SSBS – Dinosaur King Episode 2: Battle at the Pyramids

ssbs - Dinosaur King Episode 2

Plot: Rex’s father discovers more Dino Cards. While waiting for them to arrive, a spinosaurus emerges in Egypt. Since Max is the only one with a stone and a dino, he’s is the only one able to transport himself to Egypt through use of the Dino-Holder. However, the Alpha gang has their sights set on the spinosaurus as well. Did Max and Chomp bite off more than they can chew?

Breakdown: I apologize for that pun, and this episode is pretty boring. Second episodes are usually just about establishing excess stuff that they weren’t able to establish in the first episode. The other two team members need dinos, we need to establish more things about the universe, and the Alpha gangs needs a bit more firepower to stay on even ground with the D-Team. Most of the episode is either recapping stuff we already knew, talking about nothing or quickly spewing out exposition.

All you really need to know is now Rex has a carnisaurous named Ace and the power of wind, and Zoe has a parasaurolophus, which is way too hard to pronounce and spell, named Paras and the power of nature. Zoe’s move card is also a healing ability. So yay, more female characters relegated to being support/healers! Whoo.

The Alpha Gang also caught the spinosaurus to make their numbers a bit more even, and Dr. Z fabricated a move card for the T-rex.

…..Oh and the D-Team is also massively stupid and uncaring. First, Max doesn’t notice nor care that Rex and Zoe didn’t teleport to Egypt alongside him. They could be dead for all he knew, but he doesn’t even bat an eyelash.

Second, they’re specifically fighting in the ruins of ancient Egypt because the setting makes for a better battle. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, they do flatout destroy some of the monuments. Specifically, they beheaded the sphinx and they put a massive dent in one of the pyramids. The kids don’t notice nor do they care.

Third, after they’ve destroyed parts of what made Egypt so magnificent and fascinating to begin with, they decide, after the battle, that they’ll stay in Egypt for a week and see the sights…..the thoroughly destroyed sights. Oh and Dr. Taylor and Reese also don’t care that they both destroyed some of the most beloved ancient artifacts in the world (They’re goddamn paleontologists) and are taking an unsupervised week-long trip in Egypt on the fly.

Idiots.

Even if they’re poorly CGI’d representations of the monuments, it’s really hard to root for the protagonists when they flippantly destroy some of the coolest remaining parts of ancient Egypt. They don’t even properly react when it happened. They just throw dinosaurs into them and then YAY we win!

Rating: 3/10

Next episode…..

…Previous Episode

Final Notes: Can someone tell the writers so stop trying to hard when it comes to Dr. Taylor? They are going to ridiculous lengths to make him seem like a wacky off-the-cuff character.

Episode One-Derland: Honey and Clover

Plot: A group of starving destitute college students try to live their lives as they struggle with the hardships of blooming love.

Breakdown:……You know those shows that earn nothing but critical praise and when you watch it you just….don’t get it?

Honey and Clover is one of those shows to me.

Maybe this is just a bad show for Episode One-Derland….but…I don’t get it. Every review I find of this show has practically nothing but good things to say about it, and I couldn’t get a response above anything but an ‘okay’ while watching this first episode.

Seriously, the few things I could dredge up that had bad things to say about this series were just met with posts that amounted to, putting it politely, ‘you’re wrong. It’s good.’

I know josei shows are slow, but my problems run deeper than that.

This episode seems to give off the illusion that all of the main characters are being properly established, but I can’t remember most of them well enough to build a solid foundation. Half of the cast I’ve relegated to ‘desperate starving college student.’

The main-main character seems to be Yuuta, but outside of being a bit of a buttmonkey, he’s not very characterized so far. Takumi’s kind of a straightman. The most prominent character so far is Shinobu – a strange guy who disappears for weeks on end, comes back in a daze with an armful of food and a big wad of cash. No one knows where he goes or what he does when he’s gone. He’s the most entertaining character so far, but it’s not really enough to save the cast.

Other than that we have Shuu, and his cousin’s daughter, Hagumi.

It’s here where I kinda started pumping the brakes. I didn’t think I’d be thinking this while watching a josei show, but here goes….Why are these college students falling in love with an eight year old girl?

Hagumi is one of those characters who, we’re told, is 18 years old, but screw you, no she’s not. She is clearly an eight year old girl. She looks eight, she dresses like she’s eight, people treat her like she’s eight – she’s eight.

It was very unsettling to have her first proper appearance be accompanied by a very long pan shot down the right side of her body as a flower fell and Yuuta looking on in wonder. It’s even worse when Takumi starts doing it and it keeps happening – that same glittery sparkly ‘I’m in love’ effect for a girl who looks like she’s missing nap time.

It’s not even just that she looks eight, either – she acts like a little kid too. She has yet to say barely a word the entire time, choosing instead to mimic Heroine from Amnesia and just respond to everything with little sounds and a blank look of idiocy on her face. When she does talk, she speaks in a very timid whisper.

Her cousin also does nothing but treat her like a kid. He talks to her like she’s a toddler, calls her adorable and points out how cute she looks while struggling with a big tea pot. She doesn’t even get mad when people do this, she just takes it. The biggest reaction we got from her was her shaking in nervousness as Shinobu gave her a leaf and started taking pictures of her…..There’s no way you’d think this girl’s 18 unless someone flatout told you, which they did.

This isn’t a very strong basis for a romance plot either, because it’s literally love at first sight for both Takumi and Yuuta and the only backing behind the love is ‘Wow, she’s cute.’ I think we’re at a point in time where these types of romances shouldn’t fly. Shinobu also falls for her at first sight, but his is less obvious and somehow more disturbing because he clearly does that sparkly stare thing then follows it up by telling her to hold up a giant leaf and take a bunch of pictures of her because she’s adorable.

I just can’t focus anymore. Am I being the insensitive one here? There are diseases that make you look pre-pubescent, and those people should be free to live their own lives and fall in love with whoever they want, but this is love at first sight with a girl who looks like she’s eight. She doesn’t have any sort of medical condition to make her look young or a mental condition that makes her act infantile. Even her Wiki says she’s simply short, designed to look like a child and has the face of a doll.

Somehow, that’s even creepier.

The show’s dialogue is also a bit exposition-y. Who feels the need to point out such specific things about characters when the other characters seem to know all about them? I swear, they pointed out Shinobu’s penchant to go off on these weird adventures three times.

The opening theme is….kinda weird. The music’s grating and the animation behind it is claymation foods where the final shot is of crabs that turn into a crab hand and try to grab you….The ending is alright.

There’s some decent comedic moments, and I didn’t get annoyed by anyone, but I really didn’t get what the big deal was nor could I ignore the squickiness of Hagumi’s whole situation. If I’m just misunderstanding something that they’ll explore later, I’m sorry, but on an intro episode basis, this is off-putting.

Final Verdict:

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This series has such high praise that I don’t want to drop it entirely, but my first impressions of it were not really good. I guess I’ll just pick it back up and watch an episode or two whenever I feel like it. Hopefully, I will change my mind fully as time goes on…..Don’t think I’m going to get over the Hagumi thing, though. Am I overreacting? Am I missing something? I have to be, right?

