their hearts. In the dub, Emily states during the montage that they’re helping so they can make a believer out of Chloe, get her to join them and bring happiness to the world. Uh, she didn’t not believe you nor did she refuse because she didn’t understand what good she’d be doing. She didn’t accept the offer because she was busy with other responsibilities.

They edit out more bowing.

Almost certain they also repeat the part with her speaking beforehand so they can keep the shot’s length.

Eyecatches – Candy’s is a repeat, so just noting Beauty here.

Wow, the animation in the very background as they set up the show is distractedly lazy. It is literally just two keyframes played over and over so it looks like they’re flashing the puppets back and forth.

And yet they don’t edit out Chloe bowing when she tells the audience to enjoy the show. I guess people do that in America too, but come on.

“Her hair as black as coal” she says as Miyuki waves around a puppet that clearly has light brown hair.

It’s not as obvious, but the puppet’s skin color also isn’t very pale. Also, the backdrop sucks because you can see the tops of Miyuki and Yayoi’s heads and see their whole arms.

Name Change: Majorina is changed to Brooha.

Yayoi starts to suspect that Majorina is an enemy. In the dub, Brooha starts explaining that all the good things that happen in the end of Snow White don’t happen in her version and Lily complains that she’s giving the ending away.

Nao: “So Precure wasn’t just a dream….” Uh…Nao, sweetie….why are you still with these girls and trying to convince Reika to be a Precure if you thought the Precures were a dream? Also, you know Candy can talk and is a pixie. Also, also, you just magically conjured up hair loops with a compact earlier. This line just seems out of place because none of the other girls have moments like this after they’ve had their first transformation episodes.

Interesting that the dub doesn’t include this line. It’s just an intimidation line.

Majorina says she hails from the Land of Bad Ends. Having only heard of this now, Akane repeats her statement. In the dub, Brooha says she’s the meanest of the trio and Kelsey says that’s nothing to brag about.

I really don’t understand the logic with the darkening in the dub. It flashes off and on with the transformation scenes, but it shows up in spots where you think it wouldn’t. Like there will be a flash of light so large and bright so that the entire screen is filled then the brightness will go down for the next shot of just some light and the skirt appearing. I’m no doctor, but I’d say flip-flopping between bright and super dark is even worse for epileptics than just showing the original bright to less-bright scenes.

They edited the shots of them applying the blush again for some reason.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: I lost this week. I had scissors, she had rock. 😦

I know I sometimes complain about transformations being cut down, but damn the unedited transformation sequence in this episode clocks in at a minute and thirty seconds. That may not sound like much, but it is. And that’s just with four of them. It’ll probably peak at two minutes, if not more, with Cure Beauty.

Nao: “I really transformed again!” I’m still confused why this surprises you. For the record, in the dub, she just continues to be surprised that her hair is so big when she transforms.

Since Lily doesn’t play Rock, Paper, Scissors with the audience, she tries out some intimidation tactics by claiming she’ll pound the enemy with the power of love. Dammit, I already used up my immature snickering gif allowance for the day.

Akane asks if she’s going to play that game every time, and Yayoi says, if you beat her, you’ll have good luck all day. Candy, again, claims she’s playing, but this time she says she lost because she ‘chose’ scissors. Akane points out, again, that Candy isn’t making any signs with her hand because she has no fingers.

In the dub, Kelsey yells out that her intimidation tactics are weak. Lily asks if ‘the fingers of peace’ are a better declaration. Candy wishes she could make a peace sign or a fist, but she can’t because she doesn’t have fingers. Kelsey says they have bigger things to worry about.

In the original, Majorina says things are going to be different now. Miyuki wonders if she’s tougher than the others. In the dub, Brooha makes a comment about their ‘fabulous hair’ and Emily says ‘*Gasp* You think our hair is fabulous?!’

They really don’t see the clear risk in attacking each of these Akanbe one by one when only one of them is the real one, there are three of them, about eight Akanbe and they each get only one shot each? Not sure if I’d be as bothered by this if Candy didn’t command them to do it.

So now Emily’s chant has changed to ‘Sparkle sparkle sparkle sparkle’ How does that give you spirit?

I do like how Majorina/Brooha just looks at them confused as they try to gather spirit energy, though. It’s kinda funny, like it’s poking fun at magical girl tropes.