Amon (Manga) Volume 6 (FINALE) Review

Plot: As the apocalypse surges, Akira struggles to maintain his resolve, and Cadney rears up for his final assault. Meanwhile, the demons plot to finally break Akira by taking away the one thing in this world that gives him hope.

The world’s crumbling.

Will anyone be left standing?

Breakdown: If you’ve already read the ending of the original Devilman series, there’s not really much to hold you to this volume. It is, by default, essentially the ending of the original manga just with a few more details and added scenes put in.

The biggest buildup so far has been Cadney, but since he had no role whatsoever in Devilman, we can assume his role here is nothing to write home about.

And it’s not. It’s incredibly disappointing.

We learn that Cadney was present at the Black Sabbath party, but he was the only one, besides Ryou, to keep his humanity during the whole thing. He huddled up on the floor and believed him to be the only one to truly be a self-controlled Devilman since even Akira was losing control back then. However, it’s revealed that Cadney’s demon side is really just fragments of Amon, somehow.

He starts to lose control of his demon powers and tries to assimilate with Amon. Manjirou, who had been assimilated last volume, suddenly pops up and sets Cadney on fire as his final act. That was a pretty nice twist for such a minor character.

Oh yeah, Cadney latches onto Amon later and reanimates Miki’s body to taunt him only to be decapitated a page later. Pretty pointless.

Another new scene we get is Akira fighting Amon, literally. They split off from each other and have an evenly matched fight. It’s pretty awesome, but really short lived because Ryou interrupts.

For anyone who has never read the original Devilman, I’d imagine this final chapter would be really weird. We gear up for a final showdown between Ryou/Satan and Akira/Amon, but then we cut away to the very start of the story when Ryou’s saving Akira from Dosuroku and his gang back when they were thugs. As he did then, he calls himself crazy and the story just ends. If I was reading this without having read Devilman, I’d be insanely confused, and I’d feel very ripped off.

To recap the ending of Devilman, there’s a massive battle between the demons, humans and devilmen, particularly Satan and Amon, where eventually everyone dies. Ryou/Satan and Akira/Amon are the only ones left, but we see that even Akira’s dead and Satan’s left all alone only to be destroyed when the angels of heaven come down to wipe out every living being left on earth, including the demons, and supposedly restore humanity.

They could’ve redone that, but I dunno. Maybe they felt it redundant?

Nothing else of real note happens that didn’t happen in the finale of Devilman.

Entire Series Rating: When all is said and done, the first half and second half of this entire series seems to be awkwardly stitched together. Some of the additions, due to the constraints of the original series, were just disappointing, particularly Cadney in his entirety. However, each story on their own, while sometimes being difficult to follow, particularly if you’ve never read the original manga (and sometimes if you have read it) is pretty good and adds a fair amount of development and interesting scenes that were missing from the original Devilman.

The art is both beautifully and grotesquely detailed, and there are many scenes that look much better than the original series ever did. It’s not as good as Devilman, but it’s a very solid entry in the franchise.

7/10

Recommended Audience: There’s damn near everything outside of sex. There’s full-frontal nudity, though the genitals are never really drawn (nor are they covered usually, though) A lot of blood, gore, violence, and mature themes spread throughout the entire series. 16+

Pokemon Extravaganza: Movie 07 (Sub) Deoxys the Visitor 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. Rayquaza seemingly kills Deoxys before returning to the sky.

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

Meanwhile, Satoshi/Ash and the others meet a boy named Toi/Tori 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 Toi is a lot more difficult than they first thought.

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This poster is definitely more dynamic than the American poster, but, being fair, the American poster is just an Englished-up version of an alternate Japanese poster, so I can’t really complain too much.

From all I can find, this movie is a very loyal translation, if not the most loyal adaptation we’ve seen so far, so I don’t believe this requires a step-by-step analysis.

Instead, let’s review this in a chunklet format – by 20 minute chunks.

20 Minute Mark

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The World of Pokemon opener is actually the same dialogue we’ve come to know of it instead of trying to shoehorn in stuff about the Pokeball itself.

Just now noticing that the animation on the Jolteon in the opener with the herd of Pokemon running is so jarring I’d even say it’s incomplete.

Now I know what this opener with the awful CGI reminds me of. Pokemon Snap. Mm, I miss Pokemon Snap.

I don’t have the Japanese video track so, sadly, I can’t compare the title screens.

Tory’s Japanese name is Toi. Also, his last named is Rondo, which may be accurately-ish turned into Lund.

Status update: Munchlax/Gonbe is still adorable and hilarious.

Oh god, the little cube robots are just as annoying here as they were in the dub….

40 Minute Mark

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Satoshi tells Toi he only wants to battle as they exit the elevator whereas Ash just said ‘Wait, we just wanna…’ which makes it a little more understanding in the original as to why this guy just shoved these kids into the battle tower system….the system still should have recognized that Toi’s not a Trainer, though.

Likewise, Hitomi/Rebecca says Satoshi beat her to the arena, not that he cut in front of her. Wording is everything, 4Kids.

I have no idea how I got through Movie 06 without noticing this, but Masato’s/Max’s Japanese voice is terrible.

Ryu was changed to Rafe, and Shota was changed to Sid.

Satoshi actually acts like kind of a jerk when he takes the reigns in the match. Whereas Ash tells Tori not to worry about battling, Satoshi says, in a pretty rough tone, ‘I’ve had enough of this! I’ll do this alone!’ Dude, chill out. He said he’s not a Trainer and yet you pestered him to battle all because you were way too hyped to battle someone you met ten minutes ago. Is it really a surprise he has no idea what to do?

Status Update: Yup, still adorable.

Later Status Update: Still hilarious.

Okay, so we get a bit of a trade off here. Haruka is a little more rude to Shota than May is to Sid and Takeshi is much less of a pushy controlling asshat in that one scene with Hitomi than Brock was with Rebecca.

Obviously, the insert song during the little Pokemon party is completely different from the dub’s. And….this song really is just bad. I feel like this song should be in some moe shoujo anime, not Pokemon. The melody is okay, a little toe-tapping, but the lyrics and vocals are just….gah. Not to mention, with all the talk of stars, this song seems more suited for Movie 06….

Also, the song just suddenly ends after the second chorus. *shrug*

One Hour Mark

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Nothing of note, really.

One Hour 20 minute Mark

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Haruka: “Motionless escalators feel kinda weird.”

……Excuse me, Mitch, gonna borrow a joke for a second.

Mitch Hedberg: “I like escalators because escalators can never break. They can only become stairs. There would never be an ‘escalator temporarily out of order’ sign, only an ‘escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.’”

For the record, May merely said that she’d never take escalators for granted again.

Audrey and Catherine, Rafe’s sisters, keep their original names. Though I have to wonder why they have English names and Ryu’s is very obviously Japanese.

End

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Satoshi: “Professor Rondo, Toi’s not the only one who can save the city. I’m here too!” You really can’t let anyone else have the spotlight for five minutes, can you? This is Movie 04 all over again.

Wow, Kabigon/Snorlax’s Japanese voice is…..just awful. Just….terrible.

As expected, the end credits song is just the insert song only longer and somehow it’s even worse in the extended version. The added lyrics are even more cutesy and lame and, while it’s not horribly repetitive, it still is as such.