I feel like I’m just twiddling my thumbs throughout the rest of this scene because I know it results in all of the girls each trying to hit the real Akanbe, but they all fail so it’ll be up to Reika to transform and save the day. Also, before we even get to Yayoi, I’m just begging them to stop and actually try to formulate a plan instead of shooting blindly and hoping for the best. World’s best superheroes, everyone.

You’d think at least Nao would have the sense to stop and think. Miyuki would head out first because she’s just doesn’t tend to think things through, Akane would go next because she’s headstrong and hotheaded, and Yayoi might just try to follow what the others are doing. Nao LITERALLY goes ‘I can’t tell which one’s the real one…and it’s a one-in-five shot….better blindly attack one like the others, wasting our final attack and damning us all to a bad end.’

You know what’s even sillier? For all they know, this Akanbe has the ability to switch which one is the real one in mid-attack.

It’s like the writers went ‘Well, we have four Precure now. How do we get them in such deep shit that they need Reika to transform?’

‘Have them waste their attacks for no reason like idiots and put themselves in undue peril?’

‘Brilliant!’

April: “Wow….epic fail.” ……Did you really just say ‘epic fail’? They don’t use a lot of slang in this show, but when they do…..urgh.

Brooha: “What a Glitter Farce!” Why are you getting all the good cheesy lines? Not complaining. I love you so far.

Like before, Miyuki can’t tell Reika who she is, but in the dub, since she already knows due to them telling her about the Glitter Force, Chloe gets their name wrong and calls them a club. Emily denies this and corrects her.

We hear an audio flashback to Miyuki telling Reika that they’ll make everyone happy at the storytime puppet show. This isn’t present in the dub.

Believe it or not, they actually kept the school’s name(basically) intact. Their school is called Nanairogaoka Junior High. In the dub, it’s Rainbow Hills Middle School. Indeed, Nanairo means ‘rainbow’ and gaoka can translate to ‘hill’ Go Figure. Only slight difference is Junior High to Middle School, but I feel like I’ll give that a pass because different countries have different school systems.

Wow…Beauty’s transformation sequence is….forgive me – Beautiful. It feels like it’s more intricately animated than the other girls’ transformations.

Beauty’s post-transformation speech is ‘A gentle heart as pure as the driven snow…Cure Beauty!’ In the dub, it’s ‘Cool and swift as the winter winds…I’m Glitter Breeze!’

Name Change: Cure Beauty is changed to Glitter Breeze. I’m not sure how I feel about this because 1) Breeze doesn’t have anything to do with beauty (You can’t even see a breeze…) and 2) Breeze is more March’s thing, isn’t it? I know she’s spring themed, but wind is still her forte right? Beauty’s is ice and snow. I don’t get the logic with changing it at all, but changing to Breeze just seems strange.

Beauty’s hair makes me think of an octopus…..

Breeze: “Mirror monsters?”…..Yes….You saw them for several minutes before you transformed…..Being fair, Beauty says something equally strange.

Beauty: “I see, when I transform, I get superhuman powers.”

Sunny: “She’s quick on the uptake!” She doesn’t say this with sarcasm, which scares me.

Okay, this just begs the question, if the Akanbe mirrors can be taken out with physical attacks, why didn’t the other girls try that before using their special abilities?

I know the answer: ‘Because then Cure Beauty wouldn’t be needed and her debut episode wouldn’t…debut her.’

Attack Name Change: Pretty Cure Beauty Blizzard is changed to Sparkle Blizzard.

Wouldn’t a mirror monster be more interesting if the monster reflected attacks back at them?

Are you kidding me?…….Her Cure Decor….is a CELL PHONE?! Aren’t these powers supposed to come from a fantasy realm? What the hell is a cell phone doing in the works? Wow….

They sped up Reika smiling as she turned around. Why? I don’t know.

Even though they didn’t do the same scene where the new recruit asks Miyuki to call them by their first name, Miyuki still decides to noticeably correct herself from saying ‘Aoki-san’ to ‘Reika-san’ Obviously, this, again, isn’t present in the dub.

—————————–

You can find my thoughts on the episode as a whole here.

As for the SDC, this episode didn’t fare that badly. In fact, most of my notes are more on a review level. Most of what was changed is stuff that has been changed in the past, and the few newer things aren’t that terrible. The only thing that kinda irked me was the insinuation that they were only helping Chloe for the sake of getting her to join the Glitter Force. I know that’s not true, but Emily really made it sound that way.

At least the whole ‘psychic Emily’ thing is probably over now. That was getting irritating.

I still don’t get Beauty’s name change, but it’s not life-altering.

Next episode, now that the Precures are all together, they start creating a strategy for stopping Pierrot and his minions.

…Previous Episode

SSBS – Smile Precure! Episode 5: A Beautiful Heart – Cure Beauty!

SSBS - SP EP5

Plot: The Precures have one more member to recruit, and Miyuki believes their classmate and Student Body Vice President, Reika, is the one to fill the role. However, she’s too busy with Student Council to take them up on their offer – especially now considering that they’re supposed to put on an annual storytelling show for the kids at the local elementary school, but their Student Council president is too sick to take care of things. When a new enemy, a witch named Majorina, attacks the Precures, will Reika take her place as Cure Beauty and save the day?

Breakdown: This episode was kinda dull.

There were some aspects I really liked. For instance, Majorina is my favorite of the three villains so far. She has a lot of great dialogue and personality. I also like Reika quite a bit, even if she is a bit too perfect for my tastes, as of now anyway. The animation and colors in Beauty’s transformation and attack are simply gorgeous to the point where I almost feel she was a meant to be the leader.

However, the main story with Reika is just dull as dishwater. She’s going to read to kids, the girls help her turn it into a puppet show…..There’s no conflict. Whether or not the girls helped is irrelevant. Reika and the other two Student Council members could’ve handled a book reading by themselves. The girls made the show better, but there was no conflict resolved as a result of their being there.

I can’t get the thought out of my head that they just wanted to get Reika’s debut episode out of the way to round off the Precures so they just threw a plot together. Maybe they could’ve made the argument that she was very overworked so the other girls decided to help her out and take some stress off her shoulders by helping her. Even then, it’s kinda moot because now she has an entirely new task eating up her time and energy by being a Precure.

The plot with the Akanbe is particularly lazy because they’re clearly making the other Precures act irrationally for the sake of leaving Reika as their only option to step up and help. They go up against six mirror versions of the Akanbe and have to find the right one, so they all decide to just guess at which one is real by using up their one-shot attacks one by one.

What’s even stupider is that, later, we find out that the Akanbe can be physically attacked just as easily without wasting the special attack, so they wasted their attacks for nothing. And how did none of them have the forethought to think ‘Hm, maybe literally the only Akanbe that looks different is the one we should attack’?

I definitely didn’t dislike this episode, but it’s certainly not a particularly interesting or well-written story, and it’s fairly dull for most of the run time. Majorina and Beauty’s aesthetics (puns?) make up for a bit of it, but it just didn’t do it for me.

Rating: 6/10

SDC Episode 5

Next episode, with all the girls now together, they have a meeting to establish their game plan for stopping Pierrot and saving the world from a bad end.

…Previous Episode

Memories Episode 1: Magnetic Rose Review

Rating: 9/10

Plot: The Corona is a ‘garbage’ ship in the outreaches of space. The captain, Ivanov, is about to head home when Aoshima, their tech specialist, notices an SOS signal. They don’t want to investigate, but fear the repercussions for ignoring a distress call, so they decide to give it a quick check. Ivanov sends his two engineers, Heintz, a serious worker and family man, and Miguel, a goofy womanizer, to explore the odd cluster of debris where the signal is originating only to be astounded when the inside is revealed to be a magnificent mansion where holograms, hallucinations and fake décor are peppered throughout. Who is sending the SOS, and is it really a call for distress?

Breakdown: Memories is actually an anthology film, but I felt it better to review each section on their own.

This project has a lot of talent attached to it. It was produced and based on a manga written by Katsuhiro Otomo, most famous for writing and directing Akira, as well as directing Steamboy and doing the screenwriting for Metropolis,. There’s also, of course, the marvelous Satoshi Kon, creator of works such as Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers and Paranoia Agent.

The talent is definitely reflected here, because the film is off to a strong start with this episode.

It’s a haunting and intriguing tale from start to finish. The characters’ memories and even Eva’s, the lady of the ‘house,’ are manipulated, used and warped to suit Eva and seemingly the station’s desires.