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This movie is damn near identical to the 4Kids version barring some minor dialogue changes that both make the script better and worse, so it evens out. The music is worse thanks to the lone vocal song, but then again the video isn’t cropped so that also evens out.

All in all, I have the same problems with the original as I do the dub. Some problems differ due to slight script changes, but I’m ultimately just as ‘satisfied’ with the original as I was with the dub.

Recommended Audience: Same as the dub, 6+

CSBS – Xiaolin Showdown S01 Ep03: Tangled Web

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Plot: Kimiko and Jack Spicer are in a Xiaolin Showdown for the Monkey Staff, a shen gong wu that can turn people into monkeys. Jack is breezing through while using his shen gong wu, the Jetbootsu, which allow him to defy gravity and walk on walls. Kimiko, however, only has the Fist of Tebigong, which doesn’t lend any help to their current climbing contest.

She tries to use it to knock Jack down by punching into the mountainside, but since his boots allow him to defy gravity, he doesn’t move an inch. Instead, it causes a rockslide that knocks Kimiko down the mountain, allowing Jack to win the Showdown, the Monkey Staff and the Fist of Tebigong.

On the way back home, Omi tries to ‘comfort’ Kimiko by saying she had no chance anyway since she’s a girl and was competing against a guy. Clay says the real reason behind her loss is her quick temper. He others start taunting her when they’re interrupted by Dojo detecting a shen gong wu – the Tangle Web Comb, which allows the user to wrap up their enemies in web. They’re in luck, because the shen gong wu is right below the boat so Kimiko dives in and retrieves it to make up for the ones she just lost.

Still being mocked at home because her new shen gong wu is a comb (and combs are a ‘girl’ thing) Kimiko tries to impress the boys by showing off her skills with the Tangle Web Comb only to get wrapped up in the webs herself. As she struggles to free herself, the boys leave to snoop through her things.

Master Fung arrives and tells her the real reason the Comb isn’t working for her is because it requires total focus. To help her understand her level of focus, he asks Kimiko to pour a cup of tea from an incredibly heavy pot without spilling any. She does the task quite well until Raimundo, Clay and Omi walk in the room with Clay reading her diary, Raimundo messing with her PDA and Omi eating her lipstick. They continue on with the sexist comments and mocking, telling her to serve them tea too. She struggles through the pouring, but gets so angry at Omi’s next sexist comment that she breaks the pot.

Meanwhile, back with Spicer, he’s loving the Monkey Staff, but finds that he’s slowly getting more and more monkey-like the longer he holds it. A teenage girl enters his lab, having sneaked out of his parents party upstairs. She likes his evil lair but he demands that she leave. Just then, Wuya sense the next shen gong wu – the Gold Tiger Claws, which allow the user to teleport anywhere they please.

The Golden Tiger Claws are inside the Emperor’s palace. To get in, they need connections, and Kimiko’s dad has plenty of those. He grants them access on one condition – they all need to be wearing formal robes and Kimiko needs to wear an elegant kimono. She begrudgingly agrees and they enter through a secret passageway that leads to an underground cavern.

Jack Spicer has beat them to the area but not to the Golden Tiger Claws. Jack distracts the group with his Jack-Bots so he can get to the Claws first. Kimiko doesn’t fall for the distraction, however, and both she and Spicer get to the Claws at the same time, starting a Xiaolin Showdown. The game? A race across twin bridges.

Jack bolts ahead with his newfound monkey abilities, and Kimiko trails behind due to the constricting nature of her kimono. She’s able to move a little better when she throws off her wooden shoes, but she still can’t even start to keep up with Jack. She tries to use the Tangle Web Comb, but her lack of focus makes the Comb backfire on her again. She realizes that, the angrier she gets at Jack’s laughing, the tighter the web constricts. She clears her mind and finally focuses, allowing her to snatch the Monkey Staff from Spicer. With the agility given to her by the Monkey Staff and the abilities of the Comb, she is able to grab the Claws before Spicer, winning the Showdown. Omi gains a newfound respect for women and she states that she expects more respect from the whole group.

Back with Jack, he’s getting chewed out by Wuya for losing another Xiaolin Showdown when the same girl from earlier enters dressed in a Catwoman-like outfit and introducing herself as Katnappe. Jack sics his Jack-Bots on her and she easily defeats them. Completely impressed by her skills, Wuya recruits her to help them gain the shen gong wu.

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This episode was yet another where the message is shoved in our faces from the very instant the episode starts. Kimiko’s a hothead. She needs to learn to calm down. Wonder what will happen in the rest of the episode.

And, really, was getting pissed off that Omi was telling her that girls are not as skilled as guys, are meant to serve tea and belong in the kitchen an example of that? Fuck off. I know Omi is basing his logic off of ancient mindsets, but no one tries to teach him otherwise or correct him on his behavior. When he says this stuff, Clay just says ‘Go easy on Kimiko.’ Master Fung doesn’t even stop them from being sexist assholes. He just lets it happen.

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I get that the lesson is to keep calm no matter what is being thrown at you, but this still seems like it’s overkill and unnecessary.

Not to mention that Kimiko didn’t lose the first time because of her temper – she lost because that was literally the only option for her. It was a last-ditch effort and it failed. What else is she supposed to do in a climbing race with the Fist of Tebigong?

I’m also getting really sick of how much these guys do nothing but make fun of and disrespect each other. There’s friendly jabbing and then there’s 95% of their scenes together being mocking, taunting and jackassery. The first thing they do when Kimiko wraps herself up in webs is go snooping through her stuff and leave her there. And they don’t just go through her things – they take her PDA and use it, eat her lipstick and read her diary.

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You want to know something really weird? The one guy not being completely douchey today…..was Jack. It’s expected for him to be mocking and taunting, especially during the Xiaolin Showdown. But his mocking is mostly just laughing at her and calling her out on her temper. And he never once says a sexist word – even in spite of interacting with another female character who annoys him (Katnappe).

To be honest, I still don’t see the major problem with her temper. She’s acting no more impulsive and easily aggravated than Raimundo or Omi. Anyone would get pissed if they had to constantly be treated like crap and listen to their so-called friends spout out a never-ending stream of sexist comments. If anything, she has a problem with her ego…..which is also a problem shared with Raimundo and Omi.

The Xiaolin Showdown this time also didn’t make much sense. Each time that one of them has gone into a Xiaolin Showdown, they instantly get changed into their warrior robes. Here, Kimiko stays in her kimono purely so they can slow her down in the race and get a plot device started.

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They try to make up for the mocking and crap by having the boys start a bet on when Kimiko will find her focus, making it seem like that in itself is mocking her, but then it’s revealed that they, or at least Raimundo, bet that it would be very soon…..but no. No. I don’t buy it. Also, Omi never apologizes for what he said. He just said that her actions in the Showdown taught him a lot about the strength of women.

I do indeed get the irony in that it seems like I’m losing my temper right now.

The only redeeming aspects of this episode are Kimiko getting her first show of badassery and Monkey!Jack.

Rating: 3/10

Next episode, Katnappe goes on a crime spree after acquiring the Golden Tiger Claws from the monks.