The movie does a good job of connecting you with the characters from the getgo, allowing the film to be filled with tension and be immersive. There are also several aspects of mystery along the way – not just with Eva, but also with Heintz. A particular revelation with him was heartbreaking when I realized it was a real memory and not a manipulation.

The art and animation are fantastic….barring the CGI, which hasn’t aged well. It stands up well against other 1995 CGI, but by today’s standards it’s downright ugly sometimes. Luckily, it’s not very prominent throughout the episode. Only the shots of the station itself and some action shots are noticeably CGI.

The music is beautiful and very impacting. I particularly enjoyed the song at the very end. Yoko Kanno did the music for this segment, so the quality is no surprise.

Overall, this episode is wonderful and a great start to the movie. However, I am a bit wary of the other two entries as they’ve been noted as being much weaker than Magnetic Rose. Hm.

Additional Information and Notes: Memories Episode 1 – Magnetic Rose was directed by Koji Morimoto, who also directed the “Beyond” segment of The Animatrix and did animation work on Akira. He also co-founded Studio 4°C – the company that produced Memories. The screenplay was written by Satoshi Kon.

The entirety of Memories was based on a manga by Katsuhiro Otomo.

Runtime: 1 Hour, 53 minutes

Year: 1995

Recommended Audience: There’s one fly-by shot of naked breasts via a photo Miguel has, but it’s literally on screen for about a second. Other than that, there’s some corpses and skeletons lying around and a kid is shown to semi-graphically die from a fall. 10+

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) Grojband

Episode One-Derland Grojband3

Plot: Corey and his band, Grojband, do everything in their power to be stars in the world of music.

Breakdown: This is one of those rare times when I’ll watch a show that has an 11/11 setup (Two eleven minute episodes to make up one full episode), watch one half and be so unsure of how I felt about it that I decided to watch the other half to get a better idea of my feelings. Since it is as such, let me talk about the first episode, or episode 1A before we talk about the second.

Episode One-Derland Grojband1

Episode 1A, Cloudy with a Chance of Malt Balls, and yes that title is very stupid and barely correlates to the story (Malt balls are at the movies, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs came out around this time, so we have our title) is about Corey trying to convince a movie star named Cherry Grapestain to let them be her movie trailer band, which makes about as much sense as it sounds. To do this, they decide to crash a drive-in theater premiere and play before the movie.

This episode started out with good promise in regards to jokes. There’s a joke where a couple of girls are clamoring outside of the garage after the band plays and Kon, the drummer, hopes it’s their future selves cheering for them. Maybe I looked too much into the joke, but I thought this was a clever, if not somewhat dark, joke about their future selves cheering on their life decisions. Then we get a couple of fourth-wall-breaking jokes like telling Mina, Trina’s ‘best friend’ that she’s not in this episode and saying there’s a transition when a transition comes up.

However, these jokes were well ruined as the episode went on. Kon kept bringing up the future selves thing, which made the joke stale and made me realize the initial joke wasn’t what I thought, he was just being dumb. And then the joke got weird and stupider when their future selves, somehow, someway, do show up to help them. No explanation as to why they’re here or how, they don’t even look any older, they just wear leotards and have Geordi visors on their heads.

The ‘not in this episode’ joke has a reprise, but that one was welcome because it was a slap to Trina’s face. Also, I think you need to have at least a few episodes under your belt before you can use a ‘your character isn’t in this episode’ gag. We should know who this character is before you knowingly shove her out of an episode.

They also kept using the ‘pointing out a transition is happening’ gag over and over.

There were still some decent jokes like Corey deciding to forego free tickets to the movie because he had a convoluted plan to get in instead, and Corey exiting the costume he was in through the torso, leaving his ‘legs’ behind to stand the costume up on its own but still having his own legs.

But then there are weird jokes that seem really stupid like Trina seemingly getting legitimately possessed when she gets super pissed and viciously writing in her diary about whatever pissed her off, causing flames in the pen and actual lightning to rain down. I’m not kidding about the lightning either – it’s real. It knocked out the projector. The fact that this thing can summon lightning is a recurring theme.

Getting a feel for the characters is a bit odd at this point. I think I like Corey because he means well and has the better jokes, but he also seems stupid and egotistical sometimes.

I don’t like Trina, but I’m obviously not supposed to. She’s the typical insanely bitchy older sister character. Think Vicky from Fairly Odd Parents if she was an older sister to Timmy not a babysitter.