…Previous Episode

 

Memories Episode 2: Stink Bomb Review

Rating: 6.5/10

Plot: Nobuo Tanaka has a cold that he just can’t shake. He goes to the clinic to get a shot for his illness, but nothing seems to help. Some coworkers at the pharmaceutical development company in which he works tell him of an experimental drug for colds that their associate has samples of in his office and they suggest trying one. After he takes one, he falls asleep on the couch in the break room. Hours later, Nobuo wakes up and finds everyone in the building has passed out.

After triggering the emergency accident alarm, he’s contacted by the higher ups at the company who tell him to gather the pills and some documents and meet them in Tokyo immediately.

The drug that Nobuo took was actually a secret experimental drug that they were contracted to make by the government to use as protection against biological weapons, but it seems to have counteracted badly with the shot he received earlier. While this seems like an easily fixed mistake, it’s soon discovered that the mass wave of unconsciousness is caused by a smell Nobuo is giving off, and it’s so strong that he leaves a wake of unconscious bodies wherever he goes.

They have only two options; find some way to contain his stench and bring him in alive or find some way to kill him.

Breakdown: I kept hearing about how the other two episodes of Memories were nowhere near as strong as the first entry, and this episode supports that.

I don’t know what to make of this segment, really. They don’t even tell you if the people are falling unconscious or dying. The episode is mostly comedic, especially if the music is any indication, so I’d assume they’re just passed out, but they never say one way or another.

That’s one of the reasons why this segment feels like it doesn’t have much tension. People were dying and hallucinating in the first episode. They were locked in a mysterious haunted hologram within a living pile of space debris, tormented by images of their past and warped visions of their desires, luring them into doing what a shadow of a ghost wanted them to do.

This one has people supposedly just passing out due to the stank of a guy’s chemical sweat. It’s still a crisis, and who knows when or if these people will ever wake up, but it still doesn’t have anywhere near the level of impact that the first episode had, which is weird considering the magnitude of attack with which they chose to strike down Nobuo.

It is beyond insane what they do to try to kill this one person. Granted, they can’t get near him due to the stench, which is so strong it can pierce through gas masks and ventilators, but then they have to up the ante. The stench is somehow so powerful that it even affects electronics. They either go haywire or become disabled. Snipers in the area couldn’t get a clear shot because their electronic scopes were screwing up.

Then they try even more powerful munitions like a slue of attack helicopters with missiles, ground to air missiles, tanks, machine guns, battleships, even liquid nitrogen machines, and they all fail to hit him. You’d think one would hit close enough to kill him, even if it wasn’t a direct hit, but nope. The worst he gets is a little frayed jacket and some dirt on his pants.

At a certain point, you’d think they’d realize that the smell is causing the electronic disturbances and stop attacking him with anything that relies on anything remotely electronic (they do have non-electronic sniper rifles, guys) but nope. Up until the very ending they’re using electronic devices and machines, mech suits no less, to contain him.

By the way, during this whole onslaught, Nobuo’s riding a motor scooter….Yep. It craps out near the end, but he rides it the whole way without issue, and it’s more implied that the scooter probably died from the damage it received during the attack than the stink off of Nobuo.

They also realize something else about this chemical early on, something that was told to them by the company’s higher ups – the stink gets worse and more powerful as Nobuo gets increasingly stressed and starts to sweat more. So they decide scaring the living hell out of him by confronting him with a darkened sky of attack helicopters and missiles is a great idea. Good job, guys.

No joke, this whole thing might’ve been resolved with gentle words, some kindness and care, but they’d rather blow shit up with complete disregard as to the innocent people they might be killing in droves in the process.

Also, for some strange reason, this smell prompts the spontaneous growth of plants and flowers. They never say why.

The ending is very predictable. It seems like it’s an anti-climax because Nobuo gets so panicked after being cornered by the aforementioned mechs that he causes a massive breakdown in electronics in the area. They quick cut and show that Nobuo was…killed? They find his jacket and that’s all we see. They also make it very clear that these mech suits, for no reason, have the ability to tint the helmets and mask the person inside.

Everyone’s clamoring after stopping the stink, and they bring in the American soldier in the mech suit to congratulate him. He hands over the suitcase with the sample, clears the tint from the helmet and reveals that he’s actually Nobuo and the stench is still with him, just contained in the mech. Everyone panics as Nobuo ejects himself from the mech suit and releases the stink, supposedly damning everyone in the world to coma-dom.

Not only is this ending predictable, because otherwise it would be anti-climactic and make no sense, but it also….makes no sense.

If Nobuo had a massive electronic-killing panic attack, how did the mech still work after the breakdown? How did it work with him inside it?

How did no one get a confirmed kill? They really just saw his jacket and were like ‘he ded’?

I assume his breakdown knocked out at least one of the mech guys so he could take his suit, but why did the other mech guys get away unscathed? How did they not notice one of their own wasn’t who he said he was?

How did Nobuo get all the way into the command center without alerting anyone to who he was? Why did they not force him to take the suit off before going in? Or at least clear the tint? How did Nobuo know how to use the mech suit?

Why did it never occur to him that the smell was coming from him? You can literally see the gas emanating from him.

Why did he completely ignore the advice of his grandma? She’s yelling to him from a helicopter begging him to go to the mountains instead of Tokyo and it’s like he never even considers it. Why even have that scene in there then?

All in all, this is an interesting concept, but it’s one of those movies where I can’t help but be put off by how little sense it all makes. The tone is silly but is still trying to seem like there’s a lot on the line. Nobuo’s a dumbass, but he’s not entertaining enough to be memorable. It’s just a confused movie.

Great soundtrack, though.

Additional Information and Notes: Memories – Stink Bomb was directed by Tensai Okamura, who also directed Kikaider, Wolf’s Rain and Blue Exorcist. It was written by Katsuhiro Otomo, who also did the screenplays for Metropolis and Steamboy. It was produced by Madhouse, the one segment of the movie not to be produced by Studio 4°C, and it is currently licensed in the US by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Runtime: 37 Minutes

Year: 1995

Recommended Audience: If these people are dying, then there’s mass murder/death. Lots of ridiculous explosive violence, but no blood. 8+

Dreaming of Dreamworks: Shrek (2001) Review

Rating: 8/10

Plot: In a fairy tale world filled with creatures from nearly every fable known to man, an ogre named Shrek is forced from his home by the ruler, Farquaad. In order to get his home back, he is set out on a mission to retrieve a princess from a tower guarded by a fearsome dragon. Along with the talking donkey, Donkey, Shrek succeeds in his mission, but the journey back home proves to be much more eventful as Shrek and the princess start to fall in love.

Breakdown: It’s Dreamworks cash cow as a little calf, awwww.

Despite being milked for all its worth in the future, Shrek’s first installment is still a very solid movie with plenty of memorable and fun moments for all ages.

The message is one we’ve heard time and time and time again, but it’s told in a very refreshing way. There always was something odd about ‘it’s what’s inside that counts/don’t judge a book by its cover’ stories that end in the ‘ugly’ party becoming traditionally beautiful.

That doesn’t mean the movie’s perfect. There are still loads of gross-out gags and fart jokes that will never go away because, well, that’s Shrek’s bread and butter.