I found something interesting while reading the Wiki for this show, though. Her ‘best friend’ Mina who is briefly seen here, apparently is not named Mina. Trina had her legally change her name from Bernadette to Mina so their names would rhyme….What a bitch….Mina goes along with pretty much whatever Trina says because she wants to be as popular and cool as she is. She’s basically Trina’s slave and the poor girl just takes it.

Laney’s pretty cool, and Kon and Kin, twin brothers who play drums and keyboard respectively, are alright. Kon’s character is easy to pin down as the overly excited random guy, while Kin is just kinda there.

All in all, I didn’t outright dislike this episode, minus one gross-out gag, but I felt like this was one of those shows that was trying too hard without trying….You know what I mean? They jam a lot into your face, and some of it would be pretty clever and funny in small doses, but it gives off an air of laziness because they constantly reuse gags and mistake randomness for humor.

Episode One-Derland Grojband2

Episode 1B or Dance of the Dead is a bit of an oddity because you rarely ever hear of shows having a holiday special in their pilot episode.

The story is a bit odd and doesn’t make sense, but I’m beginning to think Grojband doesn’t care much about logic.

In this episode, the band is set to play at their school’s Halloween dance, but Trina shoves them out into the cemetery, which is, for some reason, right outside the school. Using Corey’s new amp, which somehow has magical powers, just go with it, they play in the cemetery and reanimate the dead with their song.

Doing what zombies do, they bite others and make them into zombies, lusting for brains but also following music, even when not played in the magical amp.

Corey and the band decide to….mix Trina’s diary, having been ‘powered up’ I guess by Trina’s latest hissy fit, lightning and the magical amp to play a song that will lure the zombies back into their graves, deanimate them and restore everyone to normal SOMEHOW.

This episode was definitely more solid than the first part. They didn’t reuse stupid jokes, barring one, and rely solely on a few bits of randomness to get them through. There are many more one-off jokes that work quite well.

While the story somehow manages to make even less sense than the first part, I’ve resigned myself to just taking this as a cartoon that goes with the flow and doesn’t aim to be logical. Sometimes, that’s fine. It’s a bit too noticeable, though. There’s a difference between cartoon logic and no logic.

The main pains in this one are random fart jokes here and there and the resident hottie, Nick Mallory’s dog reanimating and biting him. He’s been a pretty alright character so far – nice, suave, though also being full of himself and speaking in third person – so having him visit his dog’s grave, for real, only to have him come back to life as a zombie and bite him was a bit sad.

The one recurring joke was claiming Laney, the token girl of the group and token love interest for the main character, was wearing a costume when she clearly wasn’t. It wasn’t funny the first time, it wasn’t funny the next three times. I did like the gag where we see her heart beating really fast when Corey touches her lips and then exits out her mouth and leaves the room when he insults her.

The art and animation are, might as well coin this, typical TeleToons. I hate to say that because TeleToons is a network, not an animation studio, but it seems like every TeleToons show is the same style. Slide-y flash animation with big head/skinny bodies (weird shapes for the overweight people) I don’t dislike it, but it’s nothing special.

The voice acting is actually quite good. And the music, which needs to be impressive in a show about a band, is, shockingly, very good. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find decent music in shows about music…I found myself replaying the songs in the episode a few times. They’re not heading for the pop charts, but they’re very solid songs.

Last note, but I thought I’d mention that one of the creators behind this show, Todd Kaufman, also created Looped. I found this out before I watched the episode, so my expectations were quite low. However, this series also has the star power of the producers behind the Total Drama franchise (Kaufman and co-creator Mark Thornton also directed numerous episodes of Total Drama) so I became as mixed as I was when I watched the full episode.

Final Verdict:

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I’m just not firm enough in my opinion of this show to give it a ‘yes’ in all good conscience. This is heavily leaning ‘yes’, though it was leaning ‘no’ for the first half. It has promise, but it needs to make a bit more sense, get rid of the fart jokes and focus more on quick jokes that work instead of hammering the same joke into us over and over.

It’d also be a good idea to tone down Trina, throw poor Mina a damn bone and stop whatever that stupid diary thing is because I cannot make heads or tails of it and it takes up way too much time to be justified.

Dissecting the Disquels: Lilo and Stitch 2 – Stitch has a Glitch

Rating: 6/10

Plot: Stitch starts experiencing odd bouts of uncontrollable destruction. While everyone, even Lilo, starts believing Stitch is reverting back to his old ways, Jumba and Pleakley know the truth. Stitch’s molecules were never fully charged when he was created, and now he’s experiencing massive glitches in his programming that are causing these destructive episodes. They scramble to find a way to recharge him before he loses so much energy that he dies.

Meanwhile, Lilo and Stitch are preparing for a hula competition. Her mother won the competition years ago and she wants to win to make her proud. However, Stitch’s malfunctioning behavior continues to get in the way.

Breakdown: I’ve never had such massive mixed feelings for a Disquel before.

The main plot is solid. Have Stitch revert back to his destructive behavior, but make it more of a Jekyl and Hyde situation based on him glitching instead of having him turn bad for no reason. There’s a lot that could’ve been done with that, but they dropped the ball pretty bad.

We have three plots running through the movie – Lilo and Stitch’s hula plot, Nani and David are having relationship issues again and Pleakley’s being an annoying dumbass trying to ‘help’ him, and Jumba is trying to make a new fusion chamber to recharge Stitch before it’s too late.

Let’s start with Nani and David’s plot because that’s the shortest and most pointless. First of all, are these two ever happy together? I don’t remember a lot of their interactions from the TV series, and I love David a lot, he’s a great boyfriend and father/big brother figure to Lilo, but he and Nani, as a couple, seem very rocky. I feel like every time the focus is on them in this franchise, they’re having relationship issues.

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen1

This time, as Pleakley puts it, their relationship is just fizzling. Nani doesn’t seem to be paying much attention for him or making time for him. David keeps making the effort and Nani either doesn’t acknowledge it or can’t attend to it.

I know that Nani is very busy being a young single guardian to a small child, especially in the house filled with aliens they now inhabit, but she can usually make time for Lilo and does have downtime, yet never seems to be willing to give similar attention to David. Even when they’re just having a relaxing family fun night at home, he gets shafted.

The plot is mostly just David, for some reason, listening to Pleakley’s horrible dating advice, then Pleakley himself ruins it more and Nani gets mad for some reason. The plot is resolved by David helping Nani up a mountain. Not kidding. One minute she’s giving him the silent treatment at Lilo’s hula competition, then they’re making eyes at each other when he helps her up the mountain. Truly a romance for the ages.

That doesn’t solve anything, by the way. Their relationship is still ‘fizzling’ You can’t solve actual relationship issues with goo-goo eyes.

The hula plot, which takes up more of the runtime than the glitch plot, oddly, involves Lilo and Stitch trying to come up with a hula for an upcoming competition. Her mother won the competition one year and she wants to win in order to make her mother proud of her.

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen2

A lot of this plot is montages of them coming up with ideas, creating the hula and practicing for the hula. Some parts were entertaining and a little funny, but it really felt stretched out when we got to our third montage in this hour long movie. Not to mention that I think they’re hitting the Elvis button a bit hard in his movie. I know she loves Elvis and it does make for a good soundtrack, but I’ve seen Elvis movies with less Elvis.

There are also numerous emotional moments in this plotline because Stitch keeps destroying her plans when he has freakouts and Myrtle and her goons keep making her feel like she’s not good enough. I also really liked the ancient story they based the hula on.

I feel like Lilo was a bit out of character with Stitch, though. I know she’s emotional right now, but she never once, until the end, even questioned if something was wrong with Stitch. Instead, she just believed him to be flatout bad, told him so and said he would always be as such. Ouch.

Speaking of the moment of realization, even though the freakout that prompted that revelation was the same as all the others, she questioned if something was wrong with him this time for some reason. He cuts her cheek, even drawing blood, and the very next shot, not but five seconds later, the cut and blood are gone. Either Disney didn’t commit to this ‘shocking’ moment, the animators got lazy or they forgot.

Either way, that was an opportunity for something emotional and impacting, like Nani freaking out that Stitch actually hurt Lilo or Stitch having a horrified look on his face after he injured her and reprised the shame later after she found him on the cliffside. But, no, just Disney magic’d it off her face.

This was meant to mirror a part of Stitch’s nightmare where he does the same thing, but, again, the impact is lost if you magic it off her face.