Not to mention this movie has dated itself quite a bit. It’s not loaded with pop-culture references, but we all know how Smash Mouth has become forever linked with this movie. There’s also a song on this by Leslie Carter, sister of Nick and Aaron Carter, and the end credits include a Baha Men song….the Who Let the Dogs Out? guys have a song on this….Not to mention that in the Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party mix, one of the songs they sing is actually Who Let the Dogs Out?

Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that there are two separate dance parties in this movie. At least on the DVD. The one where Donkey’s singing ‘I’m a Believer’ (Smash Mouth’s version, of course) and the Karaoke dance party that’s a bonus after the credits on the DVD. I wish the dance party trope would die in animated movies

Overall, I still really like this movie and would be more than glad to watch it again in the future. I even managed to spot some more ‘mature’ jokes on this viewing that I never caught in the past, and I have watched this movie several times as an adult.

The CGI has aged fairly well. It’s not mind blowing, and some shots are kinda shaky, but it’s still pretty damn good. However, compare the dragon ride scene in Shrek to the one in How to Train Your Dragon and you can tell they’ve made a world of improvements.

The music, despite some odd choices, is pretty good and fitting. My Beloved Monster and Me is particularly good. That song that plays as Fiona and Shrek eat dinner is also very nice to listen to. I even have It is You I Have Loved (All Along) on my iPod.

The voice acting is fantastic. Mike Myers as Shrek is a perfect example of a character brought to life through its voice. I know Chris Farley was the first voice actor for Shrek before he tragically passed away and was unable to complete recording, but he did a marvelous job standing in.

Eddie Murphy may have gotten on my nerves here and there, but I honestly couldn’t see anyone else as Donkey.

John Lithgow as Farquaad was also very well done, but that’s to be expected of Lithgow.

Recommended Audience: There is some crude humor as well as adult jokes, but the crude humor isn’t too offensive for little kids and the adult humor is usually way too subtle for kids to catch onto. There’s only some minor swearing, mostly in regards to saying the word ‘ass’ and usually referring to or talking to Donkey. 10+

One Piece (4Kids) Episode 3 Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Zoro’s still in danger of getting executed, but Luffy’s not giving up yet. He’s retrieved Zoro’s swords and it’s time to take down Helmeppo and Morgan!

——————————–

In the original, the title screen was held on Luffy’s face after the end of the recap where he says that he’ll be King of the Pirates. In the dub, the title screen is after Zolo reacts to this and Luffy answers him. We also have to include a closeup of Luffy’s face that came from I don’t know where to give the title screen more standing.

Title Screens:

They edit out Coby explaining to Zoro that Luffy’s serious about being King of the Pirates and that he believes that he can find One Piece.

With all of the editing out of anything Japanese, I’m surprised that they actually left in the name of Zoro’s three sword style – Santoryu.

In the original, the fruit that gives special powers is commonly called the devil fruit. In the dub, it’s almost always called the forbidden fruit or the cursed fruit.

Wow, 4Kids purposely put in a reference to a Bible story? One of Morgan’s sailors asks if Morgan means Adam and Eve when he mentions the cursed fruit.

4Kids took the scene of Coby talking that I mentioned was removed before to give Coby a throwaway line after Morgan’s explanation of the cursed fruit. In the original, we cut straight to the scene that follows, which is Luffy trying desperately to untie Zoro.

In the original there’s a shot of Coby cringing in fright at the impending attack. The shot then turns into a negative and we get some silence before cutting to Zoro’s scene of him rescuing them all. In the dub, the cringing, negative shot and the silence is all gone. They cut so quickly that it’s jarring.

In the original, Zoro says that if Luffy ever gets in the way of his goal of being the world’s greatest swordsman that he’ll have him commit seppuku as a punishment. In the dub, he just says it will be the end of his days. To be fair, kids likely wouldn’t know what seppuku is, and explaining it might even make the matter worse if we’re aiming this show towards kids (even though it’s not meant to be) seeing as how seppuku is a form of suicide that was used by samurai where the swordsman takes his blade and disembowels himself with it. 4Kids kept in the implication of death as punishment, so I’ll give them a pass for a change.

Originally, Morgan told his men to take their guns and shoot themselves in the head if they don’t have the guts to fight for him. In the dub, Morgan says that anyone who doesn’t have the guts to go out and fight will have to deal with him and his axe hand.

Dub Zolo: “Your axe doesn’t scare me, but your face does.” Wow. A ‘your face’ zinger. Watch out guys, we might start getting ‘yo mama’ jokes next. By the way, in the original, Zolo just mentions that the sailors are in disarray due to being treated badly by Morgan, so he sees it as an opening.

When Luffy is spinning in the air from Morgan’s second attack, he says “you wish!” In the dub, he’s not only quiet during this shot but it actually looks like they sped up the footage of him spinning, which makes it seems nauseating.

Ah, hey, here’s one of the moments that everyone’s been waiting for! The hammer gun! In the original, Helmeppo pops back up again and puts a gun to Coby’s head to make Luffy stop beating up his father. In the dub…..they change it to a hammer gun.

It’s not even really a ‘hammer gun’ per se, it’s more of a hammer on a spring with a separate handle. I don’t really understand how that would even work on a point of physics. The spring is loaded straight down. If the trigger merely releases the spring then all that the hammer would do is jolt upwards, leaving Coby unharmed. Yes, it’s as ridiculous as you think and this isn’t even the stupidest weapon that they edit in.

Also in the original, Helmeppo says that he’ll blow Coby’s head off. In the dub, he says he’ll smash his head flat.

It’s HAMMER TIME!:

Wanna see something stupid? They don’t bother editing the gun correctly in the further shot even though it’d be easy as hell. They do something….I can’t even tell what they did. It looks like they added a bow saw to the end of the gun. It’s certainly no hammer. I think that might be what they changed it to before they settled on a hammer gun, but I can’t tell what it actually is.

It’s NOT hammer time!:

Serious, what the hell is that?

In the original, the note that Buggy leaves behind in place of the map says “I’ve flashily taken the map! Buggy” In the dub, they actually translate it by putting “I took the chart. Sorry.” They omit the ‘flashily’ part and the, what I assume is sarcastic, apology.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The tone in the original scene after Nami finds the note is drastically changed. In the dub, she sounds very frightened by Buggy and the scene is accompanied by creepy organ music. In the dub, she sounds more like an annoyed teenager than frightened. “Oh, it’s Captain Buggy. They call him the pirate clown.” I’m surprised she didn’t say “ugh” and roll her eyes in that scene.

Since this is the first that we hear of Buggy, it’s supposed to make him seem frightening and be similar to an impending doom like Morgan. Here, he’s treated like a big joke. In fact, given later episodes, it really seems like the dub doesn’t want you to take Buggy seriously.

Also, the original has Nami state that Buggy’s called The Untouchable, not The Pirate Clown. That’s a big scary nickname. Don’t get in my way or I’ll make you a balloon animal and squirt seltzer in your face!

They edit out a shot of Nami looking out the window with her reflection staring back at us before the commercial.

Zoro’s Eyecatch:

A further shot of the town is cut out before we see Zoro done with his meal.

A shot of the girl asking Coby about the Grand Line and Coby looking down before we cut to the shot of the map is edited out.