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen3

The ending of this plot was alright and pretty sweet. At least they didn’t go the cliché route of having her return to the competition and win, and it’s implied that Mertle definitely didn’t win because her hula was crap. I realize now that Mertle’s pretty much the only surviving embodiment of the annoying jerkass mainland tourist characters, besides the silent fat beachgoers, that they had in the original cut.

There are numerous deleted scenes from the first Lilo and Stitch movie where Lilo encounters obnoxious mainland tourists, some of which being borderline racist, but they were more or less all cut before the actual animation started. Mertle does live in Hawaii, but she’s the only white character in the entire series, and the hula implies that her father brought her family from the mainland to Hawaii to sell cheap ‘authentic’ Hawaiian merchandise.

I might be reading too much into that, but it’s interesting to consider.

Now to the actual plot of the movie, the glitch. This is the part with which I have the most problems.

First off, while it’s a solid plot, it’s ultimately wasted potential. All Stitch does is mess up a few things and give Lilo an insta-healing scratch. I didn’t want him to do too much damage or hurt people, but they had the foundation of a really decent plot here, one that could’ve been much more emotionally impacting and interesting for Stitch, but they decided to just have him be a slight nuisance.

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen4

Secondly, half of this movie would never have happened had Jumba and Pleakley just told Lilo, Stitch and Nani what was going on. I never understood why they were keeping this a secret or why they were letting this malfunctioning destruction machine stay running loose with a small girl.

If they had just told them what was happening, they wouldn’t have treated Stitch like a monster, Stitch and Lilo would’ve never fought, Stitch would realize he’s not inherently bad and wouldn’t feel like garbage and maybe they could’ve helped save him. They also could’ve kept him contained to prevent him from causing damage and hurting people. But nope, it’s a secret for no reason.

Lastly, the resolution to this plot is so predictable it’s depressing. I predicted it by just reading the little blurb for the synopsis. Stitch causes problems, everyone gets mad at him, his glitches get too bad, death fakeout, Lilo’s love awakens him, all is well.

To make it even worse, they foreshadow the ending with Lilo’s hula story. It also has two friends being torn asunder by outside forces, resulting in one of their deaths, and love brings the other back to life.

Do I even need to mention that this lesson isn’t exactly a good one? Look, Disney, I know you love love, I know you love love=magic too, but teaching kids that love can be so powerful it can bring the dead to life is not really a healthy message.

To anyone who cares to disagree, let me remind you that Lilo is an orphan. She is probably one of the worst characters to be partaking in this trope. I just keep imagining:

Doctor: “I’m sorry, Nani and Lilo. We did everything we could to revive your parents, but I guess you just didn’t love them enough.”

Lilo and Stitch 2 Screen5

I was actually going to give this moment a pass because Stitch did spend some time in the fusion chamber before he was revived in Lilo’s arms. Maybe he got enough power and then Lilo woke him up. But then we get this exchange.

Pleakley: “But…how is it possible?”

Jumba: “It’s not!”

So, the fusion chamber seemingly had nothing to do with it. Also, not only did Lilo’s love for Stitch bring him back to life, it also fully recharged his molecules.

Yay, science?

Despite all of that, I can’t say I hated or even massively disliked this movie. It has plenty of funny moments and some pretty heartwarming ones too – the aforementioned death fakeout nearly had me getting misty-eyed, especially with the song they put in there – it’s just sloppily written and disappointing.

The art and animation are better than Stitch! The Movie. It’s somewhere between TV quality and the original movie’s quality, siding more with the movie quality.

The music is also definitely better than Stitch! The Movie with many more tracks, some new, some old, and a new vocal song made just for the movie, “Always.” which was very nice and relaxing.

The voice acting was well-done. Most of the cast reprises their roles from the original movie, except Daveigh Chase is replaced by Dakota Fanning. She does a remarkable job, though. I couldn’t even tell the difference.

I can’t believe I never realized David Ogden Stiers voiced Jumba. That’s so awesome.

All in all, the technical quality is great, but the story falls flatter than pancakes. It’s predictable out the gate, only gets more predictable with foreshadowing and most of the problems would’ve been fixed had Jumba and Pleakley just told them about what was going on. It’s not unsalvagable because it does have its moments, but it’s still a mess. It’s definitely on the higher end for a Disquel, but firmly middle of the road for a movie as a whole.

Recommended Audience: There’s kinda blood, a little, but the wound magically vanishes. Death is mentioned and there’s a reversed death. 5+