The map is changed in the dub. The dubbed version has more color to it, and the arrow that says “Red line” is painted away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

In the original, Coby spends much more time on the floor contemplating what Luffy did for him. We keep cutting back and forth between Luffy walking away and Coby on the floor as he thinks about him needing Luffy’s help to the very end and feels like he’s worthless. In the dub, he spends only about 1/10 of that time on the floor and the constant cutbacks to Luffy are cut out.

In the original, the punishment for saluting Luffy’s ship was loss of rations for three days. In the dub it’s one week…..♪ It’s been…ONE WEEK since you ate rations. Turned your head to the side and said “I’m hungry.”

———————————-

This episode was pretty good. It was a solid conclusion to this arc, and we finally got the almighty Zoro. I’m fine with Coby leaving the group as he wouldn’t have had anything to contribute to the crew at this point and his dream lies with the Marines. He does come back much later in the series, so that’s awesome. Dub-wise, the hammergun eclipses all. I don’t know how people only following the dub didn’t also laugh at that.

Next episode, Luffy’s backstory! How did Luffy get his trademark straw hat and why is he so determined to be king of the pirates?

…Previous Episode

SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 41: The Wind Brings Happiness – A Heartfelt Prayer

SSBS - TMM EP41

Plot: Shirogane and Akasaka detect numerous disturbances in Tokyo Bay and set out the Mews to fight once again, but Lettuce has reservations. She asks if they can talk to the aliens instead and come to an understanding. Even though the other Mews have similar thoughts and agree that the aliens also have feelings and hearts that should be respected, they can’t deny that the aliens don’t seem to be reasonable. The chances of them coming to an understanding are far too low and it’s dangerous to avoid fighting since it might cost them the lives of those they’re trying to protect.

The aliens’ newest plan involves growing a chimera animal that creates pollutants. Using a current generator, when the chimera animal is fully grown, they’re spread the pollutants all over the bay, killing every creature in the ocean.

The group splits off into two teams to combat the minor chimera animals Pai has sent out into the bay to guard the main beast. Pudding and Ichigo dive underwater to investigate when they’re swarmed by a school of vicious chimera animal fish. The girls transform and start to fight, but there are simply too many to take down. They’re forced to retreat, but the fish take chase.

Meanwhile, Masha spots the current generator and sends out an emergency beacon only to be shot down by Pai seconds later. After receiving the signal, the group changes up their teams with Lettuce heading off with Shirogane to investigate the signal while Akasaka and the rest of the Mews head in the other direction to distract the fish.

When Lettuce and Shirogane arrive at the location of Masha’s lost signal, their boat is suddenly overturned by the toxic chimera animal, now fully grown.

While Lettuce can breathe underwater while in her Mew form, Shirogane starts to drown. She tries to save him, but the chimera animal gets in her way. The chimera animal grabs Shirogane and makes off with him. However, it suddenly changes color, lets go of Shirogane and leaves to fulfill its duties to pollute the sea.

Meanwhile, the other Mews set a trap for the chimera animal fish and Taruto. Pudding traps them all within her Pudding Ring Inferno, made larger by Mint Echo, Zakuro fends off Taruto and Ichigo finishes the fish off.

Back with Lettuce, she’s able to spot Shirogane under the water by catching a glimpse of the Mew Aqua on his necklace, but Pai stops her from saving him. She tries to appeal to his heart, but he refuses to listen. She avoids his attacks and rushes towards Shirogane. Her body reacts to the Mew Aqua and she becomes a mermaid again.

She kisses Shirogane to transfer some of the Mew Aqua’s power to him to help save his life. The Mews and Akasaka arrive at the current generator and are confronted by the main chimera animal. Lettuce emerges from the water, and the light from the Mew Aqua causes the chimera animal to recoil in pain. Taking the window of opportunity, Ichigo mounts an attack and defeats it.

After the battle, Shirogane wakes up, and Lettuce is ecstatic to know he’s alright. Masha is fished from the water, exhausted and damaged, but not in disrepair.

Breakdown:

– Again, I thought they were trying to reclaim the earth and hated that humans were polluting it, yet their plan this week is to pollute the bay and kill every creature in there? Is this like a commentary on the human condition? Now the aliens are screwing nature up and not fully taking into consideration the consequences of their actions?

– I know Lettuce isn’t a strong swimmer, but does it not make more sense to send the only aquatic animal based Mew out scuba diving into the water?

– Also, those wet suits are really cool.

– Just gonna come out and say it – I ship Lettuce and Shirogane. He makes her more confident, she softens him up, they work well together. It kinda pisses me off that they so unceremoniously end it after just teasing it a couple of times.

– This is really nitpicky, but not only can Lettuce, when transformed, breathe underwater, but she can also talk. I’ll forgive the talking since that’s connected to the breathing and just something characters that can breathe underwater tend to do, but it doesn’t really make sense for her to have the ability to breathe underwater. The animal she’s based on, the black finless porpoise, is a mammal. It can’t breathe underwater.

However, fun fact, their eyesight is terrible, and that might be the reason why Lettuce wears glasses.

– It is a little touching that Taruto actually seems like he feels guilty for taking control of the fish when Pudding calls him out on it.

– That was actually a pretty clever trap that they laid for the chimera animal fish. I’m a little annoyed that Pudding’s Pudding Ring Inferno keeps coming off like it’s a weak ability that can easily be broken, but it was a good plan.

– Uh, Pai, I’m pretty sure you can’t use directed lightning attacks like that underwater.

– The animation for this episode has been on the lower end of the spectrum. Not the worst in the series, but noticeably poor.

———————————–

I liked this episode, but I didn’t love it. I’m a little disappointed that Lettuce turned into a mermaid again only to save Shirogane and to be an annoying distraction for the chimera animal while Ichigo, once again, gets the last shot. Maybe I wouldn’t be as irritated if she didn’t also get the last shot on the chimera animal fish not but five minutes prior.

I should at least be thankful she wasn’t the central focus of this episode when it was Lettuce’s time to shine….literally.

I do love Shirogane and Lettuce’s dynamic, and it’s nice that they’re continuing to show the softer sides of the aliens. Also, I did really appreciate that the Mews legitimately defeated the chimera animal fish together instead of the other girls being a shield or distraction or something.

Rating: 7.5/10

Next time, is Zakuro leaving the Mews to move to the US?

….Previous Episode

Pokemon Episode 52 Analysis – Princess vs. Princess

Pokemon Episode 52 screen1

CotD(s): None

Captures: Jessie’s Lickitung – Lickitung’s random capture is matched only by its equally random sudden accidental trade away much later down the line in Johto. Despite clearly being much more powerful than Arbok, Jessie rarely ever uses Lickitung in battle because I guess she has Ash syndrome when it comes to it. Lickitung has a massive appetite, but doesn’t have much of a personality besides that.

Plot: It’s Princess Day! – A holiday dedicated to celebrating women. During this day, girls get all sorts of special perks like massive sales at stores, free food and even having the men in their lives do anything they want.

As Misty and Jessie enjoy the spoils of Princess Day, a Lickitung comes along and spoils Jessie’s day by eating the gifts she got for Giovanni and ruining the clothes she bought for herself. She tries to battle it with Arbok, but it’s easily beaten in one lick. Jessie decides instead to capture it and she’s actually successful.

Later, at a big clothing store’s Princess Day sale, Misty and Jessie are caught in a massive fight over some of the clothes while the boys sit and sigh in the corner, waiting for them to be done. Misty and Jessie start a fight over a particularly nice article of clothing, which leads to them about to start a Pokemon battle when suddenly the clothing is taken by another woman.

Over the loudspeaker, Jessie and Misty hear the announcement for the main event of the Princess Festival – the Queen of the Princess Festival Beauty Contest. The winner gets a unique princess doll collection and their photo taken with the movie star, Fiorella Cappuccino.

Jessie and Misty decide to settle their differences over the beauty contest, eyeing the doll set as their true victory.

They get dressed up into traditional Japanese kimonos, dazzling the boys with their beauty, when it’s revealed that the actual competition is not a beauty contest afterall – it’s a Pokemon battle tournament.

Misty asks to borrow some of Ash and Brock’s Pokemon to get a more balanced team since her team is all Water Pokemon. They agree, but wonder why winning is so important to her. She reveals that she never had her own princess doll set when she was younger. She was given her sisters’ hand-me-downs. Everyone always told her how lucky she was to have three sets of dolls, but she always wanted her own set.

Jessie and Misty both do amazingly in the Pokemon Tournament, and the finale match pairs them off against each other. Before the match begins, Jessie explains that she always hated the Princess Day Festival because she never had a single Princess doll. Her family could never afford to get her any, and she was the only girl in town to go without any dolls on Princess Day.

The match begins – Misty sends out Pikachu while Jessie uses Arbok. Pikachu is able to easy toss aside Arbok, followed quickly by Weezing and Meowth.

Jessie starts thinking the match is already over when Meowth reminds her of her newest Pokemon, Lickitung.

She sends out Lickitung, and it’s surprisingly able to defeat Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Vulpix with a single Lick each. Misty looks like she’s in trouble, but as she’s about to call on Staryu, Psyduck lets itself out.

Jessie prepares for victory with one final Lick, but Psyduck is, oddly, unaffected. It’s a stalemate as Psyduck is too daffy to follow Misty’s commands for attack while Lickitung is unable to follow the battle commands of Jessie since she’s telling it to do moves it doesn’t know. They try to continue the Lick, resulting in giving Psyduck a headache.

The headache allows Psyduck to use its Psychic powers and it uses Confusion to fend off Lickitung and blast Team Rocket off.

Misty gazes upon her new doll set, proud that she finally has one to call her own. She sends them back home and relishes in the idea of her sisters being incredibly jealous of her unique and expensive doll collection.

Meanwhile, Jessie sits in silence and cries over losing the doll set. In an effort to cheer her up, James and Meowth arrive in traditional Japanese garb. The final shot pans out on all of the Team Rocket gang dressed as the dolls, having turned themselves into a doll set just for Jessie so she’d never be without one again.

————————————

– We have a lot to cover when it comes to Princess Day. Some stuff I’ll save for later for the sake of avoiding a text wall.

First and foremost, this fictional holiday is based on a real Japanese holiday called Hinamatsuri, also known as Girls’ Day or Dolls’ day. It is part of five different seasonal festivals that occur during the year.

In the weeks leading up to the holiday, parents of young women will set up a display of dolls meant to resemble the emperor, empress and their court dressed in Heian period clothing. This tradition is meant to bring these girls health, success and happy marriages in their futures.

As the name suggests, a good chunk of the day centers on the dolls. These can range from being fairly simple displays sometimes adorned with paper dolls or pictures to extremely complex and expensive displays with intricately sculpted dolls, some costing upwards of $2,500. Dolls are typically bought or handed down before a girl’s first Hinamatsuri and the display can be improved upon as they grow.

Outside of that, Hinamatsuri doesn’t have many other ‘perks’ so-to-speak – at least not that I found through my research (Feel free to inform me). You cook a variety of tasty foods and beverages for the occasion, including a sweet non-alcoholic sake drink, and some girls hold parties, but that’s about it.

Pokemon Episode 52 screen2

In Pokemon, Princess Day is quite a bit different. The dolls seem divorced from the actual holiday – more like they’re just a special thing all girls wanted and the prize happens to be a set of those dolls.

The festivities for the holiday are also quite different. Any female is treated, well, like a princess. The perks they get are pretty insane. Gashed prices in stores, free food and the ability to force anything with a Y chromosome to do your bidding all day.

All of this culminates in a beauty contest and Pokemon tournament to win a set of princess dolls.

For those of you wondering, there was a Boys’ Day festival, but now it’s encompassed as Children’s Day, which we’ll be focusing on next time.

Also, this holiday is purely Hinamatsuri in the original version. However, it’s obviously being tweaked for this series. I haven’t been able to find anything that says part of traditional Hinamatsuri celebrations is intense shopping, ridiculous sales, getting free food and making guys do whatever you want.

Second of all, am I the only one who feels like this whole Princess Day deal is…..just a tiny bit…..sexist? Not actual Hinamatsuri – the fictional Princess Day. I mean, I’m more than down for celebrating women – I am one – but…..I dunno, maybe the name kinda pisses me off, which would be 4Kids’ fault, maybe the aspect of there being a lot of sales on clothes, cute toys and other girly things irks me, maybe part of the festival being a beauty contest grinds my gears, maybe the concept of enslaving the penised ones seems a bit uncouth, I dunno.

Actual Hinamatsuri seems pretty cool, but this seems like a bit much.

Dogasu noted this in their comparison: “(The Narrator) then goes on to say that women are basically allowed to do whatever they want thanks to all the money they bring in during the holiday.” Something’s off about that too. With such drastic sales, between 70 and 90% off AND giving lots of freebies like free food, certainly the profits can’t be enough to let women ‘do whatever they want’

I don’t have much of a mind for economics, so maybe it is. *shrug*

…..And, yes, it is entirely possible that I’m a smidgen jealous that actual Princess Day doesn’t exist. We don’t even get Hinamatsuri in the US. We do have International Women’s Day, which is awesome, but there aren’t any celebratory traditions for it that I know of….So I’m petty. Leave me alone.

– Being a hypocrite, though, I find the Narrator’s opening statements to be quite funny based purely on how he delivers the lines. When he says ‘and if you’re a male, well, you get to carry packages’ I laughed out loud.

Pokemon Episode 52 screen3

– Fun Fact: This episode was originally meant to air on Girls’ Day, March 3rd 1998, but the Pokemon Shock incident pushed the air date all the way back to July. Is there no limit to what the Pokemon Shock incident affected?

– So, we, for no other reason besides we need a hot guy to make all the girls hot and bothered on Princess Day, they bring in a celebrity…..from Italy…..named Fiorella….Cappuccino….*deep sigh*

Also, I thought this ugly-ass picture on the billboard was part of 4Kids’ digital paint job, but nope. That’s the original design….ick.

– While we’re on the topic of this billboard, we have a sexy heartthrob advertising something called ‘Gigantic’ Oh the innuendos I could make.

– I always, always, forgot that this episode is where Jessie caught Lickitung. I nearly always forget she has a Lickitung to begin with. What is with these sudden instances of characters catching Pokemon, sometimes very useful powerhouses like Primeape, Snorlax and Lickitung, only to have the characters seldom use them until their cheap departure episodes?

– I will give Jessie a bit of props for attempting to battle Lickitung before capturing it, but Arbok never did a thing to it, so there’s no reason Jessie should have been able to capture it without issue, especially considering Lickitung are pretty difficult to capture by default.

– Why didn’t she even consider giving Lickitung to Giovanni? It would be a decent replacement for those eaten gifts and he does want Pokemon above all else.

Pokemon Episode 52 screen4

– Part of this plot is Jessie and Misty as well as a slue of other women fighting over clothes while the boys sit in melancholy lamenting over the misery that is being a man out with a woman while shopping. The copious amounts of stereotypes are staggering.

– It’s kinda cute that Pikachu’s also excited about all the beautiful women who will be partaking in the beauty contest….but it’s also kinda….confusing. Is he just admiring the beauty of the human female form or is he…..attracted to humans?

– Of course the prize for the beauty contest is a bunch of dolls and a picture with a hot guy. And of course all the women in the store stampede when they hear of the photo part. Sorry, the stereotypes are getting to me.

– This announcer’s an idiot or purposely misdirecting people. The winner of the beauty contest gets nothing. It’s the winner of the following Pokemon battle tournament that gets both prizes. This is irritating enough, but what if you enter the beauty contest and don’t happen to be a Pokemon trainer too? It’s a massive waste of time.

– Misty: “And the winner gets to keep the doll collection?” Uh…..yeah? That’s how prizes work. It’s not like either of you is currently in possession of the doll collection and will battle to determine the owner. The dolls don’t belong to either of you and will be given to the winner. There had to have been a better way to phrase this.

– I hate Fiorella Cappuccino. Just thought I’d sum up every scene with him to save space. The way he talks, the way he acts, his dumbass name. I hate him.

– Misty: “Being so smart and beautiful and talented, I shouldn’t have a problem winning!” No, I didn’t mislabel that as Misty’s dialogue instead of Jessie’s – Misty legit says this.

– Announcer: “Batteries sold separately.” Uh, what would batteries do in this doll set, exactly?

Pokemon Episode 52 screen5
Note that the dolls are set up as a hierarchy, and Pikachu is, of course, in the place of the Emperor.

– Okay, so the Pokemon battle is part of the competition, but they don’t advertise that at all. Also, what exactly is the point of having the girls dress up like this? The beauty contest never actually happens and they go back to their regular clothing when they battle. Did they just want an excuse to make Jessie and Misty all (forgive the pun) dolled up?

– Ya know, I definitely feel more for Jessie in this situation. Misty never had her own doll set, boo hoo, but she still got three doll sets. Jessie got a grand total of none. Misty seems like she was pretty well-off growing up while Jessie was poor and got shitty toys when she was a kid. I love the ending to this episode, but the fact that Misty wins always rubbed me the wrong way.

– How is it not cheating to use other people’s Pokemon?

– I don’t believe for a second that Jessie is blasting her way through the tournament like this. All she uses are Arbok, Weezing and Meowth, and she regularly gets beaten by a ten year old idiot. Either she has the best luck ever or she’s getting incredibly crappy opponents.

– I think this is probably one of the last times we see guns in Pokemon, but don’t quote me on that.

– Why does the announcer note that Misty is undefeated? Given the structure of the tournament, of course she is, otherwise she would be out of the tournament altogether. And why does he not state the same of Jessie? She’s undefeated too.

– Announcer: “This could be one of the greatest comebacks in Pokemon history!” Okay, calm down, guy. This is a Princess Day Pokemon match between a ten year old girl and a Team Rocket member, not an Indigo Plateau climb.

– Announcer: “Now Misty has only one Pokemon left…” Wait, what? Lickitung took out Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Vulpix. Is this a four on four match? Because Misty has many other Pokemon. Why would this be four v. four? How random.

– Announcer: “This is incredible! Lickitung’s Lick attack isn’t working against Psyduck!”….Uh….care to wager a guess as to why? Are they trying to make off like Psyduck’s too dumb to be Paralyzed?

Pokemon Episode 52 screen6

If I wanted to be overtly generous and stretch things a lot, I’d say they thought Psyduck was part Psychic type, and considering that Lick is a Ghost type move, the writers believed it was entirely ineffective against it.

However, I can’t be certain if they realized their mistake in this at this point because Ghost types were originally meant to be strong against Psychic types in the games, and they took the glitch in the games that made Ghost strong against Psychic to heart, resulting in such events like the Marsh Badge episode.

In all honestly, I’m probably reading way too much into this and it’s likely the ‘Psyduck is too dumb to be affected’ theory, but it’s interesting to consider either way.

– I always remember the ending of this match being so dumb. Lickitung and Psyduck just derping and either not following orders or being unable to follow commands because their trainers are telling them to do things they can’t do, making for a painful stalemate until the obvious of Psyduck’s headache comes around.

– Let’s pause for something funny, though. In Gen I, Lickitung could not learn Lick.

– This is less funny, but, Jessie, Lickitung also can’t learn Tackle.

– It’s really sad that this random Lickitung’s debut episode showed it off much more than Arbok and Weezing did when they debuted.

– You wanna know what pisses me off even more about Misty winning the dolls? When she sends them back home, she’s clearly more intent on making her sisters jealous than she is happy that she finally got a doll set all for herself. I’m so glad this petty little brat who got three doll sets as a kid now has her own unique expensive doll set to rub in her sisters faces while Jessie, the dirt poor girl who grew up with no dolls, loses even though she was fighting the whole tournament completely on the up and up.

Pokemon Episode 52 screen7

– Ash: “They’ll be pretty jealous!”

Brock: “I’ll bet that’s the best prize of all!” They’re obviously speaking in a weird tone here, in response to Misty literally saying “I’d like to see the looks on my sisters’ faces!” with a big evil grin on her face, but even Ash and Brock point out that this was always more about showing up her sisters than it was filling some stupid youngest child void she always had.

– Despite all that crap, the ending where the Team Rocket gang dresses up like the dolls for Jessie is one of the most touching endings I’ve ever seen in Pokemon. Those are true friends right there.

Pokemon Episode 52 screen8

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I used to enjoy this episode much more than I do now. Not only am I more jaded on the sexist-ish aspects of the story, but looking at it over again I’m actually pissed that Misty won. Poor Jessie. She doesn’t even go on her typical rage rampage when she’s defeated and blasts off. She starts crying and sits huddled next to Lickitung until her friends come to cheer her up. Meanwhile, Misty’s super smug as she sends off her new dolls to the Cerulean Gym as she imagines her sisters turning green with envy….

Not much really happens in the first half, either, besides catching Lickitung completely at random. There’s shopping and the boys being exasperated with the girls and the girls living up to damn near every stereotype imaginable, blah blah.

I will admit that the episode is well-written in terms of dialogue. There are several funny lines, some sweet moments and the ending is very beautiful. I won’t really say I disliked the episode, but I don’t like it nearly as much as I did back in the day.

Next ep–…………………………..Wait…..a…..second…..Where the hell was Togepi this entire episode?! This has nothing to do with the episodes being messed up by the Pokemon Shock incident – they literally just straight up forgot to put Togepi in this episode. Wow.

Next episode, Children’s Day!….Kinda….a little.

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